Running a smooth and efficient contact center can feel like the ultimate struggle, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. Providing noteworthy customer experiences is a top priority for any business, and a well-run help desk, support center, or customer service center is the key to improving contact center performance.
Research from Playvox shows us that having well-defined metrics is essential, but sometimes that’s all that is used to measure whether or not a customer service center is being run efficiently.
While key performance indicators (KPIs) are a great way to understand how efficient and effective a support center is, it never hurts to incorporate other means that can help contact center managers define success and efficiency for their contact centers.
What Is Contact Center Efficiency?
You may be wondering, what exactly is contact center efficiency? Contact center efficiency, or contact center operational efficiency, is defined as processes that are flowing smoothly with costs remaining at a minimum.
When outdated or impractical organizational procedures inhibit the growth and performance of your support center agents, huge amounts of money are lost, and worse, the success of support center employees declines.
This leads to undesirable outcomes that have a snowball effect, such as poor customer service, which leads to angry customers. In turn, this can cause less than optimal customer satisfaction scores. In other words, a contact center’s performance heavily depends on the productivity and happiness of its agents.
As a customer service center leader, improving the efficiency of your customer service center is always the top priority. Providing excellent customer experience (CX) by continuing to train your agents and implementing new technologies is essential for the success of your business.
Here are five proven strategies for increasing contact center efficiency:
1. Improve Response Times
Time is of the essence in the world of customer service. Responding to customer queries promptly and efficiently can make a huge difference in customer satisfaction.
One thing to remember is that customers want to feel that they’re being heard and understood. But more than half (54%) of consumers in a Zendesk survey said it feels like customer service is an afterthought for most businesses they interact with — that’s not the feeling you want customers to walk away with.
When it comes to improving contact center performance and gaining customer loyalty, it’s important to understand that CX is the backbone of any support center. Without it, you’d have an organization that is unable to stand on its own.
To have efficiency, you always need the support and confidence of your customers. Therefore, it’s important to train agents to respond quickly and effectively to customer inquiries. Regularly reviewing and refining response times can help ensure that your team is meeting customer expectations.
2. Implement Continuous Training
It can be argued that all professions require continuous training, regardless of how long they’ve been on the job. If a new way to perform heart surgery was developed that ensured a 99.99% success rate, it would make sense for all practicing surgeons to study, learn, and implement this new operation.
The same can be said for contact center training. Implementing continuous training and development programs can help customer service agents improve their technical knowledge, stay current on industry practices, and provide better customer service due to enhanced soft skills.
Ensuring that employee performance is always at its best should always be the ultimate goal. There are many ways to keep your team up-to-date and ready to handle any customer inquiry that comes their way, including online learning.
Related Article: Team Leaders: How to Personalize your Agent Training
3. Use AI Technologies
Many are starting to notice the critical role that artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to have not only in the contact center industry but in many aspects of life. There is a strong drive to incorporate AI in contact centers to improve customer service and increase overall efficiency. From helping predict customer behaviors and needs to sentiment analysis, AI has the potential to revolutionize the way support centers operate.
By using AI-enabled text analytics, contact centers can quickly identify and resolve customer issues, leading to increased efficiency and improved customer satisfaction. Understanding the largest interaction drivers or topics can help drive improved training and better experiences. AI technologies can help your team work smarter, not harder, by automating repetitive tasks and providing valuable insights into customer inquiries.
Related Podcast: Talking to Machines: How AI Is Shaping the Future of CX
4. Measure (And Discuss) Contact Center Agent Performance
Measuring and tracking employee performance is key to identifying areas for improvement and maximizing efficiency. Use metrics such as interaction resolution time, first interaction resolution rate, and customer satisfaction to assess the performance of individual agents and the contact center as a whole.
Regularly reviewing and analyzing these metrics can help you identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions that will benefit both your team and your customers.
It’s also important to allow agents to reflect on their results. But it doesn’t stop there. Use your leadership foundation to engage with agents about their metrics, where they’re excelling, and how they can improve.
Ongoing feedback is crucial to ensuring that customer support teams are consistently giving exceptional CX. Get in the habit of using quality management software with coaching to provide meaningful feedback and guidance to your agents. Showing that you care goes a long way in helping boost team morale and, as a result, performance.
Related Article: 7 Simple Tips To Give Quality Feedback In Your Call Center
5. Reduce Turnover
High turnover rates can be a significant challenge for any contact center. Keeping agents engaged, motivated, and satisfied with their jobs is key to reducing turnover and maintaining a consistent level of customer service. Implementing gamification and incentive programs, offering flexible work arrangements, and creating a positive work environment that encourages employee engagement can help reduce turnover and keep your team happy. Contact centers have a turnover rate of 22 to 30 percent, making it difficult to ensure quality customer service. To turn employee attrition into retention, it’s important to create a strong company culture, reward good behavior and set a clear career path for agents to want to continue working toward new goals.
Investing in your employees will not only improve their job satisfaction, but also the efficiency of your contact center as a whole.
Related Article: How Intelligent Contact Center Technology Reduces Agent Attrition
Playvox Can Help
Improving the efficiency of your contact center requires a combination of technical and human efforts. Let Playvox be your teammate in helping you provide excellent CX and meet your performance objectives.