When it comes to business operations, efficiency is pivotal to success. The good news is that the right (even minor) tweaks at each layer of the business can bubble up and make a big difference – in your profit margins, growth and more. The same is true for improving call center agent efficiency; make positive adjustments in this area and you’ll improve business operations as a whole. Here are some more call center tips to increase efficiency.
Focus on KPIs.
Luckily for managers, call center agent efficiency is fairly easy to quantify. If you haven’t already, identify the KPIs that matter most to your business. Then, capture your baseline metrics to serve as a benchmark from which you gauge progress. Common KPIs that give you insight into efficiency include at a minimum Average Handling Time, First Call Resolution, Call Abandonment, Longest Call Hold, and Agent Utilization.
If you find, for example, that your Average Handling Time is increasing, but so are your First Call Resolution numbers, this can be an indication your agents are becoming more efficient. Even if the initial calls take longer, you’re still saving money and time in the end if the issues are resolved in that first call.
Furthermore, even though it may not overtly speak to agent efficiency, Customer Satisfaction is crucial to measure as well. We help clients implement, and manage, Net Promoter Score (NPS) and CSAT programs. By gathering customer feedback, you can get firsthand perspectives about agent efficiency, strengths, and weaknesses so you can make changes as needed.
Train for autonomy.
The more autonomous a contact center agent is, the more efficient they are. If you train and empower your employees to make decisions and resolve customer problems on their own, you save time and money. On the flip side, as soon as an agent needs to loop in a supervisor, or track down information before responding to a customer, you start losing time and money. So whenever possible, equip your team members with information and resources so they can be primarily self-sufficient.
Optimize agent time.
The most efficient agents are also the healthiest. When agents become overly stressed, sick or exhausted, they are less productive and prone to mistakes. As a manager, it’s up to you to intentionally structure breaks into your employees’ schedules. Make sure they have downtime, as well as time to eat and use the restroom. You’ll gain far more in efficiency and productivity by first addressing agents’ health and human needs.
As you work on improving business operations, proactively focusing on call center agent efficiency is a great first step. Contact us to find out more about how to train and utilize our call center agents, or to learn more about how we can provide our trained agents to serve you and your business.