Archive for the ‘Call Center Life’ Category

Business Contingency Plan For Call Centers: Building Different Scenarios and preparing for uncertainty

Posted on: June 12th, 2020 by Péter Málhai No Comments

There are bound to be uncertainties in the life of any organization. Indeed, recent mobility restrictions and government lockdowns have forced businesses to reevaluate a large part of their operations. This includes budget planning, employee management, and even elements of their customer journey experience.

The one thing in common with call centers and companies staying afloat in these times of uncertainty is that they all had a contingency plan in place. A contingency plan is a course of action on the part of an organization, created or devised for unexpected scenarios with the aim of helping the company maintain its operations.

Preparation is essential for the continued progress of any contact center or business. This is true whether you are a contact center with a suddenly immobile workforce, or a company facing a data breach. Having a contingency plan is important not only for the protection of the company but also for maintaining stability for employees and clients relying on your services.

Here are a few essential steps that should be part of your contingency planning, in order to help your contact center and business stay afloat in times of uncertainty.

Have a contingency team

Any plan is only as effective as the people executing it. Establish the right team for devising and managing your company’s contingency plan. You should have a group of people with a variety of skills, both technical and managerial. Make sure that your designated team is able to communicate their devised plan of action to the rest of your company.

Pay special attention to the nuts and bolts of your operations: your contact center agents! Make sure they know their roles when facing certain unexpected scenarios. This way, your entire company will be briefed on the situation and will understand how and why they need to implement your company-wide contingency plan.

Location and travel

The most important step in the case of unexpected circumstances is deciding where to continue holding your operations. Do you need to relocate? Has travel become difficult for your employees or completely impossible? Depending on the situation, you might have to create fully remote operations. Additionally, business travel plans might have to be reevaluated, canceled, or rescheduled. Due to recent mobility restrictions, most companies had to transition to fully remote operations in order to keep their businesses going. Have a plan for a remote work infrastructure in place, in order to be able to execute it as soon as you are confronted with government shutdowns. This might seem like a difficult task, especially in the case of contact centers. However, with the right technology in place, this should not be too much of a headache. As we have previously written, remote contact centers can be just as or even more efficient than on-premise systems. VCC Live software can help you establish a secure, safe, and efficient remote operation.

Identify points of operational failure

Identify the team members and roles that are essential for the upkeep of your operations. Make sure that these employees have the infrastructure supplied to them in order to be able to do their jobs in a secure manner. In case you have to go fully remote, this might mean having the right data security in place for both your contact center agents and your IT administrators. If you have to build a remote infrastructure, make sure that the providers you are using are secure in terms of their data management and fully GDPR compliant. 

VCC Live has been working hard over the past years to make our company 100% GDPR compliant. We are also proud holders of the ISO27001 certificate that proves the highest levels of information and data security within an organization and in its processes, matching GDPR requirements introduced in 2018. We also hold the ISO22301 certificate that guarantees sustainable business management practices.

However, the certificate that really marks out VCC Live from many other contact center software providers, is the PCI DSS certificate that applies to any organization that accepts credit and debit card payments. We are proud to say that this year was the fourth year that we were able to fulfill the criteria required to be awarded the certificate again.

Communicate

Make sure to communicate any changes or updates to your team. During times of uncertainty, your employees will be seeking reassurance from managers, team leaders, and from the top of the organization. Be consistent and accurate when you communicate any changes or updates to your organizational policies and operations. This will help keep a level headed workforce, keeping them on task and motivated! At VCC Live, communications are handled by multiple features, such as ad-hoc news and popups giving urgent messages to employees. Additionally, VCC Live has the option of enabling mandatory newsreels upon the user’s entry.

Test your plan and prepare your employees

No matter how good your business’s contingency planning and your remote contact center infrastructure is, you need to implement regular emergency drills to test your contingency plan. This can help you practice scenarios, allowing you to test what works best and what needs to improve. In the event of a crisis, your agents and employees will know how to react, maintaining their own and others’ safety, minimizing downtime for your calls, and keeping your customers happy.

