Ways to Boost Satisfaction With Agents and Consumers
While it may remain true that you can’t win everyone over, there’s always room for improvement. For call centers, maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction is a crucial part of the job. But to ensure positive consumer relations, you also need to keep up morale among your team of agents.
Call center managers should encourage growth in both of these areas. They work hand in hand to create a quality experience all around. Happy agents typically see more satisfaction among their customers, and better reviews work to boost office confidence. As each improves upon the other, your center will see more success.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of methods you can use to enhance call center job satisfaction and customer service. From creating a better environment to using advanced technology, this guide will show you how to keep improving your call center.
Why Is Call Center Employee Satisfaction Important?
Your employees keep your business running smoothly and effectively. Call center agents have a tough daily routine and feel the pressure when it comes to customer satisfaction. They continually work on their toes and improvise to obtain the best results. This can build stress for employees, especially when there are no counterbalances in place.
There are a lot of factors that go into the job satisfaction of call center agents. Environment, discussion, encouragement, training and recognition all play major roles in creating a better overall employee experience. By paying attention to the needs of the office, you’ll show each employee that they are heard and respected. Forming a stronger sense of community among your agents will also promote trust and communication.
Focusing on the happiness of your agents showcases more than kindness — it also pushes growth. Keeping satisfaction high translates to talent and customer acquisition and retention, both of which will benefit your company long term.
Focus on Your Agents
Keep your customer service team happy and productive by paying attention to what they want and need. If you notice a consistent issue among your agents, work with them to find the best solution, whatever it may be. You can also show you care and want to improve their environment by setting up a suggestion box and going through the proposed ideas anonymously during meetings.
But, beyond individual suggestions, there are several moves you can make that will work to benefit every employee and the team as a whole.
1. Offer Continual Training
After hiring a new worker, many companies provide a beginning period of training. It’s standard to spend a few days or weeks — depending on the industry — bringing your employee up to speed. After all, they won’t effectively practice and improve if they aren’t aware of the dos and don’ts in the first place.
But in the call center industry, changes may happen quickly, and your employees need to stay up to speed. If they only have their initial training to rely on, they won’t progress well because they’re working with old information.
Offering regular training sessions and other forms of professional development will keep your team up to date and ready to tackle any issues that might arise in their day-to-day. With opportunities to learn about industry updates, discuss tone or review specific skills, your employees will feel more confident and collected during each call.
2. Hold Call Review Meetings
Call review meetings are a great way to encourage employees to ask questions and provide individualized feedback.
Sometimes, a call can go wrong, or a situation may arise where the caller is aggressive or hostile. Other times, calls can go exceptionally well, but the agent isn’t sure if they hit the mark. Whatever the case, call reviews allow your workers to meet with you and replay the interaction so you can both go through and critique.
Providing specific advice will help your agents understand where they may need improvement and how to handle certain situations better. If the call hit all your criteria, a review session will allow you to recognize the agent’s performance. The important thing is to open up communication between you and your employees, and they’ll more willingly ask for guidance.
3. Boost Daily Morale
You don’t have to make a grand gesture to keep your employees happy. Little things can do wonders for daily morale.
Keeping your office stocked with fresh fruit and several water coolers promotes good health and wellness while showing your team you care. Even keeping snacks and coffee around can brighten someone’s day. It’s easy to do and may have more of an impact than you’d think.
Encourage your team to get up and walk around during the work day. Having a separate break room where workers can socialize with one another is also effective. If they feel like they need to be chained to their desk all day, their productivity may suffer.
4. Create a Collaborative Environment
The physical environment you work in will affect productivity just as much as any other factor — if not more.
Even if you can’t fully remodel your workspace, you can still provide a better experience. You can easily add more color with new decor and a few cans of paint. Instead of leaving your walls blank, fill space with interesting posters or pictures that help spruce up the room.
