Tips for Improving Contact Center Operational Efficiency
Following the rapid evolvement of contact centers and the need for better customer experience, sustaining any level of operational efficiency is a notable achievement.
So What is Operational Efficiency?
This concept involves several strategies and techniques used by an enterprise to deliver quality products or services to customers in the most-effective and timely manner. The main aspects of operational efficiency are resource utilization, production, inventory management, and distribution. Business can achieve operational efficiency by streamlining its core processes to respond effectively to the ever-changing market forces in a cost-effective manner.
Contact centers require the highest level of efficient operations. It means that call centers manager should be concerned about performance. How do the customers interact with call center agents? Are they satisfied? Or, have they started turning to competitors when their issues are not solved completely? This has a tremendous impact on blending customer need and satisfaction to ensure the contact center is as efficient as possible.
If you’re missing the point in sustaining an operation efficiency, the following tips can help you jumpstart a new chapter of success.
Steps to Improve Contact Center Operational Efficiencies
1. Integrate effective channels
Since technology is evolving too fast, most contact centers have introduced new channels, but they are not fully integrated. As a result, customers find it hard to switch between them and call center agents may fail to see the big picture of satisfying the customer’s needs and expectation. Call centers need to integrate effective digital channels to ensure customers get the assistance they need. The right infrastructure that supports a multiple channel customer experience can help meet the customer needs and elevate the business to the next level.
2. Listen and learn from customers
Your most valuable asset and source of information that can help improve operational efficiencies is your customers. Various aspects such as surveys, emails, speech analytics, and other sources of direct response can help call center managers understand what they are doing right and where they need to improve. It is important to remember that your call center should not look like you’re only interested in gathering general information. It’s beneficial to get the data and use it to make informed decisions which can improve your business’s operation processes.
3. Take advantage of the workforce management system
To maintain efficient operations in call centers, scheduling is necessary. A company that has a large staff coupled with multiple shifts, and fluctuating work volumes, may find it hard to manage your staff effectively. Lack of enough workforce or too much of it may lead to operational inefficiencies. Using a workforce management system can help you identify the areas that need attention. You can create schedules which will guide the existing staff to become efficient and make more informed decisions including the right time to hire or scale down the number of call center agents.
4. Collect enough feedback from Agents
In addition to customers, call center agents are the next essential resource you can have in your company. If you take a look an agent schedule, it encompasses a complex environment that is characterized by excessive call center agent training needs, high levels of frustration, increased call handling at a time, and worst of all, customer frustration which they are expected to resolve as soon as possible. Reaching out to these agents and encouraging them to share their thoughts and opinions can help revolutionize the agent environment to make it more interactive. This can be done through organizing employees forum, regular meetings, or by having a good open-door policy.
5. Hiring a Diverse Team
With the increased use of advanced tools and applications in most call centers, agents require an improved skill set to assist clients on multiple channels. Similarly, they still require service-related skills to tackle customers issues effectively.
Contact center agents have different ways of dealing with customers. Some prefer to speak directly to them via phone, while others prefer the instant messaging and online chatting for efficiency. Hiring the right contact center agents with a broad skill set can help balance the company’s workload as well as improve the efficiency of every agent.
6. Collaboration with other Departments
To improve operational efficiencies, there is a need for effective communication between the call center and other business departments. With greater teamwork, tasks can be managed effectively and provide new openings to improve the company’s processes.
The mission for operational efficiency in a company is to identify problems and create solutions. The key thing is to understand the need to improve overall efficiency, reduce costs, and understand how customers are able to interact with your call center. When the company is focused to identify and correct processes and technical problems directly, it becomes easier to reach the expected level of efficiency that is aligned with your company’s goals.
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