15 steps to Improve your Contact Center
by Colin Taylor
I was in Las Vegas last week attending and speaking at Call & Contact Center Expo US and it was a great time. I got to see a number of familiar faces and meet a bunch of new friends. I also saw a lot of very interesting technologies. I was particularly impressed by some of the agent-assist capabilities and the real-time noise-canceling technologies.
I also did a keynote presentation titled “Hope is not a Strategy” which focused on the need for a strategy and a robust plan if you want to be successful. Otherwise, you are condemned to play contact center ‘Whack-a-Mole’ as you jump from problem to problem.
One area I spoke to was the opportunity that all contact center operators must improve their centers’ service delivery and effectiveness at no cost. These are 15 ideas and suggestions that anyone can implement, and all will improve your center:
Leverage your people; they are the ones who do the job everyday.
- Executives “sitting in” with agents can be an eye opener for both and build more cooperation and understanding of contact center needs and CX, EX, and morale.
- Sit in on different shifts; the overnight shift may not have seen their leadership in years.
- Plan 80% so you can support the 20% you can’t anticipate, not the reverse.
- Have leadership take calls and have direct customer interaction for 1-2 hours a month.
- Hold agent town halls as “no questions excluded” events; hold them regularly and schedule them in advance. Hold multiple events to accommodate schedules.
- Pay a decent wage, otherwise they will leave.
Leverage the technology you have today.
- Technology is a tool, not a solution. Examine what your technology can do and then implement it. You may want to check your original use case on what problems your were going to solve with the technology.
- Better technologies and applications are just around the corner, but waiting can just lead to analysis paralysis.
- Unintended consequences are a result of insufficient planning. (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance)
- Recognize that Change Management is applicable to all levels in the organization and is ongoing.
- Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS). A horse designed by a committee is a camel. Remember that scope creep and overreach has turned many good applications or bots into mediocre applications/bots.
Trust your customers, they are the ones consuming your services.
- Create processes to gather customer and employee satisfaction and engagement feedback; then look at it, share it with your team and measure future success by improvement in these two areas in addition to all financial and non-financial metrics.
Improve your processes.
- Map your processes and workflow — most of us are visual learners.
- Simplify both customer facing and support processes.
- Design processes for ease of service delivery and better experience.
Remember: the journey to delivering good service is never over. In every operation we need to strive for evolution, not a revolution. Steady, constant, forward motion and incremental improvements will deliver big results in time.
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