How to Increase Call Center Agent’s Performance

How to Increase Call Center Agent’s Performance

All the company are constantly focusing on building their brand value and maintaining the same. For this, they have to increase their sales and provide right customer service. This all results in a lot of pressure on sales agents to perform and perform consistently.

To motivate and get most out of call center agents, it is very much necessary to provide proper guidance and right tools which can make agent’s life easy. Peer support, technology, and regular training are all essential to help agents achieve their goals and driving brand success. Below are the ways in which companies can help their agents to reach their targets.

01. Improving performance by using advanced technologies:
Agent efficiency can be maximized with the use of advanced call center technologies. Setting up the right calling mode for the campaign result in the better agent performance. For example. Preview calling mode can be used when the campaign has enough customer information. By understanding those details, agents can crack the deal effectively. In Predictive calling mode helps sales agents to reach the extra number of customers. Because non-contactable calls will be bypassed by the predictive dialling mode and agents are connected to only those calls which are answered by the customer.

The good dialer application helps agents to understand the customer by providing more and more information about them like the call history with the contact center, the best time to call and previous sales history. The performance analysis tools making it easier to optimize sales and marketing practices intern allowing sales agents to focus on the right direction.

02. Peer to peer healthy competition:
Most entrepreneurs, and members of any small team, wrongly assume that the key to their success is hard work, dedication, and long hours in the business. In reality, their effectiveness is usually more related to how well they develop their work relationships with peers and business leaders. This same is true for the sales agents also.

The tool which gamifies the sales agent’s experience motivates them the most. They can understand the performance of their own peers and try to compete them. Agents can discuss their strengths and weaknesses and share their best practices with one another, creating a team spirit while driving brand success. Small teams may be created to compete against one another, and agents may also be rewarded for their individual efforts.

03. Comfortable working environment:
The working environment plays an extremely important role in the performance of the call center agents. The reason behind this is the kind of work they need to complete. Call center agent’s job is very annoying whether they call for generating sales or servicing the existing customers. They have to attend hundreds of call and talk the same scripts again and again.

Providing call center agents with the comfortable workspace is necessary to keep them enthusiastic, motivated and productive. First and foremost, they need to feel safe, all day, every day. The workplace should have safety arrangements including fire and medical kits.

Next comes is the comfort. Agents should have comfortable chair and work desk with daily useful stationaries. The noise-cancelling headsets are great tools for helping them place calls with less difficulty.

Lastly, providing with restrooms and lounge areas which they can use during breaks is the great idea to keep agents relaxed and motivated.

04. Improved interpersonal skills:
The most important asset in any call center isn’t hardware or software. It’s their calling agents and the skills they have. These skills are People Skills, Communication Skills, Professional and courteous demeanour and Problem-solving skills.

It is a supervisor’s job to understand the strength and weakness of the agents by hearing recordings. These interpersonal skills can be improved and polished through training.

Why telephony is the next big thing

Why telephony is the next big thing

Telephony’s basic premise (one on one instant communication) hasn’t changed in the last 150 years. In the era of internet based broadcast mediums like twitter and facebook, it’s easy to slot the humble telephone into the dinosaur category.

Thanks to the mobile explosion though, 85% the world now has a telephony connection of some sort, making it the largest social network.
The first modern revolution in telephony was messaging. It removed the historical limitation of voice in telephony and allowed subscribers to communicate in a richer, time-shifted & less intrusive manner.

This could partially explain the valuations for the WhatsApps of the world. Messaging however is only the precursor of what telephony can be in the future. Some forms that we could see telephony taking include:

01. Ubiquitous communication:
Much like email or chat, a conversation on voice could hop across multiple devices seamlessly (mobile, tablet, computer). Additionally, context (which currently is just caller ID) could also carry metadata that includes location, website & possibly the problems that the user is facing.

This can enable applications & services to understand not just who is calling for help or support but also where they are stuck (on a website for example) leading to more productive interactions.

02. Secure by default:
It’s ironic, but the first version of the telephone was possibly the most secure, peer to peer communication device invented.

In today’s day & age, it’s even critical that conversations between two or more private citizens remain exactly that – private. This is a tough ask in the current model, since all legacy telephony connections are routed through public networks or by private operators that are regulated.

At the other end of the spectrum, enterprise customers are erecting digital firewalls around their data, but paying scant attention to how easily information can be leaked or intercepted by a third party over the phone.

For all the hullabaloo that heart bleed raised, we seem to forget that tapping a phone conversation is limited only by the ability of another party to connect to your phone line with a parallel jack that costs less than a dollar. This needs to change.

Voice conversations should have voice based authentications to ensure that the correct parties are speaking to each other and the conversation is encrypted by default. Additionally, the phone number, which is currently a point of permanent identity, will become as ephemeral as a mail ID that you use for a specific task.

03. Context aware stream:
There’s the parable of keeping visitors waiting 15 minutes in your reception but rushing to pick up your phone before the third ring. The problem with this model is that traditional telephony is blind to the user’s status (busy/unavailable). Voicemail is a poor compromise that’s reactive & post the call.

