5 Common Call Center Problems and How to Fix Them
The call center is a crucial business asset in the customer loyalty and satisfaction game. The call center is also one of the hardest places to work and attrition rates are high. So how can you solve the biggest problems facing your call center?
Call center agents have a tough job and it’s not surprising that high employee turnover rates are a big concern for call centers. Agents frequently complain about low compensation, a lack of career growth opportunity, and abuse from angry customers. How can you address this?
Competitive pay: Paying your agents well should be a priority. Competitive pay and benefits don’t just help your agents: they help you, too. Poor compensation is the number one complaint among agents, and a key way you can attract and keep the most skilled people is by appealing to that.
Training: Answer the concern about career growth by providing training. Help agents learn how to be self-sufficient in handling problems, how to work with multiple channels, and how to engage with the latest software. Not only will you get better performance from your agents, but they will find it more worth their while to stay.
Too many old tools
A lot of call centers operate with outdated software which they don’t want to go through the trouble (and expense) of upgrading. Make no mistake: it’s costly and time-consuming to solve this problem. But the cost of ignoring it is even higher.
Integrate: Instead of asking agents to learn seven different software platforms and open and close each one on every call, research customer service call center software with multiple built-in systems that work for your company.
Innovate: Every business in every field must choose between innovating and reacting. If you wait to make changes until absolutely forced to do so, you will fall behind and experience enormous disruption when those changes come. It is far better to be proactively innovative.
Agent information retention
If you find yourself offering plenty of training but don’t see corresponding changes in agent behavior, they either aren’t understanding or aren’t retaining that training. You have wasted time and money and still have managers running around doing more than they should have to do.
Gamification: Motivate your call center agents to stay engaged and push for more achievements with gamification techniques. Gamification simply means taking the things that make games successful, like challenges and point systems, and applying them to your business. Research shows we are motivated by these things even when we don’t realize it.
Improve training: The problem could be with the training itself. Is it engaging and interactive, or is it just someone reading at your people? Use quizzes, videos, and rewards to get people interested and engaged.
Poor customer satisfaction
Another common call center problem is customer dissatisfaction, usually because agents are not achieving good first call resolution. On average, around 30 percent of a call center’s volume is from customers who are calling back because their issue hasn’t been addressed.
Build up your knowledge base: Constantly keep track of the questions customers ask and identify the most common ones. Your agent knowledge base should be populated regularly with approved responses and tweaks to existing answers. The knowledge base is never “finished.” It can always be better.
Check your KPI: Are your key performance indicators actually giving you what you need? Do an assessment to see if the metrics you’re gathering are providing the information you need to improve. If they aren’t, it’s time to rethink and adapt.
Any call center is likely to find volume spiking at one point and dropping the next. This can get frustrating if you’re always having to hire or let go staff, which also leads to poor employee satisfaction.
Turn to the cloud: Cloud-based software can let you leverage the power of remote, part-time employees. With a cloud-based system, you can easily remove seats or add a few more from your computer, engage with remote staff, and still keep an eye on them from your base.