When it comes to improving efficiency, many call centers choose to record phone calls and track average handle time, and first call resolution rates. The less effort required on every call should lead to agents being able to assist more customers. Call center efficiency actually results from the agents’ drive, motivation, and their overall well-being. An agent’s job is highly demanding and stressful. When they don’t receive consistent performance feedback, agents often experience burnout and lose their drive to perform efficiently resulting in agent churn and poorer customer experiences.
It is essential to understand that contact center efficiency includes more than the number of customer conversations, be in over the phone, chat, or social media channels that are handled daily. To be truly efficient, a contact center must look at agent productivity, expenses, and how to eliminate steps in the agent’s process all while still satisfying customer needs and delivering a positive experience. While it may seem like an impossible mountain to climb, it can be achieved with the right tools.
How can you improve contact center efficiency?
Call scoring is far from being a new term in the call center industry and is a technique that many use to evaluate agent performance. In the past, managers would choose a handful of an agent’s calls to listen to and manually score based on the center’s desired standards. This process can be inefficient for two reasons. First, the time involved to review these calls is costly, and second, it didn’t provide a true overview of how the agent performed because of the small sampling.
Today, call centers have a better option through speech analytics software that includes an automated call scoring feature. Call centers that utilize automated call scoring define the metrics they want to track on every call such as script adherence, industry compliance wording, voice inflection, and long spans of silence. Once you input these metrics, the software automatically scores every interaction. These scores are accessible by call center agents so they can see first-hand how their performance measures compared to your standards.
How automated scoring improves efficiency
By automating call scoring, you will see increased efficiency in multiple areas of your business.
Understand strengths and weaknesses
Agents can review their performance score and know exactly what changes they need to make to improve. They can also see where they are already excelling. This shortens the time it takes to pinpoint critical performance issues that drastically impact customer satisfaction, saving your call center time and money.
Identify opportunities for change
Agents also have the information they need to identify lost opportunities during their conversations. Did they fail to offer the right solution to the customer’s needs? How can they adjust their conversations moving forward? Or do they need more guidance on how to handle certain types of customer conversations? If they do, they can proactively look or ask for the information they need to increase performance scores.
Coaching or training agents on areas that they already excel is a waste of time and resources for your call center. It is likely that your agents all have different personalities, amounts of experience, and industry backgrounds, which results in different training needs. Automated scoring lets managers customize and allows agents seek out training that best suits their needs, so they get the information they need to serve customers better. Also, by looking at language patterns and call strategies of those that excel at achieving desired outcomes, you can craft training based on these successes.
Track progress over time
One of the biggest benefits of automated scoring is being able to track an agent’s progress over time. It makes it easy for managers to spot agents that, even after training, are struggling to meet performance requirements. They can meet with these agents to create an action plan with milestones that must be met or terminate agents that continue to lack in performance. The conversation is less of a surprise to the agents in these scenarios because they already know how they measure up compared to expectations.
Depending on the industry you serve, you may have serious compliance standards to maintain. Whether it’s HIPAA, FTC, TCPA, or PCI if you collect payments from customers, there are financial repercussions if you fail to maintain standards. Automated call scoring saves you from these fines because it identifies when agents go outside their boundaries and helps them adjust their decisions on future calls.
Respond to customer pain points
Every customer interaction is valuable to your business. Automated call scoring shows you how customers interact with your business and how they perceive you during the interaction, giving you access to better data. As a manager, you can find pain points during these conversations and can better respond to conversation trends. Agents can also identify these trends and seek out solutions to better solve problems moving forward.
Automated call scoring clearly defines expectations for agents and empowers them to make changes to their call handling and improve performance. Agents that have access to this feedback are less likely to feel lost in the role or surprised by difficult conversations with management. Your call center will experience a well-rounded boost to efficiency as a result.