Transforming Customer Experiences

4 Easy Ways to Increase Contact Center Agent Performance

Whether your contact center handles inbound calls, outbound calls, or both, managing it is a difficult and hectic job. You can have the most up-to-date CRM system and technology, but if you have agent performance issues, the customer experience will undoubtably suffer -- and if agents are unhappy, it can increase customer churn and hurt the bottom line. Fortunately, these issues are correctable. With a little work, you can increase your call center agent performance.

Here are 4 easy ways to get your agents reaching their full potential:

1. Schedule smarter

Although a schedule based on expected call volume and a basic understanding of caller-to-agent ratios looks good on paper, in reality, it may not be sufficient to maintain productivity and agent performance. Instead, when looking ahead to determine how many agents you need to meet your desired level of service for a shift, consider all the factors involved. This include training, breaks and time off for agents as well as how many agents are on hand that have multiple skill sets. Under-staffing not only leads to a lower level of service, but it can also cause more abandoned calls and a lower CSAT.

2. Create a winning team

According to New York Magazine, a survey by Donald Clinton -- founder of Gallup and developer of the Q12 survey -- showed that having strong friendships in the workplace ranks as one of the strongest predictors of agent productivity. Matching an agent with other like-minded colleagues can help drive performance and motivation in the call center while helping to reduce agent churn. Use scheduling to leverage productivity and create a high-performing team that matches up the right people for each shift.

3. Invite agent participation

A 2008 study written by Elke Wolf and Thomas Zwick found that increasing an employee's involvement in a company's decision-making process can help to enhance workplace productivity. Making your agents feel like they are valuable members of the team by listening to their input not only assists in enhancing agent performance but also leads to more schedule adherence and conformance to company policies. Best of all, this improvement in employee engagement leads to greater customer satisfaction.

4. Make an action plan

Work with agents to set individual goals for them to achieve. Creating daily, weekly and monthly goals helps to keep agents on track and also provides them with motivation to keep improving. Not only will this foster your customer service agents' personal development and growth, but since they will be more satisfied with their jobs, it can help you to keep your best agents from leaving.


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