Recent unexpected mobility restrictions and government shutdowns have made most businesses realize the importance of contingency planning. Regardless of what sector your business is in, make sure that the fundamental parts of your operations are capable of staying afloat even in times of crisis. If you are dealing with customer contact, this means having the right planning and technology in place for the upkeep of your contact center.  In the case of any business, the most important is that your clients feel that they can trust your operations and that they can reach out to you even during uncertain times.

Designate a contingency team and make a plan for how you would solve travel and location, identify points of operational failure, evaluate your supply chain, make sure to establish direct communication with your team, and always test your plan. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Remote Working: How to Keep Employees Engaged And Motivated

Posted on: June 5th, 2020 by Dorottya Márton No Comments

Remote work is increasingly becoming a norm, as businesses are recognizing its benefits in terms of corporate spending, employee wellbeing, and productivity. According to a recent estimate done by Global Workplace Analytics, businesses save around $11,000 annually per remote working employee. Businesses save both on not having to maintain office space and also from the statistically proven, increased productivity of a remote workforce.

Additionally, having a remote infrastructure is a good tactical plan in recent times of uncertainty, such as mobility restrictions.

While we have previously written about the technical details of setting up a remote work infrastructure, keeping employee management in mind is just as important when setting up and managing a remote workforce.

Managing your team involves a lot of planning and active decision making. In the case of a remote workforce, this task might seem particularly difficult. However, with the right planning and infrastructure, you’ll be able to harvest the benefits of a remote work infrastructure, in terms of cost savings, employee wellbeing, as well as business continuity. 

Have clear goals and metrics in place

In order to motivate your employees, it is essential for them to have feelings of achievement and success in their everyday tasks. Set up a framework of clear goals and metrics for your team to align to. This will not only help your employees have a sense of accomplishment, but it will also help you monitor the challenges and successes of your operations on a regular basis. Remember to communicate to your employees whenever you modify your goals and targets, so they can also keep in line with the long term aims of the company.

With the right technology, you can easily do this remotely and even follow your operations real-time, wherever you or your team might be working from. The KPI’s dashboard of cloud-based contact centers provides easily understandable, real-time numbers. The dashboard statistics include quantifiable oversight, such as disposition, global and project-specific calls, and inbound statistics. Establish daily and weekly goals for your team, using these numbers. 

Training and feedback

According to a recent study, 40 percent of employees who receive poor training during their job end up leaving their workplace. Avoid turnover and aim for long-term, quality staff by offering the right mentorship.

Offering proper training and development to your employees is essential for the recognition of the value that they bring to the company, regardless of whether they are remote or not. You can do this by providing online mentorship programs, enlisting them in webinars, or in online courses related to your industry.

You can also involve your existing employees in the training process. Team the best performing team members with those who are new to the company and still need to learn and let them participate in short training sessions. This can easily be done via virtual Zoom meetings. The best knowledge is learned through experience, so use the asset of your employee knowledge base.

Let employees control their own schedules

Once you’ve gone remote, you can start thinking about letting your employees figure out their own schedules. As Dustin Grosse, COO of ClearSlide advises on the time management of remote employees: “Rather than micromanaging when they’re getting the work done, focus on what they’re consistently achieving.” In terms of contact centers with international partners, this could be as simple as letting your agents choose the timezones that they prefer to work in.

While it might sound radical, alternative schedules should not be a problem as long as you are meeting your metrics, goals, and your employees are on a continued growth trajectory. Letting your employees manage their own time will allow them to fully focus on their daily tasks, achieving their set goals for that day without any distractions.

Build a community

Perhaps one of the hardest challenges facing remote workers is the lack of social contact with their colleagues. Office culture can be a huge contributor to comfortable work environments and it is essential for a lot of employees in maintaining their mental health. Social contact could be as simple as having a coffee break or a short chat with a colleague.

Besides online training and mentorship, create spaces for your employees, where they can have the opportunity to socialize and blow off some steam. This will also help in creating a remote company culture that is essential in making your employees excited about working for you and representing your brand.

Create lunch or coffee break video chat rooms. You can easily do this, with digital video hangouts. Alternatively, most online team collaboration tools, such as Slack also have these features readily available. You can also implement regular social events, such as Zoom birthday parties.