The ideal case would be your phone broadcasting your current availability to the caller so that meetings, movies & lunches are not interrupted by trivial calls. Additionally, think of a scenario where a simple shake of your phone could connect the right colleagues or friends (that are relevant & free at the current time) into a call that you are having with someone else.

Telephony could move beyond person to person singular transactions to a more stream like state where participants can move in & out of a conversation depending on requirement & availability.

04. Searchable knowledge:
Considering that storage costs are at their lowest rates ever and well on their way to the point of becoming irrelevant, it would make sense to not just archive calls but also tag them to be searched at a later point.

That way not only do conversations become a record of ideas & discussions, but also lend themselves to integrating better with modern workflows in which archival, tagging & keyword search are taken for granted.

The big ideas that you had at the last meeting then can be searched up, right to the minute or second when you had them so that the conversation’s essence can be refreshed at the press of a keystroke. Right now, the only archives we have are our memories, which are terrible at storing anything well.

05. Background sentience: Siri & Google have brought utility and interactivity to the voice interface in a great way, but the conversation still seems forced. The ideal tool is like great service at a restaurant – just the right mix of attention & action, without nagging you or waiting for the user to initiate a request.

In the voice context, this could mean that our future digital assistants will tap into our daily conversations to extract meaning, context & a course of action automatically, without waiting for us to prompt them into doing something. This could be real time or by running through our conversation archives.

If a conversation on phone is going to lead to a lunch meeting being fixed, the digital assistant should be able to scan, extract, understand & action the desired service (booking lunch at that great new place at noon on the coming Saturday) without us having to go through another set of text inputs to achieve what we just discussed & agreed on.

06. Klingon vs Vulcan: While the technology for telephony is universal, the language still remains our largest barrier to communication. With close to 200 nations and as many languages and dialects as they are communities, we are falling into communications biggest fallacy – the assumption that both parties think it has occurred.

While translating one language to another in the text is easy though not perfect, translating voice on the fly into the language of the listener in a conversation still remains the holy grail. This might sound completely like science fiction but recent efforts in this direction are making this more science fact.

The ultimate aim would be to move this to the back-end so that multiple devices & platforms can use this service to seamlessly ensure that two people speaking different languages can understand each other in real time.

07. Natural interfaces: Flat icons, minimalism, non-skeuomorphic design. These are all UI/UX discussions that pervade the visual internet. Voice interfaces though are still duct taped through a patchwork of recorded messages, designed to sound specifically like a non-human interaction (case in point – railway station announcements). If the voice has to occupy its rightful place in the interactive landscape, extraordinary design thinking needs to be resorted to & applied.

This is possibly the easiest piece to crack in the grand vision of voice/telephony since it doesn’t depend on technology, a shiny new thing or any other external inputs. All machine driven voice interfaces are focused on delivering data to the end user. If this thinking changes to adapting the system to the user’s needs & workflows, the least of the results will be shorter & less frustrating wait times. Our small service to humanity can start with a better IVR system, that sounds like your friend, not the neighbourhood cop.

Flexible Dialing Modes

Flexible Dialing Modes

The major challenge for all the companies is penetration in the market to capture right market share. Once a company has right foot holding in the market then next challenge is to maintain the same.

To sort out both these challenges companies nowadays rely on telephony technology. Telephony technology getting used for cold calling, sales, marketing, customer support and maintaining the good relationship with customers. There are different calling modes in which a customer can be reached. Let’s take each mode and understand thoroughly.

01. Manual Dialer:
When a call centre agent starts dialling customer numbers by themselves then it is Manual Dialling. This is the least efficient way of conducting outbound call campaigns in larger call centres (based on Talk Time per Hour values). But this is the most cost-effective way to a very small call centre/office.

02. Preview Dialer:
In preview dialer, the application enables agents to understand the customer in detail by viewing the available customer information. The customer information includes the customer personal information, other general information and history of the customer with the contact center along with the feedback received. By understanding, this information agent can decide when to talk to the customer and what should be discussed.

Preview dialer makes agent and customer discussion for fruitful and effective which intern result in better company performance.

03. Progressive Dialer:
In Progressive dialer, the application will not allow an agent to decide when the next call should be made. Instead, the application will automatically dial the next number in the list on completing the previous call (or moving from “Wrap-up” to “Go ready”).

Progressive dialer minimizes the wait time between two calls and can improve productivity significantly. This dialer is ideal where the agents making calls are very similar in nature.

04. Predictive Dialer:
The predictive dialer is the most aggressive dialling mode. With other dialling modes, the agent waste lot of time during the call is ringing, not reachable, not contactable or connects to an answering machine. The solution to saving this time is to use predictive dialer.

Predictive dialer uses an auto-calling engine, which over-dials the numbers to make agents always remains on call. The predictive engine has complex and sophisticated mathematical algorithms which determine the percentage of unsuccessful calls and how agents are completing their calls. Based on this logic engine over-dials numbers from the list. This makes sure agents always get the human voice as soon as they become available.

Predictive dialers are typically used in very high volume low margin outbound contact centres where the efficiency of the agents and the cost per call are paramount – seconds matter.