Operating a successful contact center is rarely a simple undertaking. As many contact center professionals know, there are a number of crucial factors that come into play. At Fonolo, we often hear from call center managers who are proactively trying to improve their metrics with our solutions. This year we even started awarding managers for their contribution to enhancing the customer experience. But, we wanted to go one step further and pick the brains of forward thinking leaders. We asked them, “How do you meet (or exceed) the KPI’s set for your contact center?” And you know what? Many were eager to share their words of advice. Below you’ll hear from extraordinary contact center thought leaders including Fonolo customers: Home Advisor, Cloud9 Realtime, and Edge Imaging.
So, without further ado, here are 7 amazing tips from experienced industry professionals about how they achieve success in the contact center.
Warning: These tips are extremely thorough, insightful, and useful to any call center professional striving towards improvement. We highly recommend reading each tip to completion since this helpful information has a tendency of being overlooked.
“Unlike other professions, most people don’t plan to spend their career as agents. It’s not glamourous and often a transitional career. As such, it can be hard to foster engagement, retention and productivity. Rather than fear these challenges, I embraced them. During my time as a contact center leader, I invested in helping my agents discover how their current job would benefit them in their next professional role, no matter what they aspired to do. When they realized that it benefited their future goals, they were more engaged in their work, harnessed their passions, and excelled in their delivery of service.”
– Justin Robbins, Contact Center Thought Leader, UBM Americas
“Meeting performance level expectations is dependent on several factors (technology, reporting, luck) but ultimately it comes down to people. Not only do you have to have the right people talking to your customers, but you have to have the right managers in place motivating and coaching the agents. If you can find agents who truly enjoy helping others, who take ownership of every call and who have a positive attitude about life, you will be on your way to excellence. Since those characteristics don’t always come naturally, you need a management team in place to help make it happen. Front line managers are the most critical part of the Customer Service team. They drive morale, they make agents better by coaching and as we all know, they are the most important factor in whether an agent stays or leaves. So while people will talk a lot about technology in a call center, when it comes right down to it, nothing is more important to be successful than the people.”
– Matt Zurcher, Customer Care SVP, Home Advisor
“Creating a pipeline for future trainers was one of my biggest successes as a Training Manager. I identified Senior Agents, post-training Coaches and Team Leaders who were interested in training. With their Manager’s help, we mapped out a plan for them to transition onto my Training Team. I also had them fill in occasionally as guest assistant trainers, so they gained classroom experience. As a result of this career pathing, whenever we expanded our training team, there were several great candidates already groomed to step into those roles.”
– Mike Aoki, President, Reflective Keynotes Inc.
“Cloudnine Realtime is all about empowering customers to take control of their growth through the power of possibility. We do this by providing our customers with choices as to how they’d like to receive support. When a customer calls in for support, they can choose a preference as to how they’d like to proceed. They can simply wait on the line for the next available technician, or they can opt to receive an automatic call back. This means that our customers can get on with their day while knowing that their issue will be addressed in a way that saves them time and hassle.”
– Robert Chandler, CEO, Cloudnine Realtime
“Employees communicating with customers are the human conduit that extends from your organization to the customer, regardless of medium. Whether they are a customer service representative on a voice call, email or chat, or an employee updating your website, they are bringing information to your customer and building value.
Near real-time information is critical to providing the highest value possible. The best people, processes and technology are all for naught unless you keep your employees up to date with the latest information. Focus on providing your employees with the correct information ASAP, otherwise you risk all of your efforts to provide value to your customers that they will appreciate and reciprocate with return business.”
– Kevin C. Brown, Managing Director, VoxPeritus
Edge Imaging went directly to the heart of their contact center for advice about operating successfully. As many of the leaders here have mentioned, agents truly play a fundamental part in the success of any call center.
“We practice active listening; acknowledge the customer has been heard and ask questions to help solve the issue quickly.”
– Natalie Garcia, Customer Care Representative, Edge Imaging
Neal Topf from Callzilla took a slightly different approach — a simple yet thorough mathematical equation, that can lead to contact center success,
“[Proper Employee Selection + (Training + On-boarding) + (QA + Coaching + Supervision + Career Path) = Employee Engagement] + Processes + Reporting + Clearly defined objectives (CSat + FCR + Effort) + Omni-channel Technology + Front-line Empowerment + Senior Management buy-in = Contact Center Success.”
– Neal Topf, President, Callzilla
Do you have a tip to share? We’d love to hear it – Please feel free to include your own advice below for building a successful contact center!
Become a contact center super hero in record time!
- Gamification in the Contact Center
- Investing in Agents
- Voice-Powered Technology (VPT)
- Cracking Down on Hold-Times
- Social Media as a Contact Center Touchpoint
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Hero or Villain?