If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve decided up your contact center game.
You’ve got the aspiration and the best intentions. But you’ll need more than that. Picking an effective contact center strategy is a process that requires thought, evaluation, and preparation.
Unsure where to start? We’ve got eight essential tips so you can start improving your contact center today.
1. Identify the problems you want to solve
Yes, this is business 101, but we feel it’s worth mentioning. After all, it’s easy to lose sight of your objectives when you’re conducting research.
Establish what your issues are, your goals, and what your ideal solution will look like. By developing this framework in advance, you’ll have a point of reference when it comes time to evaluate your strategies.
Ask yourself: is this issue a symptom of a larger problem? For example, if you’re looking to increase productivity and agent performance, you’re likely looking at a larger goal of improving employee engagement.
2. Dive into your data history
You probably have a wealth of information just waiting to be tapped in your contact center channels. Check your past metrics and data reports, and analyze them for any trends that might be useful.
Start with common KPIs such as Average Handle Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR) and abandonment rates. By taking this step, your contact center management team can make strategic data-driven decisions.
3. Gather customer feedback
Customer interactions are at the heart of every contact center, so it makes sense to take their feedback into account. Most contact centers gather customer information through surveys, questionnaires, and call center recordings.
Most of this information will be qualitative data, meaning you’ll need to take some time to assess their feedback and draw trends from their responses. By taking this step, you’ll be able to account for the customer experience — after all, there’s no point in implementing a strategy that makes them unhappy.
4. Interview your agents
Your contact center agents are some of your best resources when developing new strategies. They’re the ones on the front lines, and should be just as involved in new initiatives to improve the contact center.
Gather their feedback and be sure to take them into account when devising your strategy. If it’s not working, they’ll be the first to know!
5. Consider your budget
It can be tempting to fall back on the classic solutions, such as hiring more agents or outsourcing your call center. While many hands do make light work, these methods aren’t always the most budget-friendly solutions.
If this is a concern, look at the resources you already have and see if there’s a way to re-jig your processes. Can you offer self-service channels on your website? Are you leveraging your social media channels effectively?
6. Explore technology solutions
We’re living in a grand time for call center technology, so embrace your options and don’t be afraid to adopt new tools. Cloud-based technology is especially great for those who are on a tight budget.
For instance, this call-back technology works with any call center system and offers your customers a call-back if they don’t want to wait on hold. Not only does it free up your customers’ time, but it also helps your team manage in times of high call volume!
7. Create a benchmark for success
You’ve completed your research and you’re zeroing in on your ideal contact center strategy. But if you don’t have a way to measure whether it’s working, you’re basically tripping at the finish line.
Decide how you’ll measure success before implementation, and ensure you have the tools and methods to track it. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself back at square one before you know it!
8. Audit your strategy regularly
Of course, no plan is perfect the first time around. Be prepared to do regular evaluations of your strategy to work out the kinks. It’s a good idea to set up a place where your agents and management can track issues as they arise, so that when it’s time to evaluate, you have everything in one place!