Are you a call center operations manager striving to enhance your team’s productivity and deliver hyper efficiency in your daily operations? Look no further! In this article, we will explore proven strategies and techniques to help you unlock the full potential of your team and achieve stellar performance.
The Need for Hyper Efficiency in Call Centers
As a call center operations manager, you need to stay on top of the latest trends in hyper efficiency to ensure that your organization is successful. Hyper efficiency is a term used to describe the streamlining of processes to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve customer service.
Today, hyper efficiency is no longer a luxury but a necessity for call centers looking to thrive and outperform their competition. Optimizing team productivity is the key to achieving this goal, and this comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps necessary to unlock your call center’s full potential.
What is hyper efficiency in a contact center?
Hyper efficiency refers to the ability of an organization or a team to perform at a level that is significantly higher than what is considered standard practice. In contact centers, hyper efficiency means streamlining processes and leveraging technology in such a way as to maximize output while minimizing costs, often with the aim of improving customer experience. As we will see, this can include strategies like automation, data analytics, digital transformation initiatives, and continuous improvement programs aimed at achieving measurable performance improvements beyond traditional metrics.
Also, call center operations managers are crucial in driving hyper efficiency within their organizations. They can optimize team productivity and achieve exceptional results by focusing on key areas such as KPIs, technology, workforce management, training, culture, and continuous improvement.
Here are some actionable steps to drive hyper efficiency:
Implementing Data-Driven Performance Metrics
Establishing clear and measurable performance metrics is essential to optimize team productivity. These metrics should be data-driven, allowing you to identify areas of improvement and track progress over time.
The average call handling time (AHT) is frequently used to determine individual agents’ effectiveness and the performance of the customer service organization as a whole. It may be a valuable tool for establishing standards against which the customer relationship center can push its customer service goals. While AHT is generally used to determine the duration of a client’s phone conversation, a business that uses an omnichannel strategy for customer care can compare phone support to other channels.
The average call handling time (AHT) is one of the oldest and most important key performance indicators (KPI) for contact center performances. It is much more critical in determining the economic model of a partnership when outsourcing call center activities.
The following formula is used to get the AHT (Average Handle Time): the duration of the exchange itself (AHT), the duration of the caller’s wait (MEA), and the duration of the file’s post-call processing (ACW).
AHT = DMC (length of a conversation) + MEA (mean duration of a call on hold) + ACW (after-call work or duration of back-office processing following the call)
- First Call Resolution (FCR)
The First Contact Resolution Rate (FCR) is a crucial KPI for measuring the effectiveness and quality of your customer service. This indicator is regarded as one of the most influential metrics for measuring customer service effectiveness. And to enhance it, you must select the appropriate tools and develop a practical management approach.
The percentage of client complaints handled or resolved by your agents at the first point of contact.
FCR = (Total Resolved Cases / Total Number of Cases) x 100
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
The Customer Satisfaction Score is a popular metric call centers use to assess buyer satisfaction. It is effectively the percentage of customers whose needs and expectations are met on a scale of, say, one to five, with four and five being positive scores. CSAT is based on the customer’s emotions, as opposed to the NPS, which is intended to provide a more reasonable perspective. The customer satisfaction score aims to get feedback on specific topics such as products or services, quality of interactions with call center agents or after-sales support, purchase procedures, customer experience impression, etc.
CSAT = (number of positive responses / the total number of responses) x 100.
Utilizing Call Center Real-Time Analytics
Employing real-time analytics enables operations managers to make informed decisions and respond promptly to changing trends. By monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time, managers can identify issues and implement solutions before they escalate. For instance, McKinsey.com found that using advanced real-time analytics:
- reduced average handle time by up to 40%,
- increased self-service containment rates by 5 to 20%,
- cut employee costs by up to $5 million,
- boost the conversion rate on service-to-sales calls by nearly 50%,
- all while improving customer satisfaction and employee engagement.
Check our guide on what KPIs to follow if you want to have excellent customer service.
Benchmarking Against Industry Standards
Benchmarking against industry standards helps operations managers gauge their team’s performance relative to competitors. This can provide valuable insights into areas for improvement and potential competitive advantages. Why is benchmarking important? Because hyper efficiency only occurs when your metrics are above the average recorded by your niche.
An article from Adobe Experience Cloud Blog notes that “Industry benchmarks are metrics a company can use to see how they’re performing compared to other businesses in their industry.”
Embracing Technology for Call Center Optimization
Technology is probably the number factor in determining whether a contact center can achieve hyper efficiency.
