On the surface, increasing the efficiency of your call center appears to be a simple and straightforward process. Simply reduce the amount of time spent on the phone with clients, which gives you more calls handled in a day and hence more efficiency for your business.
But this is an old vision retained from the 90s and early 2000s. As it overlooks three critical components: the customer experience, the rise of new communication and the new contact center technologies. Modern customers want immediate and dependable solutions, which means your call center’s efficiency must be at its peak at all times.
In this article, we detail all the methods to achieve call center efficiency, in terms of contact center technology, management and performance.
What is call center efficiency?
Call center efficiency considers a measure that blends quality, productivity and business goals. In fact, efficiency represents the link between the performance of your agents and the objectives of your campaigns. It is a complex equation that focuses on the quality of customer interactions, the productivity of your organization and the achievement of goals.
And in order to stimulate and maximize your call center efficiency. As a contact center leader, you must focus on 3 aspects:
- Call Center Management
Call center management encompasses all activities taking place in a call center. From locating and hiring talent to train and retaining these employees and monitoring all activities taking place in the call center, there is a lot that a contact center manager must concern themselves with.
Of all the elements in your company, call center management is the most critical. This involves the positioning of agents, their consistency in the operations, and all activities that take place in the call center. It also consists of the flow of agents and their activities through the call center.
And while call center management is important, it’s not easy to implement. A client will need to make significant changes in their technologies, CRM system, database, the way they use their analytics and spend a lot of time developing rules and rules-based policies and procedures.
- Contact Center Technologies
Before you can get to efficiency, you have to create a whole new call center environment. Contact center technology allows organizations to meet the demands of their customers through improved call center operations. Contact center technology is also a way to reduce the time and cost of customer service.
Many contact centers are using integrated omnichannel technologies. These technologies enable agents to move through the various contact points within the same transaction while also monitoring and enhancing performances.
As a contact center leader, you need to involve the entire team to achieve efficiency in the call center. This includes assigning agents and supervisors the tasks to be done at a given point in time. However, it is also your responsibility to create a positive environment and workplace within your call center.
In addition, monitor and analyze the performance of your agents. By doing this, you will be able to identify areas where the agents may be falling short of their expectations and address the problems.
How to manage a call center efficiently?
Interacting with a contact center is always a test for its clients. The experience may be fantastic: everything is smooth and efficient, and it’s fantastic! However, it may also be annoying, if not infuriating… and it is your responsibility to provide the environment for an excellent client experience and stimulate call center efficiency.
Clearly define the scope of the call and the characteristics of customers
This is the most essential element in the coordination of the call center and therefore of every interaction with the customer. Without a clear vision, there will be trouble without a list of the questions to ask and the actions to take. The more a service provider demands and the more it monitors the communication, the better the interaction will be. A good call center should have a structure of interconnections to better serve the customer’s needs.
Acknowledge your call center agents
A contact center is first and foremost about the agents who work for you. And to say they have a crucial job is an understatement! They are the ones that defend your brand on a daily basis, and they “are” the brand for the customers.
If your client has an issue with your product or service, the consumer will blame the agent. Of course, you might claim that this is how the business operates. But it’s still emotionally challenging day after day, call after call.
That is why you must make your agents feel appreciated, acknowledged, and valued. This is easier said than done in a job when the pay is not commensurate with necessary traits and abilities. Aside from monetary compensation, recognition must be obtained through other ways, such as support, coaching, and training, which will help the agents to develop and advance within the firm.
Make your contact center a pleasant environment to work at
The image of the contact center, where employees are lined up next to one other, eyes on a computer, in a constant state of commotion, and under constant pressure to be listened to and watched at all times by their supervisor, does not contribute to a peaceful work atmosphere.
To address this, attempt to modify your workplaces to better disperse ambient noise, improve natural light and décor, provide appropriate work equipment, encourage frequent or occasional telecommuting, and encourage contact, and share best practices among agents.
Assess your call center agent satisfaction
Measuring client satisfaction is obviously necessary for assessing the quality of the service and the experience provided. However, it is essential to go slowly and to consider the repercussions! Because it is now so simple to deliver satisfaction surveys following an engagement, it is tempting to systematize them to the point where consumers do not reply.
Today’s best practice is to:
- establish an addressing policy that prevents over-solicitation of consumers
- assess their satisfaction not only “on the spot” (immediately upon contact), but also “cold” (a few hours or days later).
Because the customer’s problem has not necessarily been resolved following the interaction. For example, he was promised a replacement product or service within 24 hours. He’ll be happy with this option when it’s on the spot. Cold, he will be satisfied only if the promise is honored.
The tendency is also to require the agents to assess the customer’s satisfaction on the spot, reconcile this assessment with the customer’s, and, increasingly, assess the agents’ satisfaction. The explanation is simple: a dissatisfied agent with his tools, working circumstances, or hours will never produce a satisfied customer!
Use Gamification to assess individual performances
One of the most prominent applications of gamification in contact centers is to assess the quality of agents work. Data such as average call handling time and initial call resolution rates can be used by call center managers to track individual development. In addition, managers can assess your team’s motivation and success as they strive to reach certain targets in order to decide what adjustments to the gamification process are required. Top achievers might be awarded for their achievements as well.
How to drive efficiency in a call center through technology?
Of course, improving your agents’ experiences is about more than simply management. And while culture, atmosphere, and processes you establish all have a significant effect on call center efficiency, technology has a significant contribution; and here are the must-have technologies you need in your contact center:
For big organizations with significant search volumes, a predictive dialer is an ideal alternative. Its clever algorithm uses a variety of variables, including average agent call time, agent performance, and historical patterns, to estimate their availability and the optimum moment to make the call.
