Archive for the ‘Call Center Life’ Category

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! 

What is Call Center Shrinkage and How to Keep It Low

Posted on: August 8th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Call centers are all about efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. In such a competitive work environment, increased productivity is the key to success.

Productivity depends on a number of factors, including up-to-date technology and optimized workforce management. Indeed, throwing money out of the window by leveraging an outdated system and having high levels of agent idle time is clearly a mistake.

We have already talked about in a previous article how you can reduce agent idle time. This time, we’re going to take things a step further and talk about what call center shrinkage is, and how you can reduce it to keep your productivity high.

What is Call Center Shrinkage?

Call center shrinkage refers to the number of agents who are actively answering calls at a given time divided by the number of agents who are not available to serve customers for any reason. The difference between the two is called call center shrinkage, indicating how much time your agents spend not helping your customers.

As we all know, agents will call in sick and go on holidays every now and then. Similarly, team meetings and training sessions are part of every call center agents’ job.

As such, call center shrinkage comes from both internal and external factors: among other things, internal factors include holidays, sick time, lateness, while external factors might be lunch time, meetings, training sessions and after call work.

Leverage data

At a call center, data is everywhere: agent average talk time, average call volume, the proportion of closed deals or first call resolution are all examples of important call center metrics that are readily available.

When it comes to managing call center shrinkage, thorough planning is your ultimate key to success. And luckily, in a call center you’ll have plenty of data helping you to make accurate forecasts.

As such, make sure to leverage your data and forecast how many calls will be coming based on your call history. Also, you can investigate average agent talk time or the proportion of closed deal and come up with strategies to improve them.

Rely on part-time and remote workforce

Hiring remote agents is nothing new to the call center industry. In fact, as we already mentioned in a previous article, employees prefer remote working.

On the other hand, call centers can also greatly benefit from hiring both remote and part-time agents, helping call center managers better manage workforce and react to sudden peak times.

For example, in case of an unexpected flu season, which is an external shrinkage factor, you can rely on your part-time or remote agents, improving your shrinkage rates.

Take advantage of technology

Technology is advancing at lightning speed with better and better state-of-the-art technology tools entering the market year after year.

By leveraging innovative contact center technology, you can create real-time statistics, which will be essential to help you keep shrinkage rates low by monitoring and evaluating your processes and agents’ performance.

For example, you evaluate how much time your agents spend with after call work, how often they participate in meetings and how effective is your training system.

Working on these factors will all contribute to keeping call center shrinkage rates relatively low, and thus improving your productivity.

50 Must Know Call Center Terminologies

Posted on: July 17th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

ACD, ATT, BCP, Robinson list, call blending. Just a few of the call center terminologies, abbreviations, and jargon that dominate our business conversations on a daily basis in the call center.

Are familiar with all of them? Here’s a list of 50 must know call center terminologies to help you out!

1, Abandoned call

In inbound call centers, an abandoned call is a call initiated by a user or customer, but dropped by them before a call center agent has answered it and before an actual conversation has occurred. The user can drop the call due to a too long waiting time caused by agents insufficient availability, or due to technical issues such as Internet coverage problems. In outbound call centers, abandoned calls occur when a Predictive Dialler initiates calls and reaches customers, but there are not enough operators to handle them. 

2, Automatic Call Distributor (ACD)

An Automatic Call Distributor is a system or telephony facility that manages and forwards inbound calls to the appropriate agent based on preset handling instructions.

3, Afterwork

The time an agent uses to finish administration work, such as ticketing, filling in forms, registering calls and call-related information needed, after a call has finished.

4, Average Handle Time (AHT)

Average Handle Time (AHT) shows the average time an operator spends in call-related activities, including a conversation, hold time, and any after-call activities and administration. It is calculated by using the following formula: 

(Talk Time + Hold Time + After-work) / Total number of handled calls = AHT

5, Application Program Interface (API)

The Application Program Interface is a set of procedures, tools and functions that allow the creation of application software. It specifies how software components communicate and interact with each other.

6, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR)

Automatic Speech Recognition is the capability of a program or machine to identify phrases or words in a particular spoken language or natural speech, and then turn them into a format that can be read by machines. It allows humans to speak to computers and communicate with them in a way that resembles regular human conversation.

7, Auxiliary Time (AUX)

Auxiliary time is the time an agent spends in unavailable status in the call center system, or during which the agent cannot accept new calls because they are on a break, etc.

