Call centers are the backbone for many company’s customer service departments. American Express in Phoenix, AZ and Fidelity Investments in Westlake, TX have the two biggest call centers in the U.S. They both employ around 5,000 employees at their call centers. However, even the smallest call center can make improvements to offer excellent customer service and satisfaction. Below are five ways to optimize your call center.
Improve First Call Resolution (FCR) Rates
According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, over 60 percent of all repeat calls happen because of inadequate training or poor process management. That is, customer service reps (CRS) are not trained to meet the customer needs during the first call and business protocols aren’t in place to find solutions to complaints. The First Call Resolution (FCR) rate is critically important to call center success. Through improving training and business processes, there will be reduced call volumes, improved customer satisfaction and increased revenues. Focus on thorough CRS training, adding useful tools, streamlining call routing and improving business processes.
Reward and Recognize Employees
According to Forrester Research, only 30 percent of call centers actually reward and recognize employees for successfully improving the customer’s experience. Failing to encourage and reward employees results in negative cycles that lead to miscommunication, misinformation and unsatisfied customers. As mentioned above, employees who are poorly trained without proper tools to solve customer concerns will only exacerbate chronic customer service issues. The Incoming Calls Management Institute (ICMI) offers excellent advice on how to reward employees.
Change Your Telecommunication Provider
Traditional telecommunication providers historically have charged high prices for minimum services because of the lack of competition. The telecommunications industry has drastically changed with the introduction of VoIP technology. This technology creates a virtual phone function in regular computers. It has greatly reduced telecommunication and phone costs while providing stellar service and functions. Unified telecommunication providers, such as Telesphere VoIP Solutions, offer voice, video and data solutions. This can allow a business to easily set up a contact center without any software, hardware or upfront costs.
Embrace Social Media
According to software giant Oracle, over 50 percent of Facebook users expect a customer service response within a day or less. Social media is a powerful way to enhance customer service and find opportunities for improvement. CFI Group recently found that customers who received a prompt follow up, after writing about their call center experiences on social media sites, were 20 percent more satisfied. Even better, they were 15 percent more likely to recommend the company to someone else. Use social media to respond to customer feedback.
Quality control isn’t just for manufacturing centers who boast an ISO 9001 Quality standard certification. Quality management principles can be applied to any industry, especially customer service. Create and enforce quality guidelines and processes. Ensure that employees are held accountable and empowered to improve standard operating procedures. Create a customer service improvement committee with employees and management that focuses on identifying, troubleshooting and providing solutions to quality problems.
In conclusion, call centers can improve their business through improving FCR rates, rewarding employees, changing their telecommunications providers, embracing social media and improving quality control.