As more and more businesses are realizing that office work is a thing of the past, it is vital to be able to stay on top of this trend both technologically and in terms of staff management. Remember to keep your employees motivated by setting clear goals and metrics, giving them proper training and feedback, and let them handle their own schedules if your business allows. You can also set up a remote community with easily accessible tools, such as Zoom or Slack.

How to Keep Communications Smooth With Your Team During Remote Work

Posted on: April 30th, 2020 by Dorottya Márton No Comments

There has been a lot written about the increasing trend of remote work and its benefits. The upside of remote work involves higher numbers of employee wellbeing, reduced burnout levels, and even higher levels of productivity. Remote work is also beneficial for most organizations, as it reduces operational costs. Additionally, it can be seen as a beneficial long-term move. Having a stable remote work infrastructure in place within your organization enables you and your team to keep business afloat in unexpected circumstances that may result in mobility restrictions.

However, developing a remote work infrastructure also comes with its obstacles. Among these, communication is listed as the number one challenge when working remotely. How do you get oversight on when, how, and what your employees are working on? How do you align your daily and weekly goals?

Managing effective communication in a remote contact center can seem intimidating at first. However, if you establish a few simple guidelines along with the right technology, you’ll be able to harvest the benefits of a remote work infrastructure.

Check-in regularly

It is important to check in with your team on a regular basis. This will help you align your daily or weekly goals and it helps make sure that your team members have support concerning any issues that they might have. Decide on a regular team meeting schedule and stick to it. With this, you actively create a platform for employees to address any roadblocks in their work before it becomes a bigger issue. Additionally, regular check-ins are good for maintaining morale, in order to avoid loneliness.

When establishing a check-in routine with your team, make sure that you have the right technology in place. There are a host of available technologies to help you effectively manage your team communications. These involve easily accessible video conferencing and team collaboration tools, such as Zoom, Slack, or Google Hangouts.

Next to the regularly scheduled team meetings, remember to encourage your team members to turn to you or their supervisors if they want to run through any additional questions or ideas. It is better to address any issues or confusion head-on at the beginning of your remote work operations.

Have the right tools in place

The right technology can easily help you establish a smooth, in-office experience, making your work just as or even more effective than on-premise. VCC Live technology offers all the tools for supervisors and managers to effectively oversee and help their team’s work.

The activities in your remote contact center can easily be tracked with cloud-based systems. With user state logs, you can keep track of agents’ states to find out, for example, when agents are on a call, use a broken code, login or out, or exceed the allowed break limit.

Real-time monitoring can also give you direct insight into ongoing conversations and call-whispering features will allow you to give feedback to an agent without the client hearing. Additionally, with the help of a cloud contact center, you can transfer employees between projects, or change their status from a distance.

Features, such as the user activity log can also help you in keeping your remote employees’ work under supervision. This feature enables you or the supervisor of your team to log daily updates, log-in requests, and updates do not call registries.

Set up communications guidelines

When managing your remote work communications, it is very important to establish clear guidelines for communication and collaboration. These guidelines don’t have to be complicated. The aim is to establish what and where to communicate during work, in order to make the process of managing and addressing your agent’s issues as seamless as possible.

For example, you can set up an employee guideline for this. You might ask your agents and staff to use Slack for general inquiries and email in official matters.

A possible way to help establish guidelines is to create a remote employee handbook that clearly states how and when to communicate with supervisors and other employees. Additionally, you can also set up an easily accessible Q&A document.

Have clear goals and metrics in place

Maintaining the daily or weekly goals of your operation and understanding the resulting metrics might seem like an impossible task when facing the prospect of a remote work infrastructure. However, with the right technology, you can easily understand numbers remotely and even follow your operations real-time, wherever you might be working from. By having a clear oversight of your operations, you are able to set clear goals for your team.

The KPI’s dashboard of cloud-based contact centers provides easily understandable, real-time numbers. The dashboard statistics include quantifiable oversight, such as disposition, global and project-specific calls, and inbound statistics.

Create an office culture online

Perhaps one of the hardest challenges facing remote workers is the lack of social contact with their colleagues. Office culture can be a huge contributor to comfortable work environments and it is essential for a lot of employees in maintaining their mental health and productivity. Social contact could be as simple as having a coffee break or a short chat with a colleague.