It’s no secret that most people don’t enjoy working in cubicles. They cut your agents off from one another and can feel claustrophobic after a few hours of work. Ditch the layout and try creating a more collaborative space with storage areas for personal belongings.
Lay out your office with several options for working spaces, including shared desks, standing desks, couches, chairs and private conference rooms for more intensive calls. You can even throw in a few beanbag chairs for fun. Allowing your employees to move around and work where they feel most comfortable will make them happier and keep them from getting restless.
5. Share Experiences
More likely than not, your agents will run into similar issues and concerns on the job. Some of them may find a better way to accomplish a task through a shortcut or different process. But without communication, they won’t share their thoughts.
Beginning an office-wide conversation can be relatively simple. You can make weekly or monthly meetings where your agents all participate by exchanging ideas and asking questions. Or you can start an online forum, accessible at any time from anywhere. By allowing your employees a space to come together and discuss, you help create a community where each member matters.
6. Reward Good Performance
Just as poor performance warrants a discussion, excellent performance should be rewarded. It doesn’t have to be a big deal — if it’s too grand of a prize, you may end up creating an unnecessarily competitive environment. More than anything, the recognition will show that you pay attention and appreciate your employees’ hard work.
Consider giving out small items, like gift cards, to team members who go above and beyond. You can also create a monthly or quarterly goal for the whole team with a bigger reward, such as ordering lunch out or throwing a little after work party. Making a team-wide objective will encourage working together and end in a joint celebration.
Your best option might involve creating a system that allows workers to recognize their peers. Allowing your employees to nominate or acknowledge each other will boost morale and build a stronger community among your team members. However, managers should also have input, as their regard matters just as much, if not more.
Each of these tactics will help improve call center job satisfaction and help you retain talented employees. The more you choose to initiate, the better your team will perform. As a result, you’ll boost customer satisfaction by making your employees feel comfortable and confident.
Why Is Call Center Customer Satisfaction Important?
The best measure of an effective call center is customer experience. Your customers are your biggest concern, and you should do everything you can to meet their expectations.
Consumers are more demanding than ever. A recent CEI survey shows that 86% of people are willing to pay more for better customer service, but a meager 1% feel companies meet their expectations on a consistent basis. That’s a lot of room for improvement. If your call center can impress, your customers are more than likely to notice and respond well.
Happy customers mean a better reputation, higher revenue and an increase in recommendations to friends and family. It also means improved morale for your employees, who will be encouraged by positive reviews and feedback. And with so many techniques to set yourself apart from other companies, there’s no reason to overlook enhancing your call center satisfaction.
Measuring and Using Consumer Data
Data is your friend. Using tools to collect and analyze metrics will tell you exactly where your team needs to improve. But, you’ll need to know how to measure customer satisfaction in a call center first.
Here are three ways you can ensure your service team receives the best results possible.
1) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
KPIs are some of the top metrics to consider. They measure several different aspects of your services and the habits of your consumers. Some of the most frequently used KPIs include:
- First Call Resolutions (FCR): FCRs keep an account of interactions where the agent solves the customer’s issue during the first call. A well-trained agent is likely to have a higher amount of FCRs.
- Average Call Duration (ACD): ACD measures the average length of each agent’s calls. A longer average may indicate the employee in question needs more training to help customers more quickly.
- Abandon Rate: Customers who abandon calls when they’re left on hold give your services a higher abandon rate. This can negatively affect other metrics, such as FCR, and show you how often holding periods translate to losing consumers.
- Service Level: One of the more common metrics, service level, uses a percentage and a time in seconds. For example, if your service level is 80/20, it means 80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS measures how likely each customer is to recommend your company’s services to a friend.
With these metrics and any others you choose to track, you can effectively determine how satisfied your customer base is on average and what areas need improvement. You can also use these records to determine which employees deserve rewards for exceptional service.
2) Customer Satisfaction Surveys (CSATs)
CSAT scores are a great way to track how often customers are satisfied with the services your team has provided. Each score is comprised of survey answers. Your staff will prompt their callers to provide accurate answers to several survey questions, and those who agree to it will give you invaluable information. Genuine customer feedback is crucial to initiating improvement.