Incorporating advanced technology into your call center can significantly boost productivity and efficiency. From intelligent call routing to AI-powered chatbots, advanced tools like ACD, IVR, or WFO software innovative solutions can streamline call center operations, automate routine tasks, and empower agents to excel.
Where possible, adopting a “digital-first” approach can enhance the customer experience and increase efficiency by reducing call volumes. – Christian Montes, Executive Vice President Client Operations @ NobelBiz
- Automated Call Distribution (ACD): An ACD or Automatic Call Distribution System is essential to an overall contact center software solution as it connects incoming calls to specific agents skilled in specific skill sets. This technology is a component that takes calls and assigns them to the appropriate agent. ACDs are critical in contact centers, as they assist in meeting the goals and objectives of your business.
The system analyzes inbound calls, creates a detailed template, and assigns specific calls or tasks to assigned agents. For example, a calling process may include taking the caller through an IVR (Interactive Voice Response System) process or forwarding the call to the correct contact center agent.
Automatic Call Distribution is an advanced in-built feature that allows NobelBiz OMNI+ to route inbound calls based on multiple filters to suit your organization’s exact needs.
Read more about ACDs in this article: What Is ACD – Automatic Call Distribution System? Everything you need to know.
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR): An IVR system allows callers to self-serve through automated menus, freeing agents to handle more complex issues. A well-calibrated IVR system is the cornerstone for intelligent contact center automation. IVR is a powerful tool that can organize and streamline the entire workflow of your contact center while offering a positive experience to your inbound clients and outbound prospects.
NobelBiz OMNI+ omnichannel contact center solution features full out-of-the-box IVR capabilities for maximum customizability and enhanced customer experience.
Read more valuable information on IVR in this article: ‘’What is IVR?‘’
- Workforce Optimization (WFO) Software: A workforce optimization (WFO) software can help a contact center achieve hyper efficiency by streamlining processes, optimizing schedules, and automating tasks. With WFO tools in place, managers can allocate resources effectively, ensuring that the right number of agents is available at all times for handling customer inquiries, thereby reducing wait times, leading to improved productivity levels and minimizing labor costs due to increased utilization rates, etc. By embracing automation technology such as AI-powered chatbots or voice recognition systems, contact centers would be better positioned to deliver exceptional experiences consistently regardless of the channel customers use.
Implementing omnichannel strategies that enable customers to interact with the contact center through multiple channels seamlessly helps increase efficiency by reducing wait times and improving first-contact resolution rates. – Christian Montes, Executive Vice President Client Operations @ NobelBiz
Integrating AI and Automation
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation can optimize call center operations by handling routine tasks, freeing up agents to focus on more complex issues. Integrating AI and automation technologies in contact centers can lead to hyper efficiency by automating routine tasks, reducing errors and wait times, and freeing agents for more complex interactions.
Machine learning algorithms improve response accuracy over time, while data analytics capabilities provide actionable insights into agent performance metrics enabling proactive responses towards emerging trends that could impact customer experience negatively.
Overall, this creates an environment where operational updates enhance productivity and service delivery outcomes, resulting in increased ROI-generating potential over the long run.
According to a Gartner report, AI-driven automation can reduce call volumes by up to 70%, allowing agents to concentrate on high-value interactions.
Leveraging Call Center Cloud-Based Solutions
Cloud contact center solutions provide flexibility and scalability, allowing managers to adapt quickly to changing business needs. With the ability to scale up or down as needed without investing in additional hardware infrastructure, businesses can respond quickly and efficiently to changing customer demands while reducing capital expenditures on IT equipment.
According to CXtoday, around 60 percent of contact centers believe the cloud has increased employee engagement and job satisfaction. In our opinion, if hyper efficiency is what you aim for, you cannot afford not to move your operations into the cloud.
When looking at the Call Center industry, there’s never been a better time to get your head in the cloud. Going from a premise to a cloud system can be a tough transition, but if you start by asking the right questions, the end benefits will not take long to show up. – Frank Wassenbergh, Senior Director, CCaaS Practice Leader & Managing Partner at Cloudlinx
Watch our podcast episode on CCaaS and The Challenges of Cloud Migration here.
Fostering a Culture of Continuous Improvement and Development
A high-performance culture is essential for optimizing team productivity in call centers. By embracing automation technologies and lean principles to reduce waste while increasing efficiency, businesses would be better positioned to achieve hyper efficiency levels over time.
Here are some strategies to create a culture that values efficiency and excellence:
- Recognize and Reward Top Performers: Acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of high-performing agents, incentivizing others to strive for excellence.
- Encourage Collaboration: Foster an environment where agents feel comfortable sharing ideas, collaborating, and learning from one another.
