When speaking of customer service calls, as a first-line of communication for your clients, customer service personnel play a crucial role in the success of any business venture. This is no less the case today than it was before. Today, one of the greatest factors in a company’s ability to differentiate itself from the competitor is to provide exceptional customer service calls and support.
But in order to minimize overhead costs and maximize ROI, call centers need to run efficiently. This will not happen by accident, but by extensive planning.
In this article, we will discuss some of the ways managers can implement specific tools to achieve better customer service calls.
1. Define Performance Standards Clearly
In order for staff to meet the standards expected of them, it’s important for them to know what those standards are. Unclear standards run the risk of taking away staff motivation, which in turn will have negative effects on the overall productivity of the center.
Staff members need to have a clear idea of the performance expectations management has for them, which should be shown through consistent, measurable data. This will show them that expectations are standardized in statistical terms, rather than being left to the whims of management.
As part of its features, NUACOM includes VoIP so that management can compare representatives’ output with company standards with clear data.
2. Find Opportunities to Motivate Staff
Let’s start on the theme of motivation. Staff members need to feel motivated to meet expectations. When people feel valued, they are generally more happy and productive.
Management should actively look for opportunities to motivate their staff by complimenting staff members when they perform well. A remuneration bonus is one-way management can motivate their staff members, but even a little praise for a job well done during day-to-day operations is a welcome motivator.
When one of your team members has made a great call, recognize them for it. You can even use it (with their permission) at your next training session as a rubric for other staff members to follow. This will help to reinforce patterns of success in other team members, as it gives them a concrete goal to strive for.
3. Focus on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Like expectations that haven’t been clearly stated, KPIs that haven’t been properly interpreted aren’t helpful. A rep whose calls are consistently above the average handling time is not necessarily a problem as long as they are getting consistently good results.
Some things to remember:
- Consider whether you are using your KPIs effectively.
- Everything you measure must be interpreted for the purpose of maximizing productivity.
- Don’t measure for the sake of measuring.
- Give your KPIs a purpose.
NUACOM’s dashboard provides access to a range of KPIs including:
- Average talk time per team
- Abandoned vs completed calls
- Inbound calls taken
- Outbound calls made
- Agent performance, etc.
4. Ensure that phone traffic is flowing properly
When customers are being transferred to the wrong department, customer service personnel end up suffering as a result. Instead of helping the people they are supposed to be helping, channels get tied up and the whole center loses valuable time (and money).
Here’s where having the right tools comes into play. Call transferring needs to be efficient and automated, to free staff to do the tasks they should be doing, and not making up for mistaken transfers.
NUACOM’s VoIP features include smart call transferring: internal and external, to an individual agent or group, making sure that calls are routed to the right people at the right time. Calls can also be flipped from desk phones to cell phones either manually or automatically, ensuring that staff are able to answer important calls when away from their desk or out of the office.
5. Bring Your Office Up to Date Technologically
Hosted Unified Communications (UC) centers and cloud service providers make operations run more efficiently over traditional PBX systems. They are generally more scalable than traditional hardware based systems and allow for greater mobility.
With cloud-based technology, necessary communications and relevant information can be hosted within a single unified software program. Simplified platforms make the process much easier, minimize error and optimize time management, as representatives have access to necessary resources in one location, rather than having to flip through various tabs and applications.
NUACOM’s dashboard provides necessary analytics, extensive data, relevant client information and integration with a host of CRM app developers all within one simplified location.
6. Implement Continuous Training Programs
So you’ve implemented the right tools, but does your staff know how to use them properly?
Here’s where continual training plays a major role in call center efficiency. For one thing, representatives feel much more confident when management invests in them by training them to do their job efficiently. There’s always a temptation to feel comfortable in a routine.
One way of helping staff members to break this pattern is by providing them with a training schedule that will help them learn new things that apply directly to the job at hand. Continued training is also a primary way of ensuring staff members aren’t habitually making the same mistakes.
Continually training your staff ensures that you not only have the right tools, but that you have staff members who can utilize them to their maximum potential.
7. Prioritize First Call Resolution
Let’s continue a little more with training.
First Call Resolution (FCR) is a primary KPI in how to determine an inbound call center’s efficiency. Most people want their issues dealt with quickly and accurately. This means getting the job done with limited to no follow-ups. But FCR won’t happen on its own.
Management needs to train staff so that agents are consistently able to offer one-call resolutions. If a problem takes too long to be resolved, customers will begin looking towards the competition. If the client has to make multiple phone calls, they’ll think you’re giving them the runaround.
Focus on the proven tactics for consistently getting first-call resolutions. In-house, this may mean highlighting one rep’s success record and playing those transactions back for the rest of the staff to take notes on.
What You’ve Learned so far about Customer Service Calls
With the right tools, a properly trained staff and an effective approach to measuring your KPIs, your team will consistently land better customer service calls. As with anything, this comes with time, effort and an adaptable approach to meet the needs of your team.
If you’re interested in equipping your team and learning more about call center KPI, book your demo today: