For those businesses that have call centers in the first place, it seldom takes long to discover that the call center is much, much more important than may have been realized up front. This is the front line of business communications, and the place where customers get their problems handled. The quality with which those problems are handled determines how much of customer perception ends up formed, so optimizing the call center workforce is a step that no business--at least, no business with a call center--can easily afford to ignore.
But how is call center workforce optimization achieved? The process may not be easy, but it will at least be comparatively simple. The process is broken into four parts: workforce management, call recording, quality management, and performance management / agent analytics.
Workforce management takes a look at, among other things, the basics of optimizing the backbone of the call center, the actual employees themselves. A call center is only as good as its weakest agent, so ensuring the best chance at getting the full value starts with getting the right people in place in the first place.
Call recording, meanwhile, is an area we've explored several times previously, and may well mean the difference between a fully operational firm and a closed-down company. Call recording can give customer service a significant edge by allowing for the playback of customer orders, as well as potential protection against lawsuits and an easy route toward training and improving agent reaction to customer issues.
Quality management is fairly self-explanatory, covering all the various issues of quality management, including using some of the material taken in from call recordings to ensure the best possible face is put on the call center.
Finally, performance management / agent analytics helps ensure that all the procedures, all the training, and all the measures put in place to offer the best chance at providing what the customers need by looking at the overall performance of agents on the floor with an eye toward improving it. Performance management and agent analytics alike are just ways to measure agent performance and, where necessary, identify measures to take for improvement.
It may not be easy, but it's comparatively simple; taking this four-faceted plan and putting it into action will not only help get the best agents in place, but also ensure that agents are performing to their utmost and any deficiencies in performance can be more readily identified and fixed. Call center workforce optimization is, therefore, a vital plan that most any call center can get behind, at least, if it wants to perform at the levels at which it can perform.
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