Contact centres have gone through major changes over the last 20 years, prevailing through all the technology changes, of which there have been many. With over 6,000 call and contact centres in the UK, employing over 1.25 million people, it’s important to know how they work and how to navigate them.
Attracting new staff and retaining them is a difficult challenge. Traditionally being an inflexible, office-based clock-watching culture, people have begun searching for different, hybrid lifestyles from their working lives. As mental health is being more heavily prioritised by both employers and employees, trying to adapt the way you work to suit your agents is key in staff retention. The sudden arrival of Covid-19 in 2020 forced a lot of companies to either adapt to the changing economy or sink in the plethora of issues that comes with converting office-based working to home-based. Technology had to evolve to assist with this, with Teams integration and Cloud Telephony leading the way.
Another issue that contact centres face is being able to manage customer queries easily and efficiently. There’s nothing more frustrating than being on hold for half an hour only to be told that your issue cannot easily be fixed or that the person you’re talking to doesn’t know how to help. Around 1 in 4 contact centre agents believe they’ve not had adequate training, which also ties into staff retention and turnover rates. If an employee is feeling overwhelmed and stressed at work due to poor training, they will be much more likely to look for a new job where they feel more confident and ultimately gain more enjoyment.
But knowing that you need to change your contact centre is one thing, finding the right supplier to drive that change can be tricky, especially with so many options out there. It can be easy to be swept up by big brands with every feature you never knew you needed, great deals and slick sales conversations; but what you really need is to take the time to find the supplier and solution that matches you as a company. Things like culture alignment, straight talking, flexibility of service and in-life experience are key to long-term success of any new system rollout.
Here are 5 easy questions to help figure out what your call centre agent wants and needs:
This question will reassure your agent that you’re listening to them and want to help them find the right work-life balance. If you respond positively to their answer you will increase their loyalty to you as their employer and make them more productive.
If they want to work outside the office and are productive to do so, then make it easy for them – this is a win-win outcome for both of you.
Having devices and systems that are difficult to use can be frustrating and demotivating; help your agents help you by providing them with the tools necessary to do their best work and be successful.
If your agents are giving out incorrect information or cannot find the correct information, not only will it make your employee’s job much more difficult, it will also result in a negative customer service experience. Make sure your agents know where to go to get the right information and your systems are all talking to each other in a coherent way.
Not everyone can be experts in everything, so it’s important that you make it easy for your agents to get to the experts quickly. Being able to contact colleagues effortlessly will give them more time to talk to customers and resolve issues.
Technology changes rapidly, so you need to make sure you contact management is bullet proof. Cloud-based contact centres help fix a lot of the issues that businesses are facing: easy collaboration, remote working, omnichannel, data integration, work life balance, productivity, retention – the list goes on. It might feel that sticking with what you’ve got is saving you money but it’s only costing you in the long run.
For more information on what contact centre solutions, we offer and how we can help you communicate better, get in touch.