Council Post: How To Establish A Successful Call Center In The Digital Age

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Robert W. Bache (aka “Medicare Bob”) is the founder and head of sales Senior Healthcare DirectAn AmeriLife company.

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As anyone ever has a question about a product they have purchased or are considering buying, call centers are vital to customer satisfaction. Customer support agents help people connect to services, solve problems, and reduce anxiety. A good call center experience can help convert a potential customer into a loyal member who recommends your company to family and friends.

Nevertheless, in today’s rapidly expanding online world where customers expect a fast, digital and often self-service customer experience, call center management and operation can be a challenge. To be successful, call centers must be intentional about how they hire and treat their employees and how they train and develop their leaders.

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As we have grown our workforce over the past year and a half, these are some of the lessons I have learned about running a successful call center.

Cultivate a Supportive Culture

Companies that have high turnover rates have broken onboarding and hiring processes. But more likely, it’s an issue with the job culture.

Successful call centers have a culture that consistently recognizes and holds employees accountable. They accept everyone – not just sales agents, but also customer service agents and employees who work in compliance and quality assurance.

I have one call each month for each of these groups where I expose employees to their peers to go above and beyond. Also, if people are performing poorly, we hold them accountable. The worst case scenario in any organization is when one does not know whether they are doing good work or poor. People want to be successful in their jobs, but it is up to their managers to tell them how they are doing.

Successful call centers also have leaders who are genuinely passionate about their work—people who don’t want to coast but dive in. This passion is contagious and creates a desire in the employees to bring out their best and do a good job every day.

Know ‘Why’

When we hire people, part of our process is for the manager to sit down with the new hire to document their “why.”

Why is an employee leaving for this job? What do they want to achieve? For example, a customer care agent’s “why” might be to help people. Another employee wants to earn enough money to buy a home. My job is to maximize my professional potential. Why we do what we do is not constant. As we gain experience, it often develops, prompting us to develop a new “why” as we acquire our current one.

When we make mistakes or feel lost at work – and when we find successes – remembering why we’re doing it is the motivation to keep going. Maybe an agent lacked a customer and didn’t solve their problem and got a failing grade on the call. We remind them of their “why”—to help people, which they did well for most of the day—and then talk about what went wrong with the call.

stick with a well thought out plan

For efficient call center operations, you need a workforce management plan that includes measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) and clear expectations of what agents must deliver. Monitor and respond to these expectations. When performance does not meet expectations, create an achievable improvement plan.

Also, be smart about scheduling. We have a team dedicated to managing full-time employees’ schedules, including 15-minute breaks and lunchtimes, to ensure everyone gets downtime, while also making sure we have phone covers. be people.

Committed to Talent Development

In a rapidly growing digital age where people want answers quickly, you need people with high emotional intelligence (EQ) – the ability to understand and manage other people’s emotions. You need employees who are flexible and can adapt to different situations.

All these skills can be enhanced with the right training. We have a robust training program for new agents, as well as ongoing development programs to refine their skills and help them learn new ones as they gain on-the-job experience.

In addition, you may find over time that some employees are better suited for different roles. Be prepared to adapt when possible. I see every employee as a piece of the puzzle. Sometimes you have a really cool piece, but they’re in the wrong place.

let the data guide you

Data is like currency today. This is extremely valuable to successful call center management as it gives you information about both your customers and your employees. So if you don’t have a data and analytics team, make one.

Then, try to migrate all your data to a single platform. For example, we use Tableau to pull all of our data together, and with that visibility, we can more efficiently gain insights, whether it’s customer service performance, sales performance, average talk time, Be it statistics on post-call times or conversion rates.

Maximize digital resources

A large part of call center management today requires knowing how to navigate the role call centers are filling in an increasingly digital landscape. This means mapping out the customer journey and thinking about the experience from the customer’s point of view, then using this map to select the best digital activities to serve that relationship. If someone comes to our website and asks for more information, they get an email and a personal phone call. The same technology and call centers are working together.

When we sell a policy to someone and an agent submits an application, the customer receives an automated “thank you” email from me. Once their policy is approved, they receive an automated approval email and text, as well as a public resource: a personal onboarding call.

Running a successful call center is not easy. But the right tools, people, and a supportive workplace culture will help you lay the foundation for business success today and your ability to seamlessly enhance tomorrow.

Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. am i eligible?

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