While call centers are an essential component to a full customer service staff, they can also be one of the most challenging. The people that work in call centers typically handle a high volume of complaint customers, which can be stressful and demoralizing. In addition, these centers are often very busy, and employees are expected to answer a certain number of calls every hour, adding to the stress of the environment.
To help your call center employees do the best job they can – and raise the level of customer service in your call center at the same time – we have five steps to effective call center management.
Hiring Natural Talent
Few call center managers put sufficient time and energy into hiring the best people for the job. It is important for call centers to bring in employees that have a natural aptitude for customer service, with effective communication and listening skills, an enthusiastic attitude and a strong memory retention.
By carefully screening new hires into call centers, you can begin working with individuals who have the characteristics necessary to provide optimal customer service in the first place.
Once you have hired the best people for the job, a comprehensive training program is another essential feature of a high quality call center. Special focus should be placed on dealing with customer complaints, since these customers may make up a majority of the calls received.
When employees feel equipped to handle complaints, and they see them as an opportunity rather than a hurdle, they will be more likely to tackle those calls with zeal.
When call center employees begin to feel over-worked and overwhelmed, the quality of service automatically goes down. Proper scheduling is essential to ensure customers get assistance in a timely fashion and that the service they do receive is patient and friendly.
When determining scheduling, do so by the quality of calls, rather than the quantity. This will ensure that you have sufficient staff to provide the highest quality of service possible to your customers.
To keep call center staff motivated, it is important to regularly assess the quality of service that is being provided. Your evaluation program should accommodate every call center employee on your staff and provide you with sufficient information to accurately assess the quality of service each employee is giving. Evaluations need to be given regularly to ensure call center reps maintain a consistent level of service every time they are on the job.
Negative consequences like evaluations work, but they work much more effectively when they are balanced with positive incentives to encourage employees to put their best foot forward every day. Contests and service quality quotas can keep employees motivated and maintain a higher morale level across your entire staff. Happier employees tend to provide higher quality service overall.
A call center can be challenging when it comes to quality customer service, but there are steps you can take to raise the bar on your level of service. With these tips, you not only keep your call center employees more satisfied, but you have the potential to delight your customers as well.