- Promote Transparency: Be open and honest with your team about company goals, KPIs, and areas for improvement, inviting their feedback and input.
Implementing Continuous Training and Development
Investing in ongoing training and development helps call center agents to stay up-to-date with industry trends, product knowledge, and best practices.
This not only improves their performance but also enhances the overall customer experience. Regular coaching and feedback sessions can help agents identify areas for improvement, while recognition programs incentivize high-performing employees to continue delivering exceptional service. By fostering a culture of continuous learning and development, contact centers are better positioned to adapt quickly to changing market conditions or emerging trends, thereby improving operational efficiencies over time and leading towards achieving the much anticipated hyper efficiency.
- Regular Skill Assessments: Identify areas where agents need improvement and provide targeted training to address skill gaps.
- Knowledge Management Systems: A centralized knowledge base empowers agents with easy access to information, reducing handle times and improving First Call Resolution rates.
- Coaching and Mentoring Programs: Pair less experienced agents with seasoned veterans for mentorship and guidance, fostering a culture of learning and growth using technology that supports interaction and focuses on the human experience.
The reality is that technology needs to stay a tool that supports the human experience, that supports the interaction. – Bob Furniss, Senior Director, Global Salesforce at Slalom
- Gamification: Incorporate gamification techniques, such as point systems, badges, and leaderboards, to motivate agents and make learning fun.
Agent turnover, monotony, and lack of engagement are some of the problems contact center managers have to deal with daily. One way to tackle these agent-related issues is by introducing gamification into the contact center workflow.
However, gamifying your contact center can also positively impact your Key Performance Indicators.
You can learn more about call center gamification in this workshop episode.
Providing Regular Feedback and Coaching
Regular feedback and coaching are essential for driving performance improvement. Managers can help agents develop their skills and achieve their full potential by conducting one-on-one coaching sessions and providing actionable feedback.
If you feel better agent training is something you would benefit from, we have a full podcast episode about this: Holistic Call Center Training using Rewards and Recognition with Michael Tamer. Click here to tune in.
A study by ICMI found that “Coaching is proven to help agents reinforce key behaviors and skills. Coaching allows managers to be direct and prescriptive in the feedback they give. This way, the feedback is behavioral, development and viewed as positive information, rather than criticism.”
Implementing Employee Recognition Programs
Recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance can motivate employees to excel and contribute to a positive work environment. Employee recognition programs can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction, increased productivity, and reduced turnover.
We need to begin to train the new agents, get them up to speed, and give them the necessary skills and tools. And then reinforce those, encourage those, continue to train them, continue to coach them and coach them to be successful… – Michael Tamer, CEO at Proponisi
Joblist, an AI-powered jobs search platform, surveyed over 15,000 people for its Q3 2022 United States Job Market Report and asked them to name their companies’ top drivers of engagement. The most common responses were:
- Money (cited by 64 percent of respondents).
- Pride in doing a good job (also 64 percent).
- How they are treated by their employers (61 percent).
Achieving hyper efficiency in call center operations requires a holistic approach that addresses technology, workforce management, training, culture, and continuous improvement. By understanding the key elements of success and implementing targeted strategies, call center operations managers can optimize team productivity and unlock their call center’s full potential.
With the knowledge and strategies outlined in this guide, you can transform your call center into a hyper-efficient, high-performance operation that consistently delivers exceptional customer service while maintaining cost efficiency. Embrace the challenge and lead your team to new heights of productivity and success.
As mentioned before, technology is your greatest ally on the road, leading to hyper efficiency. If you want to break away from the norm, NobelBiz is here to help.
Unifying every aspect of a contact center under one hub-like platform proves to be the best way to effectively run a contact center, hands down. At NobelBiz, we do this by offering the only telecom carrier designed from the ground up to serve the demands of the heavy call-center-specific traffic, paired with industry-leading omnichannel cloud contact center software and unique customer-centric support procedures that make us the promise keepers of the industry.
Michael McGuire is a contact center industry expert with almost two decades of experience in the space. His experience includes roles as Director of Contact Center Digital Transformation at NobelBiz, and as Director of Operations at FLS Connect, managing multiple call centers. As President of Anomaly Squared and Targeted Metrics, Michael successfully transitioned companies into remote operations and significantly boosted revenues. With a strong background in customer service, leadership, strategic planning, and operations management, Michael excels in driving growth and innovation in the call center space.
Mike is also a proud Board Member for R.E.A.C.H Trade Group, promoting consumer protection and satisfaction and Co-host of the Off Skripted Podcast – a show about Life, Call Centers and everything in between.