So what are the 2 BIG MISTAKES call centres make?
FIRST BIG MISTAKE – Technology solves all your problems
Call centres are designed by people, managed by people, operated by people and the clients are people too! People are the key to a smart, successful and world class call centre operation.
While technology is important, it remains to be an enabler. It assists management and agents to deliver their customer service/sales/support as effective as possible from an operational and systems point of view. However, the core of customer service/sales remains fundamentally in the hands of your agent.
- Can they really engage with your customer?
- Are they the best match for your environment?
Research shows 22.9% of agents are energised and stimulated by the sensory overloaded call centre environment while 28% are distracted and stressed by the same environment.
- Are they skilled and motivated?
- Are they optimised and managed well?
These are the important questions to ask to shift your focus. With people cost in the industry around 65-70%, it makes total sense to spend your energy and expenditure here. Sensory Intelligence is all about neuroscience – understanding the brain – the seat to human performance and how this can be optimised in a call centre amidst sensory overload and excessive stimulation.
Some of the solutions are:
- Your recruitment process should be way more stringent and customised – what you put in is what you get out!
- Regarding your agent pool as an expendable work force should change as they are the key to your customers.
- Training agents to death for product knowledge in my opinion is a waste of time – this is where technology works well in the implementation of a knowledge base system. Your agents then don’t need to remember complex and huge amount of information which keeps on changing anyway and your customers will get consistent answers from everyone they speak to, every time. Train them upfront yes, but incorporate a lot more of your company values and goals – make them proud and committed to your brand!
- Further train and coach agents on engagement strategies – they need to know how to listen to customers (and I mean truly listen), speak and respond with attention and commitment.
- Time and stress management and team behaviours will also ensure agents perform best for longer periods of time.
All of the above is imperative to initiate at team leader level so that they can truly lead and coach (and set an example) beyond imparting product knowledge to your agents. [Look out for our next blog on how training team behaviours improved FCR (first call resolution) from 33% to 74% in 3 months.]
SECOND BIG MISTAKE – Spending extra money on the set-up and design of call centres is a waste
Where organisations invest effort, energy and cost to maximise work spaces it always add to increased growth and profits. Particularly in contact centres where large numbers of people work in confined spaces exposed to stress, targets and constant monitoring, a well-designed and monitored physical environment can markedly reduce this impact on agent performance.
Research shows that performance can be increased with:
- 8.9 % by correct temperature regulation and
- 16% with the use of more natural lighting.
This is 2 of the 50 components we incorporate in our sensory audit to help you tick the boxes towards having a world class contact centre that is focused around optimising agent performance. Consideration for environmental and sensory ergonomics factors can save you money and increase performance.
CONTACT US to find our how we can help you optimise your contact centre space, people and productivity.