Every answer will provide your company with a better working knowledge of customer expectations. While many callers may opt out of the survey, those that complete it will help paint a general picture of your team’s weaknesses and strengths. Remember, for every one complaint, several other customers likely had the same issue but didn’t leave a review.
If managing surveys is too challenging to take on internally, you can easily outsource them to sites that will compile answers and calculate a score for you. You can also distribute the surveys via phone, email or online link to reach as many consumers as possible.
3) Customer Focus Groups
Don’t overlook the power of a customer focus group. They can be very valuable tools, depending on what you address during the meeting. When you organize a focus group, make sure to:
- Select diverse participants: Depending on your desired group size, try to find one or several representatives from your company’s different targeted demographics. This will provide you with a broader range of experiences and suggestions. If you can, include individuals who previously complained, as well as new and established clients.
- Establish the right tone: At the beginning of the meeting, make the ground rules clear to your participants. Explain how the individuals are meant to conduct themselves throughout the session, establish any issues of confidentiality and encourage honesty. You want reliable data, whether positive or negative.
- Ask questions without leading: All questions should be open-ended and simple without providing a suggestion of an answer. For example, rather than ask if they think your company is the best in the industry, ask them how they see your services in comparison to others.
- Create a comfortable environment: By making sure each participant is comfortable, you’ll facilitate a more fruitful conversation. Give each person a name tag, give them a five-minute warning before beginning and start with an icebreaker activity to loosen up your group. Not only will they appreciate it, but you’ll likely get more honest results.
Once you schedule everything and are ready to conduct the session, listen carefully and respect the opinions of every participant. You may discover new issues to tackle or come across great suggestions straight from your consumer base.
Ensuring Positive Customer Interactions
When your customers have a pleasant interaction with one of your agents, they are more likely to trust your services again in the future. It’s up to your agents and managers to help make each caller’s experience as positive as possible. More genuine conversations lead to improved metrics and higher morale among your team.
Some of the best ways you can encourage and ensure positive interactions are:
- Providing a human touch: By building relationships with customers and treating each one as a contemporary, your agents will better facilitate authentic conversations. Customers will respond well to simple language, personalized recommendations and non-scripted communication. Asking for feedback and keeping track of birthdays or acknowledging important dates will also garner their favor and show your company cares about them.
- Avoiding agent mazes: When your employees can’t provide a customer with a solution, they will transfer them to a more qualified or knowledgeable agent. If a customer gets transferred multiple times, it can start to feel like an unending labyrinth. Using a directed routing system will ensure your customer speaks to the correct agent each time and help your satisfaction rate.
- Offering multiple support channels: If you want to please as many consumers as possible, make your service team available through various support channels. Your customers will appreciate having live-chat, phone, email, social media and other outlets through which to contact your company. Cross-channel efficiency is crucial to reaching a broader variety of demographics, as many people use several channels for customer service issues. Cloud-based call center software works exceptionally well for this purpose.
- Testing your system: For an accurate assessment of what your customers go through on each call, pose as a customer yourself. By calling your own service team with a technical or straightforward inquiry, you’ll gain firsthand knowledge of how quick, capable and polite your team is.
By using these tips, you can improve customer satisfaction in your call center and ensure each client has the best experience possible.
Trust EVS7 to Improve Your Agent and Customer Satisfaction
EVS7 has all the software you need to keep your agents and customers happy. Our cloud-based systems will help improve your inbound and outbound calling quickly and effectively. With all of our available features, you can monitor consumer satisfaction and provide smoother processes for your team.
Regardless of where your agents are, you can keep them all connected with our cloud technology — even your remote employees will benefit. By partnering with EVS7, you’ll have the ability to scale your call center, unlimited calling and increased productivity all for a reasonable cost. Your company will only pay for exactly what it needs.