Customer service is a tough profession to opt for. Being a customer support agent is quite challenging owing to the diversity of customers to be served every day. Of all the skills that a customer service representative needs to possessive, it’s a necessity to embrace a positive attitude towards your customers to serve them even better. Here’s how you can do that!
Owing to the not-so-favorable situations, customer service is a crucial field to work in. Support teams often face a lowered morale, burn out and dissatisfaction due to the nature of the job. Dealing with infuriated, agitated and rude customers at times can be quite a tedious task. This may further affect the agents’ productivity. In this article, we have shared some highly effective tips that can help boost the productivity in such situations:
Agent occupancy refers to the percentage of time that call agents spend handling incoming calls against the available or idle time, which is determined by dividing workload hours by staff hours. It is a statistic used in calculating the productivity of a call center. When agent occupancy is the final outcome of how staffing is matched to incoming call patterns to a call center, the desired level of occupancy may drive staffing decisions in a sequential work environment. This useful metric can be utilized to measure instant messaging interactions as well.
Utilization rate, also known as call center occupancy, is measured as:
Handle time (talk time + after call work time) / time signed into a queue.
This metric is expressed as a percentage and tells you the amount of time that work is being performed in support of the call center’s queue. It also tells you how hard the call center agents are being driven. Higher the occupancy rate, shorter is the amount of time between calls. According to a research, 80% occupancy rate means that 20% of the time the representative was available for a call and the remaining 80% the representative was either on a call or in after call work status.
Call center utilization or agent occupancy is not controlled at an individual level. It is rather a group, queue or center measure. Also, it is a function of forecasting and staffing, the workload offered by the calls arriving randomly and the handle times. As a matter of fact, smaller groups have lower occupancy than the larger ones. Also, higher occupancy rates do not always correlate to an increased productivity. Therefore, call center agents can generally handle short bursts of increased activity but sustained high occupancy can lead to burnout. You need to know that call center occupancy needs to be considered along with other factors such as overall productivity, error rates, quality scores etc. in order to make the most out of it.
Call scoring is a process that enables you to derive additional benefits from efforts to analyze recorded calls for information. This process can benefit customers, agents and company sales and marketing plans. It provides a systematic means to conduct these reviews and identify the weakest areas of agent performance. Moreover, it lets you know the steps necessary to improve the agent’s performance.
Contact center call scoring can be regarded as a useful training and management tool. Scorecard is an essential element in the entire process. Using this scorecard and setting contact center standards, you can improve your contact center performance. Call scoring can be done by determining whether:
i) the customer was met with a friendly greeting or not
ii) he/ she was asked their name and was it used during the call
iii) the agent keeps a positive attitude across all customer contacts
The very first step in the call scoring process is to determine what elements are important in each customer engagement. This is followed by a process of knowing how each effort should be scored against these pre-determined criteria. As a matter of fact, most of the scorecard elements are fairly standard and are derived from dividing a call into segments. Moreover, the calls can be scored on a 1-10 scale, or 9 in the form of A-F letter grades.
A basic open-middle-close format is employed in many companies. This approach focuses on determining:
i) how the customer is greeted
ii) how the problem or question is resolved
iii) how the call ends
iv) whether the agent was able to answer all questions
v) whether the agent was friendly when the caller was hostile
vi) if any upsell opportunities were missed
Once the scoring has been done, the results can be shared with each agent. Additional training can also be scheduled in cases where the agent performance falls below the expected level.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, speech analytics refers to the process of analyzing recorded calls to gather customer information to improve communication and future interaction. The information cumulated using speech analytics can be used to discover information relating to strategy, product, process, operational issues and contact center agent performance. Moreover, it can be leveraged to identify areas in which contact center agents may need additional training or coaching, and can automatically monitor the customer service provided on calls. Easing out a number of processes at the call center, speech analytics provides a number of benefits.
1. Helps manage operational and performance issues:
Speech analytics can be used by call center managers to monitor customers and call center agents simultaneously. They can actually keep an eye on their performance in order to make sure regulatory requirements are met. Moreover, this highly efficacious technology can be used for coaching call center agents. Well trained agents are efficient enough to resolve customer queries which further improves first call resolution and reduces call volume. In other words, operational and performance issues that occur throughout the enterprise can be tracked and managed, hence, resulting in improved service quality.
2. Provides valuable insights regarding marketplace:
Not only call centers but the entire enterprise can benefit from speech analytics. As an example, sales organizations can leverage the power of this amazing technology to identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. The tools engaged in this process can actually be used to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Sales managers can utilize the data gathered using speech analytics to learn about how a particular up-sell or cross-sell impacted a customer’s level of satisfaction. They can also determine how different customer demographics respond to the offers, using this technology. This does not end here! Personalized up-sell and cross-sell opportunities that meet a customer’s specific needs can also be created using this wonderful technology.
1. Shorter response time:
One of the most important benefits of ACD is short response time. This call distribution system is highly capable of identifying VIP callers who have a reputation of high-ticket transactions. Since, the ACD system filters the calls on predefined criteria, these calls get answered more readily by the agents and in cases of non- availability of agents, VIP calls are placed first in the queue. In addition to all these benefits, a caller can also opt for a call back instead of waiting in the queue that further improves call handling.
2. Cost reduction and resource optimization:
In ACD, the call is transferred to the most appropriate agents such that the customer can get his query resolved without transferring him to other agents or departments. This reduces the time taken to answer a call and hence reduces cost-per-call of the call center. It enables the agents to use their expertise in solving the problems of a caller rather than indulging in activities that are outside their scope. ACD acquires usage data which enables the managers to assess KPIs and optimize resources more efficiently.
3. Enhanced customer contentment:
Callers hate it when their call is transferred to a number of agents with none of them having the solution to his/her problem. As a solution to this problem, ACD provides an option to receive an agent call back. This facility reduces their pain of waiting in the queue. For this purpose, pre-built messages are sent to callers with estimated wait times based on the length of the queue and agent availability. Moreover, automatic call distribution system aids in delivering highly responsive customer service that channels each contact to the right queue and agent resource and creates better business outcomes. This further leads to increased customer contentment.