Call centers are among the most dynamic types of organizations, and the environment in a place like this can be hectic. They require a lot of precise management in order to ensure a smooth, uninterrupted operation, and of course, to deliver good value to the customer in the end.
Bad handling of customer service is one of the most common complaints among consumers these days, and this is valid for pretty much every industry, so running a good call center can help you stand out from the competition quite a lot. Here are five strategies to improve operations at a call center.
1. Reduce waste in waiting times
Start with the most common complaint – long waiting times. This can often be addressed in many unexpected ways when one starts to look at it as the waste it really is. Try to identify where bottlenecks occur, and figure out the root cause for those problems.
Are people often calling with issues that require support from level 2 and beyond, but they have to go through a tedious procedure on level 1 first? Maybe it’s time to introduce a dedicated section for high-level support requests.
Do your employees spend a lot of time looking up information in their manuals? Look for a better solution on the market, one that organizes and prioritizes the material so they always have the most relevant bits right in front of them.
2. Keep all results properly tracked and organized
This leads us to another good point – call centers workers are often forced to juggle a lot of information on a regular basis, and they can sometimes get lost in the mess. This gets even more complicated once you throw the results from each support call on top of the pile, and you will want to spend some time thinking about how you can better organize all the data that’s being collected, and make it more accessible for those who need it.
This, in turn, often comes down to knowing how to make good use of modern technological tools, and choosing the appropriate solutions for your own business.
3. Use modern technology more adequately
The modern tech market is full of programs and even physical tools that can help simplify the workflow in a typical call center tremendously. Things like databases, smart communication devices, automated phone menus and more, can greatly improve the capability of the call center to process complex requests, and you should make it a point to use them as often as possible to ensure that your workers are always being assisted as much as the current situation allows for.
If you’re not sure what to invest in, consult an expert familiar with the field and get their input – it’s even better if you have someone like that on your regular payroll if you’re serious about your call center business.
4. Physically rearrange the work space
Sometimes this can produce surprisingly good results, and it’s a solution that many call center managers ignore until too late in their work. A call center doesn’t just rely on workers sitting at their desks all day long, and sometimes people need to move around to get certain tasks resolved, especially when there is a lot of information being shared across the department on a regular basis. With that in mind, try to ensure that the physical movements necessary to do the job are kept to a minimum, and use lean charts to draw up a representation of the current layout of the space in order to figure out where problems might be developing.
5. Perform training sessions across levels
It’s important to keep all your employees up to date on the current trends in their work, and lean especially relies on the concept of training between employees in order to drive the whole organization forward. To that end, you can help by setting up some regular sessions where people will feel more confident in sharing their knowledge, and especially focus on propagating information from higher levels down to the lower ones.
A call center can improve its operations tremendously by relying on lean principles, and an experienced leader should recognize those opportunities and seize them as soon as possible. Once you’ve transformed the company with the help of lean methodologies, you’ll likely see a huge change in the attitude of your customers and the responses you’re getting from them.