On Jan, 6 2023
Building a productive contact center is a challenge… but maintaining a high level of productivity is even more difficult. Below are a few tips on how to improve contact center productivity and efficiency the right way to ensure both agents and customers stay happy.
Create a work environment where consistency is valued – A contact center won’t be productive without consistently having qualified and motivated agents. Take extra steps to reward your workforce as you see fit for being reliable and providing outstanding customer experiences. A catered breakfast for good attendance or a small gift card for a nice customer review can go a long way. With this said, agents should understand when and why they are getting a perk so they know what needs to be done to obtain them. Make sure to provide ways for agents to keep an eye on their work throughout the day – such as how many calls or chats they have taken – so they are able to monitor their progress in real-time. It’s also important to have scheduled and consistent agent check-ins to review the quality of work and provide training as needed. Making it a regular occurrence takes some of the negative feelings out of these conversations while also ensuring consistent customer responses still happen.
Outline exactly what productivity means – Does being productive mean meeting your service level agreements (SLAs)? Or is it more around obtaining a certain rate of customer satisfaction and retention? Every contact center is different and having no specifics to follow means your contact center has no goal to work for. Uniting agents around a clear outline or definition of what productivity looks like can help them strive towards meeting this group objective. Failing to have a clear goal means the agents are naturally more likely to favor their own interests instead of what the company needs to be successful.
Focus on the metrics that truly matter – Modern contact center technology has put more metrics in the hands of leadership and agents than ever before. However, more isn’t always better when it comes to data. Sometimes so much information can cause people to lose sight of what truly matters. To help keep agents productive, only share information they can directly influence and have an impact on. Adherence data from workforce management software is a good example because it provides agents with a way to self-correct their own attendance issues. It’s also important to show agents a mixture of performance-based metrics as well, such as any relevant customer feedback scores.
Try to keep comparisons as relevant as possible – A natural thing to think of when looking to improve productivity is to replicate what works. If the day shift is thriving and the evening shift is struggling, why not take the day blueprint and apply it for the evening? Unfortunately fixing problems like this is rarely so easy. The night shift may face more complex customer issues or attract less qualified agents. Instead, do your best to drive productivity by creating relevant comparisons. If a night shift on Monday is struggling but Wednesday is doing well, it makes more sense to compare these two days directly to see what’s different. Are the same agents working? Is the contact volume drastically different? Is the volume spread consistently across the same channels? Creating productive processes often starts by looking into relevant comparisons.
To summarize, contact centers can improve productivity the right way by sharing relevant information with agents and consistently showing (not just saying) that their hard work is appreciated. It’s a balancing act of giving agents the space to figure out their own ways of being productive while still providing the correct guidance and incentives to help them. Looking forward, more contact centers will seek to improve productivity by continuing to value the agent experience right alongside the customer experience.