8, Average Talk Time (ATT)

The average value of time spent by an agent talking with customers in a given period of time. It is calculated by using the following formula: total time spent in call / all handled calls = ATT

9, Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

A Business Continuity Plan is a written document outlining potential threats to a company, and the information and guidelines the company needs to continue operating if an event takes place which negatively impacts operations.

10, Call Blending

A feature that supports the handling of outbound and inbound calls simultaneously, based on predefined combination and priority rules. It is usually used to quickly handle any incoming calls during an ongoing outbound campaign, by monitoring the number of incoming calls, agents availability and other system measures at the same time. Call blending rules prevent a dialer dialing outgoing calls for a specific agent, by excluding them from the algorithm for a specific time.

11, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Business Process Outsourcing is a process that involves delegating a specific business process’ operations and responsibilities to a third-party service provider, in order to optimize internal operational costs related to HR, technologies, knowledge base, etc. The main advantage of BPO is to increase company flexibility, as well as optimize cost- and time efficiency.

12, Call Routing

Call Routing is a call management procedure, wherein a call is sent to a specific queue after being qualified by the telephony system. It can refer to both outgoing or incoming calls. Inbound Call Routing refers to the ability to route calls to different people and locations depending on a variety of factors, for example call volume, time of day, language preference of the caller, or specific department requested. It is often used to provide a backup solution for a call center, in case their regular operations are, for example, out of service. In terms of Outbound activities, it means the ability to perform calls via various providers’ networks, for example as a cost-efficiency tool.

13, Callback

A telephone call initiated by a call center agent in order to contact a previously-contacted customer again. Callbacks are used to contact customers who have been promised further information, have requested an appointment, or simply requested contact at another time. Callbacks can only be handled by the agent who handled the original phone call.

14, Call Detail Record (CDR)

A Call Detail Record is a file or document produced by a telecommunications system or equipment used in a call center that contains detailed information about executed calls, such as source and destination numbers, IDs, call duration, completion status, scheduled follow up actions and call transcripts.

15, Customer Experience Management (CEM or CXM)

Customer Experience Management is a set of processes, actions and measurements used to handle and interact with customers in order to meet and exceed their expectations. CEMs help boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.

16, Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management is an approach that companies use to interact with their customers. It consists of practices that help companies retain customers, and grow their customer network and sales. In order to achieve this, CRM uses different systems to collect and analyze data regarding communication and relationships with their customers, as well as their preferred communication channels.

17, Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

Computer Telephony Integration is the technology which allows the use of computers to handle telephone calls.

18, Customer Database

A list of records of existing or potential customers. It usually contains the phone and other channel contact details, private and demographical information, buying patterns, owned products, and other information used by companies to help target their campaigns or handle customer communication.

19, Disposition

A status that describes the outcome of a call, specifying whether it was reached or not, was finished successfully business-wise, is closed or needs a callback, etc.

20, Document Management System (DMS)

A Document Management System is a computer system designed to track, process, manage, and store documents, aiming to reduce paper usage and make document processing faster and easier. It also helps to track changes and version updates of the documents.

21, First Call Resolution (FCR)

First Call Resolution is an important efficiency KPI, measuring whether a customer has received a conclusive answer to their inquiry by the end of the first call, thus eliminating the need for further calls.

22, Handled Call 

A call that has been connected or transferred to an agent who carries out the needed tasks to resolve it.

23, IaaS 

Infrastructure as a Service is a type of online, cloud-based computing service that provides computing resources virtually. 

24, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

Integrated Services Digital Network is a technology which allows companies and contact centers to handle up to 30 circuits (in other words 30 simultaneous calls) at the same time, with the ability to link two or more ISDN modules together to handle 60, 90, or even more calls simultaneously.

25, Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response is the technology by which computers can play pre-recorded messages with a list of options for customers to choose the type of service they need by using voice commands or DTMF tones on a telephone keypad.

26, Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

Key Performance Indicators are measures used to determine the quantity and quality of contact and support provided by individual contact center agents, and the Contact Center as a whole.

27, Manual Dialer 

Manual dialers require agents, once they are ready to make a call, to manually choose records and dial phone numbers. This type of dialer gives agents time to prepare for a conversation, and allows them to get acquainted with a customer’s case and details, but provides lower efficiency results, due to subjective time management and the need for agent presence at every stage of a call, from record selection, through dialing, ringing, conversation and afterwork.

28, Omnichannel Customer Service

Customer service providing customer support via multiple communication channels such as phone, email, chat, and social media.