Make your employees feel valued and part of a community, by enabling the option of lunch or coffee break video chat rooms. You can easily do this, with digital video hangouts. Alternatively, most online team collaboration tools, such as Slack also have these features readily available. If you are working in a smaller organization, and your company culture permits, it is a good idea to implement regular social events, such as Zoom birthday parties, to maintain your relationship with colleges and make them feel less alone.

Maintaining communication during remote work might seem daunting to some, especially if it is something they haven’t done before. However, with the right planning, technology, and a little patience, your remote work operations could turn into a seamless process. Remember to check in regularly with your team, find the right tools for managing your agents, establish clear communication guidelines and goals for your employees to follow. Last but not least, try to create a socially supportive office culture that helps maintain your remote work community.

How to Prepare For an Unexpected Health-Related Scenario in the Contact Center

Posted on: March 12th, 2020 by Attila Szűcs No Comments

As we are with the current global healthcare situation, an unexpected health-related scenario – requiring businesses to completely reorganize their operations – can happen at any time. Companies who are not able to react to such sudden changes face serious financial and organizational consequences.

In such unfortunate situations, businesses need to act quickly, ensuring business continuity by the use of remote work and preventing the spread of the disease in the contact center. 

In contact centers especially, where normally a great number of employees work together, often seated in small cubicles next to each other, taking the appropriate measures as soon as possible is of utmost importance.

How to Prepare for Remote Work

In the event of a serious health-related scenario, mobility restrictions can be announced any time by governments, so businesses have to be able to switch to a remote working situation at a moment’s notice. For contact centers, who often have large workforces, making this transition without previously having done the preparation will be very challenging. 

We have already talked about the advantages of remote work in contact centers in a previous article. So, let’s see what steps you’ll need to take in order to make sure your contact center is ready for remote work!

1. Provide all necessary devices needed by your workforce

For remote work, your employees will need equipment including laptops, laptop bags, chargers, and most importantly a headset. Make sure you have enough of even the “less important” items, such as laptop bags, around, so that if an unexpected situation arises you won’t need to desperately order something quickly.

2. Make sure employees have access to systems and applications

You’ll need to give your employees access to all the systems and applications they require in order to be able to work remotely. Also, make sure they have appropriate internet connections wherever they will be working, whether it be at home or elsewhere. 

3. Rely on cloud technology

Make sure to utilize a secure cloud-based technology. Modern cloud contact center systems are web-based and can be used anywhere. As such, you can securely set up a contact center network (with authentication to prevent data breaches) that your employees can access anytime, anywhere.

4. Set up systems to effectively track remote agent activities

There is no need to worry about losing control over your operations when your agents are working remotely. Once you set up your virtual contact center, your agent activity can easily be tracked using a remote, cloud-based system. You can keep track of when agents are on a call, use a broken code, log in or out, or exceed the allowed break limit.

5. Communicate with your agents

Last but definitely not least, make sure you communicate with your employees. Adapting to an unexpected scenario is not only challenging for you but also for your employees. A general rule of thumb is to find out which of your employees are happy to work remotely, while also effectively explaining the need for cooperation.

How to prevent the spread of the disease in the workplace

While preparing for remote work is a necessary first step, contact centers, who often employ hundreds of operators, will also have to take all the necessary measures in order to prevent the spread of any health-related conditions in the workplace until remote work takes place. Follow our advice below to help you keep your employees and your contact center’s operations running smoothly.

1. Introduce staggered shifts to reduce the number of employees arriving and leaving the contact center at the same time.

2. Offer the opportunity for those who can work from home. By doing this, some of your seats will remain empty, allowing colleagues to keep their distance from each other instead of sitting too closely.

3. Try and separate workstations as much as possible. General suggestions say at least 1,5-2 meters of distance. 

4. Make sure to place sterilizing products next to your contact center’s entrance, in the kitchen and in the toilets. Make sure to sterilize office devices at the end of each day.

5. Avoid internal and external meetings. Instead, hold video conference meetings whenever possible.

6. Physical contact, such as handshakes, should be avoided.

7. Cancel or postpone company-related events attended by more than 10 people, such as presentations, team building sessions and conferences.

