How to improve communication in a call center

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Office communication is vital to the success of a call center. Open Access BPO shares some tips how managers can improve communication channels in their call centers in order to have a stronger workforce.

Communication is important in any organization. When communication channels are kept open, employees get to build stronger relationships. For business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the Philippines, stronger communication lines can help agents have a sense of teamwork and morale that can lead to efficiency.

When agents are productive, outsourcing clients get better results from their partnership with a call center. Communication is therefore essential in improving the quality of BPO in the Philippines. How then can a call center improve office communication?

Encouraging actual conversations
Because of technological innovations, modern society has shown less interest in having face-to-face conversations. In a call center where agents interact with overseas customers with the aid of advanced equipment and facilities, it is important to re-instill the value of having good interpersonal relationship with coworkers.

If a call center uses e-mail and chat as primary means of communication among employees, there is no need to let go of these tools that can defy distance and time. However, face-to-face conversations must also be practiced whenever possible. Team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and focus group discussions are good ways to encourage actual conversations among members of a team.

Providing feedback
Performance evaluation of agents is not just a form of quality assurance, but also an opportunity to improve office communication. It can serve as an avenue for team leaders to acknowledge the achievements done by members and provide assistance to those showing weakness in their performance.

Evaluation must be clear and specific. Using vague and generic comments may not encourage change in behavior among agents. They must also be constructive and not delivered just for the sake of pointing out wrongdoings of team members. Agents must also feel comfortable to ask questions or clarify vague statements. Evaluation must allow managers to learn more about their agents and find out what motivates them.

Listening to agents
Agents must also have the opportunity to provide feedback about the workplace. It will help inform call center managers about agent expectations and use them to improve the work environment. More importantly, call center managers and team leaders must listen to agents when they reach out to them even if it's outside the designated time for soliciting feedback.

It's not enough that managers ask for feedback from agents. They must actually listen to them. This means that agents must see positive results after voicing out their concerns or at least receive an explanation why their requests could not be granted. This will show them that leaders respect their opinions and that they only want the best for their people. Because of this improved communication, agents are more confident that their managers view them as valued assets of the company.

By strengthening the communication channels in a call center, employees are likely to motivate and help one another to become more productive. Improved office communication allows agents to express themselves freely, which affects their job satisfaction. With agents having healthy interaction with colleagues and leaders, the call center can have a stronger workforce that can yield better performance results.