29, PaaS 

Platform as a Service is a cloud computing service in which a third-party provider provides the platform needed to develop and run an application, thus freeing software development companies from the need to build, manage and maintain the infrastructure needed to develop and launch apps.

30, Private Branch Exchange (PBX)

Private Branch Exchange is a telephone system that switches calls between users in a central office line, thus allowing intercommunication between a large number of telephone stations.

31, Power Dialer

A power dialer is an automatic dialer that works on the basis of initiating as many calls as there are free agents in a project. Once an agent closes a call and becomes available, the power dialer automatically dials a new contact for them.

32, Predictive Dialer (PPD)

A predictive dialer is an automatic dialer that works on the basis of dialing more calls than the number of free agents in a project. Dialing starts while agents are still handling other active calls. By the time an agent finishes their call, the predictive dialer has already dialed the next number and has the next call ringing and ready to handle, saving agents time and providing highly-efficient results.

33, Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

The Public Switched Telephone Network is the collection of telephone lines, optic cables, cellular and microwave transmitters, and other similar devices and technologies, which form the global telecommunications infrastructure and help connect telephone devices with each other.

34, Recurring Payment

Recurring payment refers to the process of making automatic payments on a recurring basis. After an initial successful payment, recurring transactions take place based on a defined schedule.

35, Robinson List 

The Robinson list is an opt-out list of people who do not wish to receive marketing transmissions from companies.

36, Return On Investment (ROI)

Return On Investment measures the generated gain or loss of money in relation to the amount of money that has been invested in the development of a product or service.

37, SaaS 

Software As a Service is a cloud computing service in which a software solution is hosted centrally, but is made available to license or subscription fee-paying clients over the internet.

38, Shared Callback

A shared callback is a type of disposition that means that the dialed number was not reached, or was reached but a conversation did not take place and the number needs to be dialed again later. A shared callback means that the number will be set as a callback for a group of agents, and the first available agent at the scheduled time will receive and process it.

39, Service Level (SL)

Service Level defines expected performance in terms of service availability within a given time period. It is usually specified in %. 

40, Service Level Agreement (SLA) 

Service Level Agreement is the percentage of calls answered by an agent within a previously-agreed Customer Waiting Time. It is usually specified in %

41, SLA Value 

The time allowed for answering calls, calculated as the time between a client reaching a queue and agent picking up the call. This value shows whether calls that require agent support have been answered within a predefined time or not, and is important because of its impact on customer satisfaction. 

42, Talk Time 

Time spent actively communicating with customers within a given time period (usually measured per hour) while logged into a project.

43, Text To Speech (TTS) 

Text To Speech is a type of application or feature that allows computers or other systems to read a written text.

44, Two-factor authentication (2FA) 

Two-factor authentication is a security process that requires user verification on two levels before access to a file or system is allowed. The process usually consists of login and password, and a second additional authentication, such as an SMS or e-mail code. 

45, Uniform Call Distribution (UCD)

Uniform Call Distribution is a system of distributing inbound calls evenly between a group of agents and queues, while also providing waiting time messages and other announcements.

46, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

A methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. VoIP uses packet-switching rather than circuit switching, meaning that voice transmissions are divided into different packets that are transmitted to the receiving party at the other end of the telephone line using different paths over the internet. All of this happens in a very short time, and even though these packets travel separately, the transmitted voice is assembled again at the receivers end in an intelligible and logical order.

47, Voice Over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE)

VoLTE (Voice over Long-Term Evolution) is a new standard for high-speed wireless communication, providing HD voice quality, reduced background noise, and many other important features and benefits of interest to those who believe in the importance of voice and data transfer quality.

48, Webhook

Webhook is a way of altering the behavior of an application or webpage by using callbacks. In other words, it is an action-reaction workflow. Callbacks are triggered by other predetermined triggers, and when a specified event takes place, a specified action results, for example, a comment posted to a blog results in a notification being received.

49, Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC)

WebRTC is an open-source project that enables real-time peer-to-peer communication over audio and video, as well as file and screen sharing over the web. It uses Real-time Transport Protocol, and allows its users to instantly start audio and video conferencing, transfer files, and share their screens without the need of any third-party programs or applications.

50, Wrap-up Time

Time an agent uses to finish administration work needed after a call.

Remote Agents in the Call Center: a Trend You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

The call center industry is undergoing significant changes at the moment, with the general trend seeing a significant increase in hiring remote agents.

Remote work is gaining popularity in the call center, and for good reason. But is it really worth relying call center activities on remote workforce?

