How can artificial intelligence help shape the future of collections?
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The Team at CallMiner
December 07, 2021
Call centers are always looking to make the most of the resources they have on hand, and many have invested in countless solutions to do this. These have ranged from the inherently interpersonal to the complex and cloud-based, but the idea is generally the same – to improve productivity as quickly, affordably and effectively as possible.
However, call center productivity improvements can be elusive without the use of proven tactics and technology solutions. If your team is trying to take its call center productivity to the next level, then these tips and techniques will be just what you're looking for.
Outstanding companies all come to the same conclusion regarding their customer relationships – without them, they simply cannot survive. However, as time takes customers' needs and interests in new directions, many organizations have come to face new challenges in keeping them satisfied.
Pandemic pressures have played a significant role in this change, pushing double digit developments in call center operations according to a study conducted by Harvard Business Review for 2020. An unprecedented rise of 50% in the number of difficult calls agents were faced with brought the importance of developing customer-aligned service strategies to light. Incorporating AI and powerful analytics into the process to sleuth out your customers' actual expectations more effectively can make a major difference in keeping them satisfied while increasing the actual throughput in your call center.
Improving productivity at your call center may involve optimizing a number of distinct factors, but it should always focus on motivating your agents to be at their best. Great customer service reps might not grow on trees, but existing reps can be encouraged to grow into greatness with the right approach. Namely, getting them involved in their own development can work wonders for them and your organization as a whole.
A practical means of accomplishing this is to ensure they know your call center’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and give them access to their own performance scores. Being able to actually see and assess their own progress can prove immensely motivating in its own right, but it also serves the very important role of revealing what they are succeeding at and how they may be lagging.
Motivating your agents is essential to your call center's success. However, pursuing better and better productivity benchmarks by pushing them ever closer to their limits can prove debilitating and could contribute to your company's employee churn if taken to an extreme. Instead, try encouraging greater flexibility by giving each of your agents more autonomy in their roles.
By adopting a more flexible policy towards call handling, you can take the psychological pressure off your team to meet exacting demands, freeing up energy for them to do their best work. This strategy comes with the added bonus of helping improve call quality by allowing agents time to take appropriate call resolution actions instead of aiming to meet a minimum AHT (average handling time) metric.
Staffing your call center appropriately to handle the number of calls coming in at any given time is a science in its own right and can be tricky to perfect. However, the result of improving staffing for the ups and downs your call center is prone to encountering is well worth the effort required to do so.
Too many hands on deck at a given time makes for many idle agents and wasted resources. Conversely, too few people picking up the phones can create a traffic jam during call volume spikes. A dynamic staffing solution that accommodates these fluctuations should work best.
Your agents may have what it takes to evolve in their roles and crank up their productivity, but you are unlikely to see them do so if they doubt that they will be rewarded for it. Creating a constant stream of positive recognition can completely change their perspective for the better, boosting their performance and your center's productivity as a whole. Whether you offer special incentives for exemplary performance or simple gifts to show great work has not gone unnoticed, any sort of recognition can go a long way.
Creating your own call center success story and pushing your team's productivity to the next level is not only possible, but plannable too. With CallMiner, you can analyze every customer interaction and tune into what both your customers and your agent are actually saying to discover opportunities for improvement. Plus, specialized conversational analytics can be put to use as a training aid, helping both new recruits and established agents stay focused on every call.
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