Insights - rapidly improve performance

How To Rapidly Improve Agent Performance In Contact Centers

90% of the agents that show up for work at contact centers around the world want to do a great job, but the percentage of those who are really outstanding is relatively low.

Consilio has found that the following factors are usually the cause of this:

  • Often, most of the key decision makers at the call center overly focus on technology as a solution to most problems and the really big brainpower goes into designing the system that agents use. This creates a diminished focus on the customer experience and an exaggerated focus on data, screens and technology.
  • The contact center does not have an easily accessible catalog or library of recorded calls of near perfect interactions with customers that are shared frequently with other agents that need to improve.
  • Coaches/supervisors who are supposed to improve the performance of agents rarely know how to practice and put agents through drills that impact how they interact with customers. Instead, they focus on data, numbers, goals, expectations and attitudinal factors. This is an enormous mistake and a huge waste of the most important resource on the floor.
  • Awkward scripts and interaction steps are engineered into the process that wrench the customer through a very difficult experience in an effort to streamline and reduce costs through reductions of handle times. This causes customers to get angry and has the exact opposite impact by causing more problems that generate longer interactions. This is a big demotivating factor for agents.
  • Meetings with agents do not motivate or provide much valuable training and recognition.
  • The physical environment in the contact center is dull and uninspiring. Taking calls day after day is monotonous and the best call centers create a physical environment that is fun, colorful and motivating.
  • Training with agents focuses way too much on how to use the technology and neglects much more important topics like voice tone, questions and listening, summarizing customer issues, tailoring recommendations and suggestions and knowing how to verbalize competitive advantages in an effective way.

The following steps will rapidly improve the results on both reactive and proactive calls in contact centers.

  1. Get more executives and decision makers listening to average mediocre calls so they realize how current processes generate a less than optimal customer experience and generate more waste in terms of efficiency metrics.
  2. Gain agreement on a customer-oriented call flow with sufficient flexibility that allows agents to truly solve problems without getting penalized.
  3. Record some fantastic examples of how to use an effective call flow on relatively simple calls and get those calls into the headsets of agents so they hear them over and over.
  4. Train the agents on how to verbalize competitive advantages, product features and benefits and an effective good agenda to get a call off to a good start to the point that they do not need a script to verbalize these things.
  5. Put the supervisors/coaches through rigorous training on how to DEMONSTRATE the call flow and conduct effective simulation training that is efficient and uses repetition to build agent skills.
  6. Put into place a fun and motivational certification system that generates ground up motivation to improve.  Blended learning (self guided plus facilitator led) can make this very efficient.
  7. Train the people that manage the front-line supervisors/coaches to hold them accountable to training and coaching agents and getting away from too much time spent looking at data screens.
  8. Put effective training drills into the team meetings.
  9. Align QA teams with this process so they can help generate effective feedback and data that really helps coaches.

Consilio is an expert at bringing the best practices from top performing contact centers around the world into our clients contact centers and rapidly improving performance.

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