5 Key Traits of High-Quality Contact Centers
There’s five things that I think we look for when we see a high-producing call center and something in my call center that we really try to stress. And some of them might be self-explanatory but others might be a little bit, I don’t want to say off the wall, but a little unique.
Measure Proper Metrics
But number one is really measuring the proper metrics. Well, we are all and our industry as a whole is so stuck in service level, average handle time, ASA, talk time. And when we hit these metrics, so you know I have an 80/30 today with an average handle time under four minutes, so I had a great day. Well, the problem with that is the only thing that you’re measuring is the efficiency of your call center and the efficiency of your reps. But you’re not listening to the customer experience at all.
So a high-producing contact center, and I think one of the great contact centers now is starting to listen to the customer. That started with C-SAT and NPS scoring, but I think we can take that to the next level and really get into the speech analytics and looking at customer sentiment scores. So if you can benchmark a customer sentiment score and you’re raising those scores, plus having the efficiency of your call center be… you know when you’re hitting those service levels, you’re hitting those telephony metrics. I think that’s kind of the new definition of a world-class center and something that really you can benchmark from.
Education, Education, Education
The other thing that we see kind of stress is the education format, where your middle management run your call center. If you have really strong supervisors, really strong team leads, you’re going to have a strong call center. So making sure that you have a management training program. Making sure you have ongoing education, not just for your reps but for your management. That you’re not just pulling a high-producing rep off the phones and putting them into a supervisory role, I think is really important.
Number three, and I know I’d like to talk about this a little bit more as we go on here, but number three is can you define your culture? And everybody talks about, hey, improving the culture. But nobody really knows what that means. So when you can define your culture and then you have the ability to hire, promote and incent off of that culture, it totally changes what your contact center can be, from just saying, “Hey, I think this person’s wonderful. They’ve been in the contact industry for a long time.” That’s a really important part. And I know… I think we’re going to touch on that a little bit later.
Make the Job Fun
Number four is it’s got to be fun, right? I mean the contact center, and you can do things that you can’t do anywhere else. From having games going on constantly in the call center to having something that the reps are getting up and out of their seat, I think is a really important thing. When you’re really looking at that occupancy number and dialing it down a little bit for a game or something in the call center is important.
Tone is the Message
And the last one I have that I think is really important too is we do a very poor job as an industry as a whole with educating tone. When we educate, we educate where to click in the CRM and when a customer says this, you’re going to go to this and you’re telling this. But we don’t do a great job of actually using the tone of their voice.
What words are we using? How are we saying it? Because my saying with my call center is “the tone is the message”. And if your tone is poor, no matter what the experience or the message, and even if the customer gets what they want, if that tone was wrong, the experience was poor. So I think those are our five really core key metrics and things that people can strive to have a unique and a cool call center