8. Raise awareness of prevention in your organization: make sure to give your employees systematic updates about the current situation, and provide them with all the necessary information they need in order to prevent the spread of any illness both at work and beyond.

At VCC Live, we’re committed to taking all appropriate measures in the event of a serious health-related scenario for the sake of our employees’ health. Having well-structured processes and appropriate technology will help you to also prepare for unexpected situations – whether it’s the need to switch to remote work or reorganize your workplace processes.

How to Build Customer Rapport for Your Telesales Business

Posted on: March 9th, 2020 by Dorottya Márton No Comments

Customer rapport is a term often talked about in relation to a number of businesses including telesales where success depends on whether you can build trust with your customers and convince them over the phone. 

How can customer rapport help you in establishing a healthy and sustainable relationship with your customers? And more importantly, how can it help you as a developing professional?

The Importance of Customer Rapport in Telesales 

Rapport can be defined as the ability to communicate well with someone, or, simply, a good sense of understanding and trust. When it comes to telesales, rapport is essential for building a good relationship with your clients. Through harmonious relationships, you can meet your business goals, increase your sales, and build long lasting, sustainable contacts. 

Customer rapport is also important at a personal level. On bad days, being in contact with customers all day can not only feel monotonous, and tedious but also stressful. Some clients can get particularly hard to deal with, and maintaining an aura of professionalism can get extremely challenging. In these cases, the ability to communicate well is essential in not just keeping your business targets but also your spirits high.

Open the Call With a Smile

Ever yawned because the person in front of you was yawning? You’re not the only one. According to neuroscience, we are coded to mirror others. For this, a brain circuit called the insula is responsible, the area of our brain regulating our emotions. The psychology of mirroring translates into very specific consequences when it comes to sales. 

As Tímea, one of our key account managers discusses, if you do not asses your own mood, you’ll end up automatically mirroring others. In telesales, this can get problematic when dealing with frustrated or impatient clients. 

While it might be a challenge in the beginning, try making your reaction to situations with your clients into an active choice. Behave in a way that you want the conversation to go. Is the client rude? Be extra polite, and see what happens. Is he being irrational and demanding? Keep a cool head and stick to the facts. Is he bored and uninterested? Take an excited, enthusiastic tone. And most of all, smile. Smile, even if you are on the phone, because it shows. 

Having a longstanding career in telesales, Tímea worked for a number of years as a call center operator. She remembers listening to her recorded voice conversations, and being astonished by what she heard. In every single interaction, you could tell when she was smiling. “Simply starting the conversation with a smile, lays ground for a completely different interaction. Both you and your customers’ mood will start off with a positive note, and in the long term, this will lead to quantifiably better sales results.”

Stay Authentic

Most importantly, remember to maintain authenticity. When you are communicating to clients, keep in mind that you are talking to another human being. This might simply mean listening to them with empathy. 

Tímea discusses that showing empathetic gestures could involve very simple things. “When I had to make outgoing calls during my time as a telesales agent, clients would often pick up the phone in the middle of an activity (taking their children somewhere, going to the vet, etc.). If I managed to reschedule a call with them, the next time I called, I asked about the activity they were doing when we last spoke. How their dog was, about their daughter’s ballet recital. The effect was immediate, their tones changed and they became way more open to our conversation.”

Authenticity is important not just in your relationship with your clients but also in your relationship to the product or service you are trying to sell. If not necessary, don’t obsess about sticking to the call script. Try to explain why your product is relevant to the customer with your own words. By putting your own personality into it, you will sound more authentic instead of just another telesales agent who reads information from a script. 

Remember to Stand Your Ground

At the end of the day, sales is not about trying to desperately impress the person on the other side of the line. Behave with your clients on an equal footing. This establishes a sense of partnership and trust, regardless of whether or not you are communicating with them over the phone or in person. 

When it comes to particularly difficult clients, standing your ground and establishing your boundaries can actually help your sales, as it makes you come across as consistent, reliable and ultimately, a trustable person.

Behave with others the way you would want others to behave with you.  Remember the importance of customer rapport and open the call with a smile, stay authentic, and stand your ground. The power of mirroring can help increase your sales, build long standing relationships with your clients, and most importantly, it can help you maintain a healthy state of mind at the workplace.

