7 Best Practices for Call Center Management
To ensure customer satisfaction, it is essential to have a well-functioning call center. But you work in an industry with one of the highest turnover rates in the world (60%!). So, no one could blame you for feeling stressed!
Do not fret, managing a call center efficiently is attainable, if we just treat our employees properly. With that in mind, try some of these employee-focused call center management best practices to make both your customers and employees happy.
1. Hire People With the Right Personality
Yes, it is tough out there, but we still need to find a way. Zero in on people who have the capability to handle the functional details of the job and the attitude to serve customers willingly, no matter what. Remember, you can teach skills but it is far more difficult to change someone’s personality.
Here's what to look for:
- Socially adept
- Retains knowledge
- Calm under pressure
- Effective communicator
2. Train Agents From Day One (and Never Stop)
Proper onboarding gets new hires off to the best start, so they can become the best possible employee. Properly-run call centers focus on training that begins on day one and never stops, even with veteran employees.
Teach techniques for handling difficult callers (because anybody could do the job it if was easy!). Agents who have the skills to turn irritated callers into satisfied customers are guaranteed to please everyone else.
3. Provide Real-Time Feedback
Employees like to receive feedback so ensure that your call center utilizes performance metrics to gauge the quality and effectiveness of each person’s work. Look at metrics like first-call resolution, average handle time, and average wait time. These can serve to show the effectiveness and efficiency of how calls are processed. If you are not sure how these metrics can help, or if you are not familiar with these metrics, read our article on how to leverage quality assurance programs to improve your customer service.
Use that data — and recorded calls — to give real-time constructive feedback and personally coach each team member. Along with honing their personal skills, what tools or additional development opportunities do they need to go from good to great with their customer interactions?
4. Empower Agents to Make Decisions
Give your agents the authority to make decisions that resolve customer problems on the spot. It should come as no surprise that customers are not big fans of when you transfer them to someone else! If you provide great training, you can be confident your agents will do the right thing.
5. Listen to Your Agents' Feedback
Savvy call center managers know their agents are the ultimate source of customer insight. After all, they are on the front lines every day. Want to improve the experience your customers receive on the phone? Just ask your agents what problems or deficiencies need to be fixed. And ask how they would resolve those problems.
6. Encourage Agents to Take a Break
Is your call center busy? Great! But one of the best call center management tips we can give you is to help your agents reduce stress. Remind agents to take breaks throughout their shift. Downtime calms, refreshes, and fortifies individuals for the next round of high-test customer interactions. That is a good thing because the last thing frazzled customers want is to encounter a frazzled agent.
7. Express Gratitude to Your Employees
Working in a call center is a tough job. But it should not be a thankless one! One of the easiest ways to reduce turnover is to show employees that you appreciate them and their good work. Bring in pizza, host a happy hour (no, not when agents are still on the phone!), bring them together to brainstorm new ideas to help customers or make their jobs easier or more fun. Easiest of all — just say “thanks”!
Effective call center management requires great people who actually care about customer care. So, hire the best and never stop training, listening, or thanking your team for doing a great job. When employees are well-tooled and happy, customers will be happy with the results. Are you a superb manager, or what?