A predictive dialer guarantees smooth outbound calls, among other advantages. These are some examples:
- Minimizing agent downtime,
- Improved call connection rates,
- Higher contact rates
- And less unanswered phone calls
Automatic call distribution
Call centers are now able to send incoming calls from clients to the most relevant telephone extension for their request, thanks to innovative technology such as Automatic Call Distribution (ACD). Customers are swiftly sent to the most knowledgeable agent in order to receive the best response to their request. This is a smart approach to spare the consumer from having to move from one agent to another without ever receiving an answer tailored to their request, and therefore an effective instrument to avoid their eventual unhappiness.
This technology also provides contact centers with the benefit of minimizing caller wait times since it allows calls to be rapidly routed to the most available telephone extension and the most qualified employee to respond.
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)
Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) enables contact center agents to access all consumer information automatically. This technology is based on the compatibility of company software that centralizes all customer information and the call management system of contact centers.
As a result, the agent may quickly learn the profile of customers and tailor his response as much as necessary. This technique saves the agent who answers the phone a lot of time and helps to the consumer satisfaction, who is not treated as an anonymous individual.
IVR – Interactive Voice Response
The IVR – Interactive Voice Response is no longer merely a time management tool. It has evolved into a service in its own right, capable of handling a huge number of repeating requests through the use of proper dialing strategies.
Contact centers benefit from a versatile solution when using an interactive voice server, as they can:
- Control call flows. The IVR enables you to optimize the administration of your incoming calls by qualifying them and then routing them to the right agent based on the request.
- Boost call center efficiency: The IVR is a valuable tool for your agents since it relieves them of low-value-added consumer inquiries. Consequently, the incoming flow slows, allowing the agents to deal with those who want their assistance.
Call Quality control
Analyzing agent performance across conversations enables you to immediately detect concerns that may be affecting counselor well-being. Supervisors can then assist them in immediately correcting the issue to avoid it from worsening.
Real-Time Speech Analytics
This contact center technology monitors calls in real-time for signs of problems, such as a spike in pitch, a long quiet, or the usage of certain terminology. The supervisor can then act promptly, either directly or through call whispering, to assist the agent with difficult situation and also decrease stress.
Phone call recording
Calls and other recorded contacts can be utilized to defend agents in the case of a bad faith consumer complaint. Additionally, knowing that these recordings are available in case of emergency decreases agent stress and boosts morale.
Call Center hybrid work
In a hybrid work environment, unified communications solutions that allow for more efficient remote collaboration are critical to keeping the connection. For example, real-time chat between agents or between agents and supervisors allows the agent to check information or receive support from colleagues wherever they are, just as if they were all physically there in a more typical contact center scenario.
Contact Center Integration and automation
Being unable to quickly obtain information from a certain system slows down conversations and frustrates both the worker and the consumer. Integrating your contact center solution with other systems, such as your CRM, provides your agents with access to all of the information they need to operate efficiently. Furthermore, integrating technologies to automate operations such as call wrap saves agents time, allowing them to focus on customer care rather than tiresome administrative chores.
How to calculate efficiency in call center? The easy answer is key performance indicators (KPIs)
Each key performance indicators (KPIs) has a distinct purpose but it is consequently up to you to determine your demands in order to fully utilize them. However, keep in mind that, other from the somewhat different labels, you do not require all of the KPIs. However, the following are the most significant KPIs for call centers:
- Average call handling time – AHT: A metric that indicates the time it takes for an agent to communicate with a consumer, as well as the time it takes to complete the file (administrative information, back-office operation, coding of the contact for statistical analysis…). This is an important statistic in customer service, but it is more commonly used for operational management.
- CSAT -Customer Satisfaction: the most common method of measuring customer satisfaction. Traditionally, simply asking “were you pleased” with “yes” or “no” response options. Or with a question like “are you happy with…” with a scale of scores or 5 response options ranging from “extremely dissatisfied” to “very satisfied.”
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): The Net Promoter Value (NPS), a frequently used KPI, is a score that indicates the desire to recommend your products or service. With the particular question “Would you suggest product/ service to your friends and family?” and a rating scale ranging from 0 to 10, respondents are divided into three groups: critics, passives, and promoters.
- FCR (First Contact Resolution): It is a key performance indicator that assesses a company’s ability to resolve a customer’s request from the moment he contacts your business. As a result, the FCR is an essential key indicator for customer relations, allowing you to maximize both the customer experience and efficiency. And it is a vital indication of the degree of knowledge of your agents for your managers, because it helps you to identify important areas for growth.
Conclusion: Don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture
Call center efficiency does not happen overnight; it takes a lot of thinking and strategic involvement from both management and your agents.
Most businesses will only act when a problem becomes too big to ignore. Unfortunately, this frequently leads to improvised solutions or rushed approaches. Which will inevitably result in additional difficulties down the line.
So how do you proceed? First, we advise you to take a proactive approach to your contact center and regularly assess your organization’s technology needs, managerial adjustments and pain points.
At NobelBiz, we understand that call center efficiency is critical to the success of your business. has over 20 years of expertise providing comprehensive and customized solutions for contact centers worldwide. Regardless of size, industry, or activity, our telecommunication services and cloud contact center solution can fulfill the demands of all sorts of contact centers (Inbound, Outbound, or Mixed). That is why we are renowned as the industry’s promise keepers.
NobelBiz Omni+, our Cloud Contact Center Solution, can combine all communication channels (phone, social media, webchat, and SMS) into a unique platform. This will provide your customers with a smooth and outstanding customer experience, as well as your agents.
If you need a contact center telecoms solution, NobelBiz’s voice carrier network is built on a highly redundant architecture that ensures every call is delivered without interruption.
Furthermore, our voice carrier network is one of the most advanced available for call center voice services, with global coverage and redundant servers that offer 99.99% uptime.