Besides a number of benefits we already talked about in a previous article, recent studies have shown that remote agents are more productive. Also, it seems they enjoy working from home and wouldn’t want to give up on it.

The shift from on-premise to virtual

As these days most customer service departments operate internationally, call center activities often require flexible and multilingual workforce, which is, of course, challenging to hire.

At the same time, the rise of cloud contact center technology enabled for call centers to provide their agents with an easy-to-use solution that requires no IT maintenance and can be accessed anytime from anywhere.

As a result, call centers have slowly started to shift from bricks-and-mortar to virtual premises, leveraging home-based workforce.

Amongst other things, remote agents are cost-effective, as call centers can significantly save on office expenses. Also, employees these days increasingly prefer flexibility at work, and the idea of working remotely from home is very appealing to most of them, helping you reduce burnout in your agent team. And last but definitely not least, as already mentioned, recent studies have shown a significant increase in remote workers’ productivity.

If you’re still not convinced about the benefits of remote agents, then let the numbers speak for themselves!  

Employees prefer remote working

As of 2019, remote workforce is getting more and more popular, with 66% of companies allowing remote work and 16% being fully remote.

According to a recent survey carried out by Talentlms, employees increasingly prefer remote work opportunities. As such, 85% of remote workers say that remote work was their decision because they wanted more flexibility, to make their own hours, and to live a carefree lifestyle.”

These results are not surprising at all, considering that these days flexibility is high on the list of employees’ priorities. Today’s workers increasingly reject traditional working hierarchies, so chances are they will expect to be offered flexible working options once or twice a week, as well as a possibility of remote work.

Furthermore, according to the survey, “60% of respondents have to follow a 9-5, 5-days-a-week work schedule”. So why is it more flexible than an on-site job?

Well, home office creates a more relaxing workplace than ever-more popular open plan offices, allowing your agents to set up their ideal work environment.

And it is not only more flexible but also more cost-effective as employees don’t need to pay for commuting. Speaking of commuting, the majority of workers spend 30 minutes on average commuting. As such, remote work also allows agents to save some time.  

It’s no surprise then that only “20% of those who work from the comfort of their own home would rather go back to working in a company office.”

Productivity is the engine that keeps the call center running. And while working from home might feel lonely, almost no one feels unproductive. In fact, 90% feel they get more work done when working remotely. Quite impressive, isn’t it?

And what will the future bring to the home-based workforce model? The numbers suggest it will gain even more popularity.  

Indeed, “35% of remote workers want to work more days remotely while 6 out of 10 would like their job less if they had to say goodbye to their home office and visit their company every day to do the exact same job.”

Take away

Workplace trends are rapidly changing and it really does seem that both agents and companies can greatly benefit from adopting the home-based business model. By relying on remote agents, you can cut costs, increase productivity and keep your agents satisfied in the long run. So maybe it’s time for your call center to give it a try?  

5 Pro Tips to Retain Your Best Call Center Agents

Posted on: July 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

These days, businesses need to provide their employees with reasons to stay at the company. Offering an outstanding working environment and conditions is essential, but it is increasingly not enough in a business world where most industries face labor shortages. 

From the very beginning, call centers have had a bad reputation for being stressful places to work at. As such, it’s no surprise that agent retention is of utmost importance to most call centers.

In this article, we’ll give you five pro tips that will help you keep your agents in your team in the long run. Read on!

Empower them with the right tools

Technology is advancing at lighting speed, and it’s no different in the call center business. Therefore, instead of pushing your agents too much, make sure to rely on up-to-date technology to help them in their everyday work.

Making agents’ jobs easier by empowering them with smart call center features, such as a predictive dialer, CRM integration or call blending, will definitely encourage them to plan for the long term in your call center. In addition, system integrations will allow your agents to rely on a single all-in-one platform, instead of having to navigate around several systems.

In an ever-changing technological business environment, you need to keep up with technology advancements anyway, don’t you?

Offer valuable feedback

One thing is for sure: in a fast-paced work environment such as a call center, the majority of agents will undoubtedly appreciate feedback in order to able to excel at their job.

Valuable feedback can not only have a great impact on your agents’ performance but also provide them with the professional guidance any employee needs in order for them to plan for the long term in the workplace.

As such, always make sure to allocate enough time for one-to-one sessions with your agents and offer specific and crystal-clear feedback to them. If you need more help with this, check out our article on how to give feedback to your call center agents.  