3 Fun and Useful Customer Service Training Games

Posted on: January 7th, 2020 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Working in a call center is a pretty difficult job. In such a fast-paced environment, most agents will undoubtedly benefit from a well-thought training program in order to be able to excel at their job.

In other words, as it is your agents who can keep your customers happy in the long run, you’ll really need to invest in providing them with the possibly best training sessions.

We already collected some handy tips for training call center agents, which you can check here. But sometimes adding a little bit of fun to training sessions is the best way to keep your agents motivated. So, here are 3 useful and fun customer service training games to get the most of your agent team!

Customer Service Training Game Nr. 1: Never say never

Customers don’t like to hear that you cannot help them with their issues. Still, however well-trained your agents are, there will always be situations when they simply won’t be able to solve a problem. And in such cases, approaching the problem in a positive way is vital. This game will help your agents learn how to handle situations positively when they cannot solve a particular problem in the first place.

What’s the most important is that your agents should never say “I can’t do this” to customers. Therefore, this game will train them to say, “I can do Y” instead of just saying “I can’t do X”.

Let’s see how the game works:

Have your agents gather in a circle with clearly legible name tags. Give your agents a couple of minutes to come up with a few requests for their peers. Requests can be anything from realistic to imaginary such as, “I want you to do my tasks today” or simply “I want to ride a unicorn”.

Then, instruct your agents to call out a peer’s name and request one thing from their list. The named agent has to turn down the request without saying “No”. Once they managed to deny the request, it’s their turn to call out another employee, and so on. Make sure the rules are clear for your agents, and get the team started.

Customer Service Training Games Nr. 2: Over to You

Every customer service team deals with frequently asked questions and issues on a daily basis. For such cases, you have probably established solutions, but what if a little bit of brainstorming could help you to come up with something more efficient?

For this game, again, ask your agents to gather in a circle and think of an issue that is common amongst your customers. Then, discuss with your team how they would handle the situation.

Ask them the following questions:

1, If this was your business, what would you do?

2, If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

3, If you had an unlimited budget, what would you do?

4, If you had a magic wand, what would you do?

This game helps your agents come up with creative solutions while they can also learn from their peers’ answers. During this game, it’s important to move around the groups and listen to their ideas, while also sharing useful insights with your agents.

Source: Call Center Helper

Customer Service Training Games Nr. 3: Write Customer Letters

Working as a call center agent is not easy. Agents spend most of their time on the phone talking to customers, resolving issues. Considering the high levels of stress commonly experienced due to the great amount of unexpected situations, it’s not surprising that team morale is often extremely low in contact centers.

The following game will not only help you boost morale in your team but also enables agents to better understand what attitude customers are looking for when contacting them with their issues.

For this game, you’ll need to have a team of around 10 people sitting in a circle. Ask one agent from your team to tell one of their recent customer stories. Ask them to share the customer’s name, most recent purchase and what they needed assistance with.

Then, ask each members of your team to write a thank you letter to your company from the customer’s perspective sharing how this interaction helped them and praising the company’s professional handling of the case.

Ask some of the agents to read out their letters and discuss them with together with the team. Make sure to highlight what the customers appreciated the most regarding the interaction. You can also create a list of the praises and then send them to each agents so that they can look at them during difficult days.

Adding customer service training games to your training program is a great way to better engage your agents while also adding some fun to the learning process. Try these 3 games for better results!

Workforce Management Tips for Contact Centers during the Holiday Period

Posted on: December 4th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

With the last few weeks of the year approaching, most of us have already started to prepare for our well-deserved holidays. Except, that is, those who work in the contact center industry…With Christmas upon us, contact centers everywhere are gearing up for an intense increase in activity. And that, of course, has a big effect on staffing needs.

Contact centers and companies working in retail or e-commerce know very well that offering consistent and smooth customer support experience during the holiday season is crucial in order to keep their customers satisfied in the long run. If they don’t succeed in offering high levels of support during this time, they risk losing existing customers and potential sales opportunities.

In order to survive and strive in the holiday period, you need to understand how to effectively prepare your staff for the inevitable increased volume of customer queries which will happen at this time. So, here are some workforce management tips to help you gear up for the weeks ahead! 

