Contact centres are the first face of the company and the brand advocates for the company. But it is also necessary to understand that the contact centres and people are adequately trained to ensure world class customer service. Therefore, it only makes sense to not only motivate the employees but also optimize the company’s call centre quality assurance strategy along with enhancing the quality key performance indicator.
Now when we talk about quality assurance, there should be a match between customer requirements and company’s needs. It is like maintaining a scorecard which can be tested against customer satisfaction to amend if required. This can be done based on the past research data and then aligning it with the company’s vision and mission.
Let us now look at some of the problems that the call centres are facing today and the solutions to the same. This is like a top of the recall list and can include more factors, but research shows that the below reasons are the most stated challenges.
- Lack of budget: There are definitely high costs involved in staffing, training the contact centres, however, they are the ones who yield maximum results. Some of the companies keep it as just a platform, however, it should be treated as the main source of problem solving. For example, identify the reason, people call at these centres or why they call the customers, and then work accordingly. One such example can be by introducing artificial intelligence and chatbots.
- Need for technology: Today call centres are mostly adept with every technology required like CRM databased, predictive diallers, CRM databases, credit card security applications and automated voice response systems. However, there is a huge confusion on which one to use and why. One needs to understand that each platform is designed for a specific work and should be used then. We should reach out customers where they are present but that doesn’t make us use every platform where it is not required.
- Having conflicting business priorities: It is often seen that the people working at these centres only have short term goals to look at, whereas the management has higher goals that they are aiming for. In such a scenario, the centre employees need to be shown the high-end goals and that should align with the business goals.
- Advisor attrition: There are high attrition rates in this industry. Whenever one person leaves, the management has to hire someone to train them and ensure that they are able to fill the shoes of the other person within an allocated time span. It is therefore important to give ownership to the employees to make them feel that the product/ the business is their own baby and has a long term benefit attached to it.
- Lack of skills: In most scenarios, employees of the call centres struggle to increase their performance levels, often reaching a plateau or, worse, finding that their adherence to targets is starting to drop away. In an in-house environment, this can lead to frustration for both managers and front-line staff. And in the outsource arena, it can cause clients to question the third party’s capabilities. In such a case, training and development becomes the most important solution to bypass this problem.
- Customer churn: Mostly centres face customer attrition as a huge problem. It is important to give customers what they want. Along with kindness, it is important to find simpler steps for them to help them navigate through their issues. This will not only save their time but decrease any built-up frustration.
We found some general tips that might help solve the issues as stated above:
- Hold weekly coffee meetings: This is basically to understand if anyone is stuck anywhere or to discuss how a good idea can be implemented amongst everyone.
- Create a theme: This strategy can be used to sharpen a soft skill or a technical skill. Everyone learns and practises this, thereby helping it become a habit.
- Let agents draw their conclusion from the monitored calls: This helps agents to understand where they could have improved or where they were good. This acts like a learning mechanism.
- Provide feedback and training: Basically, support the agents by giving them a fair evaluation and giving them space to improve in case of errors.
- Focus on high yield behaviour: This will help in giving better results. High yield behaviors one can look to reinforce are:
- Script compliance/adherence
- Reversing customer attrition
- Solving new-hire attrition
- High NPS technique
- Same result in 50% less Average Handling Time (AHT)
- Sales conversation technique
- Usage of different quality forms: Different quality forms will help in handling different type of customers. This will help in practising and doing a role play in case one wants to understand how to deal with different situations.
- Get your scripts right: Companies need to ensure that the wording in the scripts or what the agents say is compliant and is identified in the call monitoring forms. This will help in a common understanding in case of breach.
- Understand your customer experience pyramid: Categorize customers into different categories to understand who are easily understanding, who need work, who are very demanding, etc. This will help the other set of employees when needed as well.
We can basically understand that quality assurance begins with quality, and one has to define what quality is it that they are going to deliver. Here the vision and mission should be considered thereby ensuring the QA inputs and use a customer experience paradigm to ensure their needs and emotions are well taken care of.