In the dynamic world of customer service, the performance of agents in contact or call centres plays a pivotal role in an organisation’s success. Technology has enabled the development of powerful systems specifically for the contact and call centre Line-of-Business (LoB), giving competing companies access to the latest tools.
Amidst the technology ‘arms race’, and the proliferation of these dedicated LoB systems, there remains one simple fact:
When all the other factors, including technology, are essentially equal, the difference between businesses that are in direct competition with each other is the quality of their people.
It follows that your agents are the frontline representatives of your brand, making every interaction with customers a crucial touchpoint. Maximising the potential of your contact centre agents helps to provide great customer experiences, and build loyalty and long-term retention that drives business growth.
For many businesses, key performance indicators (KPIs) are the main tool used to evaluate the performance of contact centre agents. However, an overemphasis on call centre KPIs may be counterproductive. Over-stressing performance metrics that are on the periphery might convey the sense that agents are ‘drowning in numbers’, producing negative impacts that demotivate some.
By all means, measure call centre KPIs to your heart’s content! But managers and supervisors don’t necessarily need to share them all with agents. Focus on the ones that really matter to agents as well as the business, such as CSAT and FCR.
It’s likely call centre KPIs are always going to be an intrinsic part of the conversation, but within your organisational culture, try to give equal weight to the many other aspects of agents’ roles that may also exert a positive motivational influence.
Here are some points of focus to help prepare your culture for success, enabling you to create the right environment for getting the best out of your contact centre agents.
1. Comprehensive training and onboarding – The journey to exceptional agent performance begins with comprehensive training and onboarding. Equip your agents with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to excel in their roles. This includes product or service training, communication skills, problem-solving techniques, and an understanding of your company’s values and culture. A well-structured onboarding program sets the foundation for ongoing success.
2. Continuous learning and development – Learning should be a continuous journey for contact centre agents. Offer ongoing training and development opportunities to keep their skills sharp and up-to-date. Provide routes to certifications and any other activities that enhance their expertise and generally support continuing professional development (CPD). A culture of learning not only boosts agent performance but also increases job satisfaction.
3. Quality assurance and constructive feedback – Implement a robust quality assurance program that includes regular monitoring of agent interactions with customers. Provide constructive feedback based on these evaluations. Highlight strengths and identify areas for improvement. This process helps agents understand their performance, make necessary adjustments, and strive for excellence.
4. Performance metrics and goal setting – Define clear performance metrics and goals for your contact centre agents. Focus on prominent call centre KPIs such as Average Handle Time (AHT), First Call Resolution (FCR), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) as essential benchmarks. Collaborate with agents to agree realistic, achievable targets that align with both individual and organisational objectives.
5. Empowerment, autonomy and ambition – Empower agents to make decisions and resolve issues independently when appropriate. Provide guidelines and a framework for decision-making, but trust your agents to use their judgement. This not only speeds up issue resolution but is also highly motivational because it demonstrates that agents are trusted and valued, which may well feed their ambition for higher career goals.
6. Supportive work environment – Create a supportive work environment that fosters agent well-being. This includes providing comfortable workstations, access to necessary tools and resources, and a healthy work-life balance. When agents feel physically and emotionally supported, they can perform at their best.
7. Recognition and rewards – Recognise and reward exceptional performance, including those related to important call centre KPIs. Implement a recognition program that acknowledges agents who consistently exceed expectations. Recognition can take the form of financial incentives, awards, or public acknowledgement within the team or organisation.
8. Effective communication – Establish open lines of communication between agents and those with supervisory and managerial responsibilities. Regular team meetings as well as one-on-one sessions allow agents to voice concerns, share ideas, and stay connected with the organisation’s goals. Transparent communication helps build trust and a sense of belonging.
9. Technology and tools – Invest in modern technology and tools that enhance agent productivity. Technology tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, knowledge bases, and chatbots can all be integrated to support efficiency and streamline operational workflows.
10. Career growth opportunities – Show agents a clear path for career growth within the organisation. Encourage them to set long-term goals and provide opportunities for advancement. A well-defined career path motivates agents to stay committed and continually improve.
Prepare your agents and equip them with Quvu, one of the best tools for succeeding in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Leverage Quvu’s industry-leading predictive dialler and get exceptional call centre KPIs that prove the success of outbound campaigning.
Isn’t it time you started doing a better job of maximising outbound campaign results with Quvu?