The floor of any call center is the organization’s mission-critical space intended entirely to serve the very purpose for which the center exists – handling calls. As such, your call center’s main floor, where agents take on customer concerns daily, ought to be bound by a thoughtful and helpful set of rules.
Rules ensure everyone can do their job uninterrupted, allowing customers on the lines to benefit from fast, efficient service. When rules are intelligently laid out and diligently upheld, call center operations flourish. When these same rules are poorly devised and defined or lackadaisically laid out, they impede the proper functioning of the agents at work within your call center.
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To ensure your team can keep up their great work on the lines, take a look at the general call center floor rules and guidelines we have outlined below.
Physical Safety Rules
Although a call center floor might not be the most inherently dangerous of spaces to work in, there remain some serious considerations worth remembering to maintain relative safety in the area.
Local ordinances on a building’s maximum capacity by size may vary, but generally, agents should be afforded enough personal space on the floor to function freely without (sometimes literally) tripping each other up.
Emergency Exits and Protocol
Equipping your call center floor with emergency exits in accordance with local laws is usually a given; however, you should also implement an appropriate training regimen for personnel to ensure they are aware of where these are located and how to use them.
Not just any item can or should be brought onto your call center’s main floor. Whether certain items represent an actual threat to your company and your staff members or simply serve as a significant distraction to all those present, they should be kept off the floor entirely or used sparingly.
Call center agents regularly handle sensitive information on behalf of both the company they represent as well as the callers who require their assistance. Keeping certain electronic devices that could be purposely or unwittingly used to capture such information from being brought onto the floor is a widely used and accepted practice.
Food and Drinks
Food and drinks are often excluded from the floor because they are messy and carry the potential to damage computers, etc., if knocked over or otherwise spilled.
In-call etiquette goes a long way in improving customer satisfaction, but it also matters to agents who need to work in close contact with one another. The following examples of call etiquette apply equally to most call centers:
When it comes to work interruptions, call center agents must be especially careful. Taking care not to leave callers on hold for inordinate amounts of time is highly important; however, speaking too loudly or otherwise directly interrupting other agents nearby is equally so.
Holds and Transfers
Elaborating on the issue of putting callers on hold, it is also important not to transfer callers too many times, as this can hurt the customer experience significantly. It’s also important to route calls to the agent with the skillset needed to address the caller’s issue.
Speaking in a clear and audible tone improves communication for both parties on the line. However, clarity goes beyond clear intonation – complex concepts need to be explained as concisely as possible, as well.
Call center floor rules for the use of company equipment tend to vary somewhat by the devices that are in use. However, where the use of computers, phones and/or headsets is concerned, there are a few key considerations that many call centers fall back on such as prohibiting the use of third-party software on company machines.
Collaboration among agents and managers is critical to the continued success of most operational call centers. To facilitate such interactions, the following guidelines come in handy:
Asking for Help
A designated process for requesting help should be taught to all agents to avoid negatively impacting the caller’s experience. In most cases, agents are instructed to place callers on hold while issues they need help with are ironed out.
In most scenarios, active coaching is handled away from the call center floor, where agents and their assigned mentors can work together without additional distractions. There are a variety of important concepts to keep in mind when coaching other agents, such as the following:
- Keep coaching interactions as positive as possible.
- Be specific with examples of optimal approaches to practical support problems.
- Set goals as you go along to encourage trackable growth and improvement.
- If you are providing feedback while on the floor, try to keep it short and actionable.
Floor rules exist to keep call centers productive and safe. Devising and upholding your own organization’s floor rules can help improve performance and morale among your team members.
What floor rules matter most for your call center?