Provide Systematic Training

When you allow your agents to talk to your customers, you are basically putting your company’s reputation in their hands. In other words, as it is your agents who can keep your customers happy in the long run, make sure to provide them with systematic training sessions so that they can treat customers in a way that is worthy of your company. 

When it comes to training call center agents, there are quite a few 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 acceptable 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.

Career Development Opportunities

Call center agents have to work hard to hit their (often unrealistic) target KPIs. Of course, in such a competitive environment, agents crave recognition from management.

Appreciating your agents is a great first step, however, if you really want to retain your agents, make sure to create a workplace environment in which they are encouraged to plan for the long term.

Younger generations put a great emphasis on career opportunities. And as the call center industry is constantly growing, so do the opportunities to fulfill a career at a call center. As such, try and offer internal job promotion opportunities when your best agents reached their maximum potential in their agent team.

Add some fun to work

If you want to retain your best agents, then creating a collaborative atmosphere and better work culture should be high on your list of priorities.

Anyway, who says call center life can’t be enjoyable? There are plenty of ways to make your agents’ everyday work just a little bit more interesting.

For example, you can leverage call center gamification and introduce games into agents’ daily activities, including offering prizes to agents in order to encourage growth in both their engagement and performance.

Another great way to keep agents stay is by allowing them to contribute to social causes. Supporting a charity or organizing fundraising events as part of corporate social responsibility will definitely encourage your agents to feel connected to a larger cause, while also helping your business boost team morale.

How Call Center Gamification Can Help You Retain Your Agents

Posted on: June 5th, 2019 by dorarapcsak No Comments

Working in a call center is not easy. Agents spend most of their time on the phone talking to (often difficult) customers, resolving (often complex) issues. As a result, agent turnover is a major challenge for call centers around the world.

It’s no surprise then that agent retention is of utmost importance for any call center that wants to thrive in the long run. And what better way to retain your agents than trying to add some fun into their daily work routine.

One way you can do this, and thus retain agents, is to leverage call center gamification. Gamification is the process of introducing games into agents’ daily activities, for example offering prizes to agents in order to encourage growth in both their engagement and performance.  

So, now that you know what call center gamification is in theory, let’s talk about how it can help you retain your agents in reality (and the other benefits it can provide). Game on!

Gamification reduces agent turnover

Perhaps the most important benefit of call center gamification is that it helps reduce agent turnover by boosting morale in call centers.

As mentioned above, 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 flexibility call centers expect of agents.

As a result of these high demands, agents often quickly lose their motivation and burn out, leaving the call center industry to explore less stressful career opportunities. And while it is true that working in a call center might be extremely stressful, call center gamification can help your agents let off some steam.

For example, set a (realistic) target and treat your agents with a small reward, let’s say a work-from-home day, once they reach their target. Rewards such as these will help you create a better atmosphere in which your agents will be inspired to continuously improve in order to receive rewards.

Call center gamification increases agent productivity

Amongst other things, introducing call center gamification into a call center can greatly increase agent productivity by encouraging agents to be more productive and achieve more.

In particular, rewarding agents for a job well done will definitely incentivize them to continue to do better. You can be sure that when agents can see how they are performing in comparison to other agents, they will want to try to get to the top of the list.

All you need to do is to introduce some friendly competition to trigger their motivation to be the best in the team. In return, you can, for example, give out coupons or reward the agent of the week/month for their hard work.

Gamification improves the culture of the call center

Call center gamification isn’t only about competition. It can also be used to help create a collaborative atmosphere and create a better work culture.

If you make collaboration the center of call center gamification, you’ll encourage your agents to not only focus on their own benefits, but also on their peers’ success.

Collaboration-based gamification is a great way to add some fun to call center training. You can, for example, create a common knowledge base, and encourage your agents to contribute to it with their own knowledge.

Leveraging gamification to create a sense of community in a call center can definitely increase engagement, as agents become more committed when they feel like they’re all in it together as a team.

Improves customer loyalty

Sure, call center gamification is a great way to retain agents, but did you know that you can also use it to improve customer loyalty?

Gamification can help take customer loyalty to new heights, while also giving businesses the opportunity to collect information about their customers.

There are several types of gamification you can use when it comes to customers: for example, you could give out digital badges confirming your customers’ achievements, create avatars to allow your customers to become part of a community, or simply reward them with redeemable points.

Simply find out which gamification method your customers really want and don’t forget that, when a customer engages with your gamification system, chances are they will come back and buy more of your products and services.