How call centers can produce outstanding customer support teams

Friday, September 11, 2015

Call centers and their teams of agents have a predefined set of goals that need to be accomplished. This can help push the business' customer support and satisfaction initiatives and sales forward. But to be able to do these, each member needs to have the right technical know-how, attitude, and time management skills to contribute significantly to the entire campaign's success.

So how can outsourcing firms build teams that can deliver excellent customer service?

1.   Hire the right people

From the get-go, call centers must handpick the right people to be part of its campaigns. While it may be challenging to find the best people for the job, having an intensive screening process definitely helps gauge the skills of every job applicant. The goal here is to find capable individuals who have the appropriate technical knowledge needed to accomplish tasks for the campaign, and the soft skills that working in contact centers require.

2.   Group the right people

Every call center workforce can be very diverse so it's up to the company to devise a plan to appropriately group them together. Here, call centers and team leaders need to identify every individual they've hired based on different qualities such as past performance, strengths, and weaknesses. Other considerations may include attitude, drive, and personality.

Call centers normally group together individuals of varied qualities to let them learn and grow from each other. On the other hand, those with similar qualities may be clustered together to perform specific functions. For instance, a team of star performers may be formed to lead campaigns, while former telesales people may be grouped for the customer retention tier.

3.   Keep leaders approachable

Employees appreciate approachable managers, or even owners of an outsourcing firm. Bosses should be willing to answer queries of team leaders, or even chat with agents to know how they’re liking their stay in the company. Through mere observation, managers get an idea of what's happening in the production floor and address issues immediately.

4.   Provide the latest tools and facilities

Working in customer support can be stressful, so among the best things that call centers can do is to keep their agents happy and satisfied while working for them. One way of ensuring a smooth experience with the company is by providing a stress-free work environment with good facilities and giving them the latest, if not, effective software, computer applications, and office equipment needed to perform their duties. As surprising as it may seem to many companies "frustration with the toolset" is among the top reasons for employee attrition. As such, the in-house IT support team must ensure that the facilities and office equipment should always be in good working condition, while the Internet connection must always be fast, and all relevant software should be updated.

5.   Develop a stringent quality monitoring system

Call centers and their quality assurance (QA) teams need to constantly find ways to improve their customer support services. Aside from the regular call quality monitoring procedures, an initiative must be established to review all existing standards to find any weak points that should be corrected. In line with this, the agents themselves should also receive QA updates to learn about new standards, and perhaps other tips and tricks from for satisfying their customers. Team leaders, similarly, may have one-on-one sessions with their members to help them improve.