Fixing a Few Common Contact Center Problems
The contact center is expected to perform like a well oiled machine, serving customers in a rapid and satisfying manner. While this is the expectation, problems arise in every contact center, challenging management to rally the troops, and march on toward victory. Where some people see problems, I see solutions. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common contact center hurdles, and how to overcome them.
Let’s be honest, working in a call center is not for everyone. It is a draining job that on enough days of the week can feel quite thankless. Due to the high stress of the position agent attrition kicks in and next thing you know your three top agents left for an opportunity elsewhere, leaving operations a bit high and dry. We all have good days and bad, but avoiding agent attrition starts with the hiring process. First, choose candidates seeking a career option, not just a stop gap. Once a worthy candidate is onboarded, it is mission critical to keep them engaged – whether through rewards or incentives – and motivated to deliver the best in service. And, in offering the opportunity for advancement, agents will be more committed to the company and their own career development.
An issue that goes hand in hand is the matter of absenteeism. Emergencies arise from time to time for us all, but more often than not when call center agents call out it’s as a result of being physically, mentally and emotionally drained from the position. Dimension data notes an annual absence rate of 11 percent in call centers around the world. This doesn’t sound like a large number, but keep in mind the rest of the team is left picking up the slack. Simply put, long term absenteeism affects company growth and morale. One way to address the matter is a proactive approach. Collect available absenteeism data and provide employees with a reference as to how absenteeism impacts the team, create a formal absence management policy and put the proper punishments in place for those that abuse the system.
The final issue I’d like to address today is first call resolution (FCR). While this is not always possible, FCR is something every agent should strive for as it one of most powerful determinants of customer satisfaction. The need to call a contact center multiple times to address an issue is frustrating, and leads to upset customers. Rectifying FCR rates starts at the root of the problem. By leveraging root-cause analysis and digging into why the customer initially called, and creating a knowledge base for agents to reference while servicing customers is a strong step in the direction of boosting FCR.
The contact center is a complex place, requiring all parties to function full speed ahead. Workforce management tools engage and challenge employees to be the best contact center agent every day, while offering managers the ability to ensure optimal operations.
What does your contact center struggle with?
Edited by Mandi Nowitz