HomeBusinessThe 9 Call Center Management Tricks that Always Work

The 9 Call Center Management Tricks that Always Work

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The sound of ringing phones. Voices talking over one another. A hint of panic in the air. Sounds familiar, right? This is what most contact centers are like.

No wonder so many call center agents are on the brink of burnout.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right call center management tactics, you can increase productivity while also reducing employee turnover rate.

Ready to manage your call center better? Here are 10 call center management tips to save your day.

1. Encourage Virtual Brainstorming Sessions

An effective way to promote teamwork and build an innovative culture is to hold brainstorming meetings.

For instance, if you’re looking to improve customer satisfaction scores or reduce call times, allow your agents to be part of the solution. They’re the ones on the ground fielding calls—they may give you some valuable insight to help improve your overall operation.

Instead of only hosting your conferences in physical locations, consider online sessions. While in-person brainstorming improves team collaboration, virtual brainstorming results in more ideas.

Virtual settings make everyone feel involved, regardless of their position. They also make it easy for introverts to participate on their own terms.

Keep in mind: the key to successful brainstorming sessions lies in encouraging a free flow of ideas. You might have to break the ice yourself and pre-plan discussion topics to get ideas flowing, but this preparation can help a lot in setting a positive tone.

Other than these tips, you should also:

  • Give detailed tutorials on your collaborative software of choice before a meeting.
  • Try different techniques such as mind-mapping, starbursting, or rapid ideation.
  • Define the rules of participation before getting started.
  • Encourage the use of emojis for online meetings or doodles for in-person sessions.
  • Avoid discarding ideas immediately as that can discourage participants.

2. Use a Project Management Tool to Track and Delegate Tasks

As a manager, it’s essential to keep a birds-eye view on how agents are handling customers. This includes the support conversations they’re having, the ones they’ve closed, and those that require your input.

To do this, use a project management app such as Trello or Airtable to organize, assign, and manage tasks. These apps are a great way to enable team collaboration and streamline your workflow. Just integrate it with other apps in your tool stack, such as your CRM or analytics tool.

Project management software can also help you manage different teams separately. For instance, use it to create different boards for managing each department’s budgeting and workload separately.

You can also create a knowledge base for agents on a new board. This way, they can easily find links to frequently asked questions or support guides. Best of all, you can easily take a look at all your teams’ records of completed tasks for performance tracking with these tools.

3. Use Social Listening to Prevent Customer Issues From Escalating

Social listening tools can help monitor and keep a check on customers’ complaints without your team having to endure a barrage of angry customers yelling through the phone.

These apps pull up comments and posts that mention your brand, helping you identify customers’ impressions of your products and services. From there, you’re able to deal with complaints better and address issues early proactively.

Monitoring social activity around your brand also gives you deeper customer insights and more responsive technical support. Plus, it teaches your call center agents how they can provide personalized and informed customer service.

4. Hand Fidget Cubes to Agents for Stress-Relief

We know—this one may seem small compared to the other tips. But it works.

About 87% of call center agents report high stress at their workplace. As such, it’s important that managers do their best to maintain a calm atmosphere. One way to do this is to hand out fidget cubes, fidget spinners, or other stress relieving gadgets to agents.

These gadgets help handle anxiety when agents deal with particularly difficult customers. For some, fidget tools are also helpful in reducing boredom.

The benefits of fidget cubes don’t end here. They can also help improve focus and assist with emotional regulation.

With stress management in the hands of agents, they’re less likely to succumb to impulsive behavior or redirect their frustration on to those nearby.

5. Integrate an IVR Software Within Your System

Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) software integrates with your phone system to automate processes and improve the customer experience. It often delivers pre-recorded messages for greeting callers and directing them toward the right department.

This software can also collect customer information and process transactions, reducing the overall workload on agents.

Integrating such a system within your call center structure is a good idea if you want to reduce hold time—which ultimately is going to lead to happier customers.

6. Measure the CSAT Metric to Identify Areas That Need Improvement

You can measure your customer satisfaction score (CSAT) by using surveys to:

  • Understand customer sentiments at a given time
  • Identify customers’ pain points on a call
  • Track company wide or individual agents’ performance
  • Learn how customers feel about an improvement or new feature in your system

Using these surveys, you can ask any question that you wish to learn about a customer’s on-call experience.

For example, ask a broad question to understand how well the caller feels their query was resolved. Or, ask them more specifically if they feel they had to wait too long.

You can use the survey data to coach poor performers and reward high-performing ones. CSAT surveys use a rating system from 1 to 10 to measure service quality, so it’s quite easy to determine who needs more help on your team.

To get more accurate results from CSAT surveys, send them out to your customers regularly such as every quarter, month, or after each interaction.

7. Assess Call Volumes and Peak Call Times to Prevent Overworking

Don’t forget to assess agent workload and the overall call volume to keep agent burnout at bay. You can do this in a handful of ways:

  • Track historical data analysis to review which days or seasons experience higher call volumes.
  • Use real-time monitoring tools to identify sudden spikes in workload.
  • Get agents’ feedback to learn if they’re exhausted in the workplace.

After you collect data, you’ll be able to change system settings and route calls in a more balanced way.

At the end of the day, it’s essential to make sure there is a work-life balance for everyone at the contact center to improve the quality of your service. Give breaks to overworked agents and rewards to high performers. Set realistic expectations.

8. Use Videos in Your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

All businesses need SOPs. From Day 1, you want to create and enforce clear guidelines on what you expect from your agents. These SOPs should clearly explain how agents should complete tasks, handle customers, and behave in certain situations.

This way, not only will all agents behave and perform in a uniform manner, but you’ll also prepare them for unexpected challenges.

First, you’ll want to create your SOPs. Then, go one step further and create videos for your SOPs. Remember that not everyone learns best by reading giant walls of text and bullet points. With a call center, video SOPs can be especially helpful, as they can even be used partly as a training tool to show agents how to respond in specific situations.

You don’t have to film full-on videos with actors, though. Even recording a simple Loom video walking the agent through the specific policy can be useful.

9. Create a Performance Check-In System That Empowers Agents

A comprehensive performance check-in system serves several purposes at once. It allows you to give feedback to call center agents in order to improve overall performance. And it also gives your agents a chance to speak up and voice their own thoughts and concerns.

That’s why we’re not calling this a performance review. While feedback can be given during this time, it’s not a one-sided meeting. Your agent should also feel empowered to speak up about what’s going well, what’s not going well, and their overall feelings about the job.

Make sure you actually listen and acknowledge any concerns they bring to the table. You might get some valuable feedback that you can use to increase overall employee satisfaction.

And remember—happier agents mean happier customers.

If you do have feedback for an employee, remember to offer it in a constructive way. Your goal should be to ensure a productive environment and to improve agents’ skills rather than to reprimand them.

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