Top 3 Contact Center Best Practices

Most contact centers today have the same objectives: to increase customer satisfaction, maintain customer retention and reduce operating costs.

It’s evident that call centers are no longer just a required function; they’re a source of value creation. As with any business, best practices should be understood and followed to remain successful. This is even more critical for customer facing service organizations.

Here are three best practices that are worth following!

Lower Employee Turnover

Most contact centers experience a high rate in employee turnover. In fact, according to Chron.com, in 2012 the average turnover rate for full-time and part-time call center employees was 26% and 33% respectively. These organizations are not only competing to attract the best customers, but the best agents as well. Here are some obvious reasons for high employee turnover:

  • The work is often routine and tedious
  • The level of compensation is typically minimum wage
  • The psychological tension is high

Unfortunately, high turnover leads to inflated call center costs and a loss of qualified agents. Simple changes in team culture and job quality can help reduce your turnover rate.

Remember that the Voice Channel is Still King

Even though customers have other avenues for contacting you (social media, mobile apps, etc.), the voice channel still remains the most widely used. Specifically because live assistance on the voice channel has the highest satisfaction rate, with 69% saying their questions are fully addressed over the phone.

However, if the voice channel is king, then the queen is your IVR. And she has a negative impact on customer satisfaction. In a recent survey, 60% of respondents said they prefer to bypass the IVR and go straight to a live agent.

The solution is simple – ensure that customers don’t have to deal with complicated IVRs or wait on hold. Get customers to a live agent as quickly as possible by allowing them to opt for a call-back instead of waiting in queue.

Keep the Metrics Top of Mind

It all boils down to the numbers! According to ICMI call centers have seven metrics they should keep a keen eye on.

  1. First-Call Resolution: FCR has the biggest impact on customer retention. Call centers with “world class” customer satisfaction have an FCR average of 86%.
  2. Service Level: Measuring the percentage of calls answered in given time period.
  3. Adherence to Schedule: Most centers choose an objective between 85% – 90%. Therefore, each agent is expected to be available for 54 minutes each hour.
  4. Common Customer Service MistakesForecasting Accuracy: A percentage variance between the number of forecasted calls and the number of actual calls received.
  5. Self-Service Accessibility: The percentage of interactions that take place on the web or using chat tools.
  6. Contact Quality: Top centers track contact quality as center-wide metric, as well as individual agent performance.
  7. Customer Satisfaction: Although there is no standard for calculating this metric, most contact centers measure customer satisfaction with surveys or phone interviews.

 



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