How to Improve Customer Satisfaction and Agent Productivity in Your Contact Center

Customer service managers are always looking for better ways to streamline, manage, and improve service requests and inquiries. In customer service call centers especially, smooth business operations, maximum productivity, and excellent customer service delivery are essential to success. Connecting customers to the most qualified agent available and actively seeking the best solution to their inquiry is the foundation of customer satisfaction. 

There are two vital components to the success of a customer service call center: the delivery of service and having effective, productive agents. This article will cover ways to improve customer satisfaction rates in your call center and how to make sure your agents are staying productive and not wasting your business’s time or money. 

4 Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction

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#1. Personalize Every Interaction

The customer service sector often overlooks the element of personalization because the customer is usually the one contacting the business for assistance. However, it is a component that can go a long way and drive satisfaction rates through the roof, raise revenue, and create loyal customers. 

Your call center probably receives hundreds if not thousands of calls per day, and integrating a personal touch in each interaction might seem like a daunting task. Rest assured, it is not. When your customers contact your business for help, the last thing they want is a robotic voice relaying generic information. It is important to remember that a great deal of time is spent on the line long before the first word is ever spoken. 

While some customers have a more general inquiry, some may get more heated than others (depending on the situation). A central CRM can help track customer details automatically, thus preparing your customer service agent before they speak directly to the customer. They can personalize the conversation and make it much more welcoming and engaging by having customer data at hand.

#2. Increase First Call Resolution (FCR)

As mentioned before, allowing your agents to access customer data before they speak to the customer can go a long way. This data should include past interactions with the customer as well. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 89% of customers get frustrated when they have to repeat information to multiple agents.

Improving “First Call Resolution” (FCR) is essential to improve customer satisfaction rates. This metric defines your team’s ability to handle and resolve customer inquiries on the first interaction and without any follow-ups. Should your customer contact your business about the same issue repeatedly, this indicates that there must be some disconnect in your system that must be addressed immediately. Make sure your agents are taking notes and making it easier for the next agent to be “in the loop” about the customer to limit the repetition of their problem. Make the assistance as helpful and straightforward as possible should the customer contact your business again.

#3. Improve Call Flow Management

Every single one of us has been on hold at some point (and often for far too long). If there is no effective management system to handle your call volume, chaos can ensue. Even 45 minutes of call overflow can damage your business’s reputation and significantly reduce customer satisfaction.

While not every single agent can have the answer to everything, it is critical to train your employees to be knowledgeable on various issues. However, if further assistance is needed, your call center software should enable a seamless, automatic route to the proper agent, better equipped with solutions to the customer’s inquiry. 

#4. Your Team Should Always Be Learning

Your customer support team should be knowledgeable on a wide range of various problems that could arise within your business. They should know about all products and services, solutions to common issues, and who to connect them to should the matter be more complex. All agents should have the best possible training and knowledge and never interact with customers if they are not fully equipped with the correct tools, information, and software. 

Consistent and ongoing training efforts can be crucial to raising the standards of your call center team. Well-trained agents should be up to date with changes in the company, industry, new products, skills and should be able to warmly interact with customers if they have any questions or concerns. In addition, consistent training reduces the need to hire more team members because your current team can fill any gaps in skills and knowledge that may arise.

With today’s call center software, analytics are easy to pull and provide valuable insight for agent-specific performance and training needs.

4 Ways to Improve Agent Productivity

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#1. Let Your Agents Work Independently

It is no surprise that working in a call center can become dull or monotonous at times. In many cases, customer service agents must follow strict rules, responses, and procedures to make their job quite repetitive. Sometimes, due to these processes, time is wasted, and frustration can arise on both sides of the call. 

By allowing agents to practice some degree of autonomy when it comes to customer service delivery, there can be a benefit to overall productivity. Your agents will be able to hone in on their skills, feel more confident, connected, and relate to customers more, all while thinking on their feet, streamlining processes, and boosting productivity.

#2. Allow for More, Short Breaks

As mentioned above, being a call center agent can be a monotonous job that often requires the employee to sit for long periods. Along with this, there can be added stress within the call center like angry customers, various deadlines, meeting quotas, and other business operations that must be handled accordingly. These components can affect day-to-day productivity, operations, and team member satisfaction. 

An excellent way to address these issues is to allow your agents to take more breaks for fewer periods. Instead of one half-hour break, allow your employees to have three-ten minute breaks during their shift. Your agents can use this time to go to the restroom, grab a snack or coffee, or just stretch their legs. It can give your agents a stronger sense of autonomy, limit stress and restlessness, and improve agent productivity. In addition, allowing your team to take breaks can be a quick way to reset the mind and body and be ready to handle the next call with confidence.

#3. Praise Good Work

Positive feedback can go a long way for everyone; we all want to feel like we are doing a good job, no matter the task or occasion. Offering incentives for excellent performance and recognizing even the smallest of achievements is a great way to motivate your customer service team. Knowing that they are valued and making a difference for the company can be super important for productivity purposes.

Incentives can effectively promote motivation; whether it is something as small as a free lunch or as big as a big bonus, it matters! Incentives offer agents an extra opportunity to do better, work harder, and make a difference. However, if you decide not to offer incentives, praising and thanking your team for a job well done can positively add to business operations. All team members want to feel appreciated and like their time and energy matter to the company and that they are seen as human and not revenue generators. 

#4. Use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Reflect With Your Team

Key Performance Indicators have traditionally been utilized to measure how well agents perform. Still, technology can provide a deeper, more individualized insight into where an agent can improve. Some technologies can be integrated with speech analytics, call times, response rates, and more critical elements that can be used to work directly with your employee and coach them to success.

The most critical part of measuring performance is encouraging agents to reflect on their work and brainstorm ways to improve. As a manager, it is essential to be helpful, expose inefficient procedures, and address agent dissatisfaction (because it correlates significantly with customer dissatisfaction).

Customer satisfaction and agent productivity go hand in hand. Both are critical components of running a successful customer service center. You always need to make sure both your customers and your team are content and treated in the best way possible. Consistently check in with your team and your customers, gauge satisfaction rates and make improvements wherever and whenever necessary. 

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