Whether you’re running a small local support team or a global network of dozens or hundreds of call center agents, every minute counts when it comes to creating a high-quality customer experience.
Call center productivity goes beyond simple time management – it’s about having the best information possible to close the feedback loop between plans and execution.
Optimal call center management not only requires an exceptional ability to gather and analyze data, but also a willingness to instill meaningful change within your organization.
The following article will explore how executives and management teams can improve their agents’ productivity by drastically empowering each individual to succeed with call center monitoring.
The Challenges of Call Center Productivity
Being an effective call center agent in 2020 requires an incredible amount of familiarization with various company-related policies, a technical understanding of products, and the ability to deal with a variety of often temperamental customers.
With many responsibilities come many points of failure, making analyzing call center productivity a consistently challenging endeavor.
Call center productivity is more than just a number.
Most call centers aim to improve average call times as the primary metric, but actual long-term productivity is so much deeper than the amount of time a call center agent is on the phone.
It takes a consistent evaluation and optimization of your internal processes.
Seek and Destroy Bottlenecks with Call Center Monitoring
Call center productivity starts with the processes agents are following – a soldiers’ efforts can only be as effective as their superiors' orders.
Many call center executives find that plans don’t always perfectly translate from paper into practice. Best laid plans don’t always go the way they should.
That’s why it’s incredibly important to get real-world, real-time feedback with some form of automated call center monitoring system.
Suppose your call center agent monitoring software uncovers that only 90% of calls end up in their accurate destination. The 10% that isn’t routed properly can wreak havoc on the productivity of every agent.
For example, if one out of every ten calls is sent to the wrong department, let’s say sales instead of support, then your agents are stuck playing hot potato with a customer growing increasingly frustrated by the minute.
Become a (Call Center) Traffic Controller
Poor call traffic distribution is one of the fastest ways to tangle up a call center and slow down efficiency. It’s existence is usually the result of some systemic issue related to internal workflows.
Identify points of failure by tracing the bottleneck to the source.
For example, if bottlenecks are related to certain agents, this may indicate a need for extra support or training. In that case, it might help to monitor their performance in real-time with a live representative or with an employee monitoring solution such as Insightful.
You may find that it's not the agent's fault at all; bottlenecks may just be indicators of lacking systems, processes or instructions. In this event, call center software can help you pinpoint and eliminate the causes of workflow blockages.
Improve Call Quotas and Resolution Times with Skill-Based Routing
The chances are that each of your call center agents will possess specific skills or talents that make them better suited to particular incoming callers. Or make them a good fit for specific stages of your call sequence.
If you can segment which agents are best suited to which type of caller and route the traffic accordingly, you can leverage each call center agent’s talents to greatly increase productivity across the board.
First, you’ll need hard, quantifiable data to support your understanding of each agent’s skill set. Call center monitoring software such as Insightful can help you get a granular analysis on each agent’s strong suits and weak points. This information can be used to create an internal “skill routing” criteria.
Matching Agent Skills with Tasks
For example, Agent A may provide a more pleasant and conversational experience as validated by numerous positive reviews. In contrast, Agent B may have the quick problem-solving ability that comes with a familiarity of the product and general technical know-how.
If your onboarding call center agent receives a call that likely requires a greater technical proficiency to solve, they can be instantly routed to an agent with the skills of Agent B.
If a customer is calling with a more general solution that is easily solvable, they can be routed to an “Agent A” agent that will solve their problem while also providing a personal experience.
Further, an internal system like this allows agents to leverage each other's skill sets appropriately, as our next point explores.
Benchmark Your Support Superstars
Every organization has its rising stars. But, unfortunately, many call center top performers are severely underutilized – even if their time spent taking calls is maximized.
Your call center operators may be gaining key lessons and industry best practices that only “boots on the ground” can gain. If your agents work in isolation, they’ll never be able to share what may be a key strategic advantage with their teammates.
Call center monitoring software like Insightful allows managers to spot and reward their top-performers with detailed objective data, laying the groundwork for inter-agent mentorship and communication. Build realistic call center KPIs based on your organization’s unique information, but test them against industry standards.
Behavioral and productivity data gleaned from your top performers can be used to set a productivity baseline and model winning habits. In short, double down on what’s bringing about your best results.
Encourage Mentorship that Scales
An inter-agent communication network allows seasoned agents to provide new and average agents quick real-time resolutions to unwieldy customer concerns.
This communication can be achieved in a variety of ways. For instance, using direct one-to-one or one-to-many messaging via a platform like Slack.
This all starts with uncovering your rockstars, which can be done by accessing regular productivity reports for every agent. With these detailed insights, it becomes easier to identify who within your call center team should be nominated for mentoring opportunities.
The best call center software can also help identify leadership gaps to be filled with internal mentoring. The value of this is evident as 77% of companies are experiencing a leadership gap.
Final Thoughts: Why Every Minute Counts
Lasting call center productivity starts with empowerment and retention, and call center agent monitoring software is a strong first step towards properly evaluating what is working and what isn’t.
The only way to consistently keep your call center agents motivated is by driving a feedback loop built on relevant data gathered from real-world events using the best call center software.
Rather than focusing on micro-managing sub-par performance, aim to reward top-performers and establish internal programs to allow other agents to emulate their successful and productive habits.
The goal of call center management is to design your daily processes to groom new talent into rockstars.