1.       Forecasting

In terms of your workforce, optimizing and planning ahead is of major importance in ensuring that customer interactions and queries do not get out of hand. And this is where forecasting is vital.

Thankfully, there are a lot of tools that can automatically analyze customer data in order to create precise forecasts and use that information to create schedules for the holiday period.

Of course, you’ll need to rely on your historical data in order to be able to accurately make forecasts and create a schedule. Analyzing your data from the past, such as the volume of calls, average handle times, and your individual channels’ workload, will definitely help you understand what you can expect from this year’s holiday season.

2.       Have a Backup Plan

Once you created a holiday period schedule for your staff, it’s worth having a backup plan in case things do not go as planned – however good your forecasts are, there might still be an even bigger increase in your customer service demands than you expect.

Similarly, bear in mind that some of your agents who are scheduled to work during the holidays may become unexpectedly ill. Again, in such cases, you’ll need to come up with the ideal solution in order to keep your customer service consistent and seamless.

So, start by determining if you need to expand your office space to accommodate additional seats. However, as you’ll also need the additional physical space and appropriate technology to support your expanded team, it might be a better idea to consider relying on home-based staff during the busiest weeks of the year.

3.       Offer perks to motivate your team

As customer queries normally skyrocket during the Christmas period, most contact centers require their agents to work overtime.

But, of course, everyone is tired at the end of the year, and so you can imagine how much working overtime right before Christmas may harm your team’s morale.

In order to, in contrast, boost morale and motivate your team during this testing Christmas period, make sure to consider offering them extra perks. Offering them extra breaks, remote working opportunities, bonuses and even promotions will help you show your agents that you appreciate their efforts in going the extra mile.

The Christmas season is the perfect time for your contact center to show customers that your business is able to serve them even during the busiest period of the year. Follow our tips and make sure you don’t lose a single customer during the Holiday period! 

3 Easy to Implement Tips to Building Employee Loyalty in the Call Center

Posted on: September 18th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Call center turnover is a constant challenge for call centers. At the same time, finding new agents is becoming increasingly difficult due to the advanced language skills, long working hours and high levels of flexibility call centers expect of agents.

So, here’s the ultimate guide on how to build employee loyalty in the call center!

Try Call Center Gamification

Due to the high demands call centers set, their employees often quickly lose motivation, leaving the industry to explore less stressful career opportunities.

Therefore, for any call center striving to keep their agents loyal, it’s essential to create a less stressful and more fun work environment.

Leveraging call center gamification is a great way to help create a collaborative atmosphere and better work culture. Adding some games into every day work will create a sense of community and increase engagement, encouraging agents to build long-term loyalty towards your business.

Offer Them Career Opportunities

Who said you cannot build a career in the call center? Still, most people (including agents) think it’s not possible to move up the career ladder in a call center.

The truth is, however, that there are a wide variety of career opportunities in call centers. Responsibilities vary greatly, depending on the nature of the company, agents’ experience and personality, so don’t leave agents stuck in their position once they’ve outgrown it.

Offering continuous training opportunities will encourage agents to plan for the long term. When it comes to training call center agents, there are a number of best practices. Reviewing recorded calls together with your agents, for example, will allow you to provide them with a crystal-clear example of what is and what is not appropriate during a customer call. 

Also, when training your agents, set your creativity free. You can, for example, create a common knowledge base, and encourage your agents to contribute to it with their own knowledge.

Recognize Them through Rewards

The biggest challenge for agents working in a large team in a call center environment is to stand out from the crowd, and for their work to be acknowledged by management. It’s no surprise then, that call center agents often feel they are nothing more than just another cog in the call center wheel.

As such, if you want to increase employee loyalty your call center, make sure you create a workplace environment in which they feel they are valued by the company.  Recognizing your agents through rewards is a great step in creating this kind of workplace environment.

There are a number of ways you can do this. For example, you can create a coupon book and give out coupons for 15 minutes of time off or a remote working day. Whatever you do, always make sure to award prizes that make the winners feel special. You can be sure your agents will, in return, stay loyal to your call center.

Employees stay loyal to businesses that treat them well. Make sure you follow our tips to help keep employee loyalty high in your call center!