When it comes to a call center, there are some specific challenges to consider which might not be immediately obvious. Once you’re aware of them and have been able to plan for them properly, things can go very smoothly and you shouldn’t face any difficulties along the way.
One of the most important things you can do in a call center is to implement continuous improvement practices on a fundamental level. This can drive significant changes in the long run, which can have a profound impact on the way the organization performs as a whole. Of course, getting there is easier said than done, and you need to observe some important points. Here are five challenges to consider.
1. Lack of progress tracking
A call center is usually driven by a lot of data and statistics, and it’s important to ensure that you have an adequate overview of the current state of affairs if you want to know that you’re moving in the right direction with your improvements. This means that you should take measures to capture as much data as possible, and record it in a way that’s easily accessible in the future. By producing enough data for statistical analysis, you’re going to make things significantly easier later on.
2. Insufficient incentive to adapt
Depending on how the place is run, sometimes you might see some departments lagging behind in implementing your continuous improvement techniques. This is obviously a problem when you want to get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible, and the solution is to ensure that people are properly motivated to integrate new developments into their work. Sometimes you might need to look into penalizing those who don’t follow along if positive reinforcement doesn’t work.
3. Not using new technology correctly
There are various tools that can help you make some sense of how your call center is working while providing you with better control over the current situation, and it’s important to ensure that you’re always using them to their full potential in your work. Sometimes this can be a costly initial investment, but it’s often a worthwhile one in the long run if you want to make sure that the place is prepared for the future. That’s actually something that not many managers pay sufficient attention to, until it’s too late.
4. Focusing on a method that doesn’t align with workers
There might be some internal conflict with regards to your new rules if you don’t take the time to explain them properly, especially if some of the continuous improvement practices clash with the way things have been done until now. It can be hard to get people to agree with you in these cases, especially if it means more work for some of them, but as long as you take the time to communicate things correctly and don’t rush anyone into implementing new developments, you should see positive results. Make sure that there are open channels for communication that can give anyone an opportunity to express their potential concerns with the current situation.
5. Physical space organization
A call center can benefit a lot from a better physical layout in most cases, even if you think that things are already good enough on that front. The truth is, there is often a lot of room for improvement, and one of the best ways to make sure that the place is prepared for future developments is to develop a proper layout of the working areas. This can sometimes require significant changes in the overall configuration of the place, which can in turn make some people unhappy for a while, but this takes us back to what we said above about communicating those changes with your employees properly. This is going to be more and more important as you keep moving forward.