What is contact center optimization?
As customer service expectations continue to rise, organizations must streamline processes and workflows to improve service delivery and provide better experiences. Contact center optimization ensures teams are equipped with the right tools and trainings to meet customer demand. This post defines call center optimization, its benefits, and seven approaches that can maximize call center productivity.
Defining call center optimization
Contact center optimization refers to all steps taken to improve the productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency of a call center. In addition to increasing customer satisfaction and brand loyalty, call center optimization creates a suitable work environment for employees, reduces attrition, and boosts job satisfaction.
Benefits of call center optimization
About 88% of customers believe that the experience a company provides is as valuable as quality products and services, a Salesforce report reveals. Call center optimization ensures businesses deliver exceptional customer service at scale by streamlining, automating and optimizing support operations.
Here are some of the benefits of contact center optimization:
- Reduces burnout. Contact center environments are often fast-paced with high pressure to meet targets and may lead to agent burnout. With the right staffing schedules, you can optimize your call center performance and ensure that no team is overwhelmed with high call volumes. This helps to increase retention rates and overall employee satisfaction.
- Customer satisfaction. With the possibilities of technological innovation, customers expectations are higher than ever. Customers are willing to pay more and are searching for better experiences. Contact center optimization ensures that call centers maintain a high quality of service to meet customer expectations and company standards..
- Less overhead. Call center optimization promotes adopting essential software solutions that reduce your bottom line and wasted staffing. With cost-effective and efficient call center solutions such as Pathlight, organizations can monitor, coach, and optimize contact center performance and reduce service costs. .
- Efficient operations. Straightforward and menial tasks take up a lot of productive time. In a survey by Asana, workers estimated that about 60% of their time spent at work is on internal activities such as communication, meetings, waiting for approval, and locating files. Contact center optimization helps teams to focus on activities that improve service delivery, which boosts efficiency.
8 strategies that can improve call center productivity
Contact center optimization is a process, not an action. Customer service teams need to assess performance regularly and explore ways to improve.
Consider these 7 strategies for optimizing your contact center:
1. Enrich employee experiences
Your call center’s technology is only as good as its employees. With average turnover rates for call center employees as high as 40% — according to an ICMI survey — providing employees with great experiences increases retention rates.
Prioritizing health and self-care, rewarding great performance, and improving morale with team-building events or workplace amenities are some of the ways organizations can enrich team experiences.
2. Invest in technology
The difference between call centers that just get by and others that consistently meet or exceed targets is in their tech stack. A study by Genpact reveals that by 2025, companies that adopt AI will have twice the market share of those that don’t.
The right software can optimize contact centers by filling time gaps in customer interactions. Modern call centers leverage real-time AI to improve customer experiences and boost agent productivity. By improving knowledge bases and chatbots, simple, repetitive inquiries become self-service. This also means that by the time a customer is talking to an agent, their problem is likely a bit more complex and employees need the training and skill sets for this environment.
Contact center solutions such as Pathlight can help managers to effectively manage growing teams and provide personalized coaching to all employees. Organizations that partner with Pathlight have realtime insights into employee performance and can identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. In addition, managers can interact with agents 1-on-1 and provide rewards for milestones.
3. Automate Quality Management
Managers should leverage a QA system to really understand how agents are performing across multiple touchpoints and support systems, and coach with data - it's fair and unbiased. Real-time performance intelligence frees up managers from spending hours sifting through endless tabs and consolidating data into spreadsheets, offering leaders time to coach their team.
Pathlight enables managers to eliminate manual QA processes and score interactions across all channels in one integrated interface. In addition, team leaders can leverage data to understand the full picture of call times and complexity of customer issues to guide team performance and not just coach to CSAT.
4. Enhance agent trainings
Investing in agent coaching is essential in improving performance and productivity. By providing guidance to contact center agents, teams can learn multiple ways of addressing problems.
Gamification is an effective way of training agents. Gamifying the learning process in the form of healthy competition or role play adds variety and encourages active participation.
Offering feedback is a form of training that boosts performance. By leveraging data from performance intelligence software, managers can help representatives to focus and align their efforts to meet team and company goals. Ongoing feedback should be constructive. Team leaders should encourage agents by highlighting strengths as they explore areas of improvement.
Filling knowledge gaps enhances the learning process. Expanding knowledge bases and clarifying gray areas in call center workflows helps to reduce confusion and increase productivity. Contact center agents should have resources available to quickly resolve technical issues.
5. Test consistently
As new trends and dynamic approaches arise in customer service, conducting A/B tests is the best way to incorporate modern techniques into industry best practices. Call centers continue to provide customers with the best experiences while maintaining existing structure. Testing helps teams figure out what works and what doesn’t.
For effective results, leaders need to set the right key performance indicators (KPIs), track the right metrics, and test only one hypothesis at a time.
6. Track the right metrics
Use analytics and contact center metrics to measure your team’s overall performance. Call center metrics enable you to understand agent productivity, customer experience, and contact center operations. Track metrics such as average handle time, first call resolution rate, customer satisfaction, service level, and response time to understand agent performance.
Compare your results with competitors and set goals with a realistic plan to achieve them.
7. Schedule agents strategically
Workforce schedule optimization reduces customer wait times and agent overwhelm. Be strategic in scheduling by taking peak call periods and agent performance into account.
Use historical data to predict support volume, and leverage performance and scheduling data to forecast how many agents you need for each shift. Review staffing schedules periodically and make appropriate adjustments.
8. Adopt omnichannel practices
Customers interact with companies through not only calls but also other channels such as live chat, social media, and emails. To improve efficiency, your call center should be flexible and adapt quickly to customers’ needs. Even in 2019, 46% of customers expected a response to their social media complaints within an hour. Omnichannel communication provides resolution flexibility and overall customer satisfaction.
Achieve call center optimization with Pathlight
To successfully boost contact center performance, you need a platform that fits your current needs and can grow with your organization. Pathlight is an employee engagement tool that enables leaders with a consolidated view of performance across multiple platforms on a single dashboard to help support leaders identify gaps, and provides the right tools to coach and optimize call center performance.
Want to see how Pathlight can help you improve your call center performance? Schedule a demo with our team today.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you track call center agent performance?
Organizations can track agent performance by identifying and monitoring call center metrics from a variety of systems. These productivity metrics help to measure agents’ accomplishments in areas such as CSAT, average handle time, response time, contact resolution, and service level, which are fundamental to customer experiences.
How can you engage your call center workforce?
Motivating and energizing your call center workforce keeps their spirits up in a high-pressure environment. Organizations can engage contact center agents with complete transparency on leaderboards and by offering positive coaching, incentives, recognition, and rewards for improvements, encouraging wellness, and welcoming feedback.
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Key takeaways from Pathlight's session on Building a Resilient Contact Center with AI-Driven Performance Intelligence at the Customer Response Summit hosted by the Execs In The Know community in Austin, Texas.
Agent performance is vital for CX success. Taking a holistic approach to monitor, evaluate, and manage agent performance can be a game changer for driving productivity at scale.
By adopting Pathlight to manage their entire QA process, run 1:1s, pull reports, and provide visibility to both agents and leadership, they’ve saved time, improved agent engagement, and seen customer service improve.