The call center industry is a heavily saturated space. No matter what your call centers focus is, there are innumerable competitors both in the U.S. and abroad that are waiting for any opportunity to take your business.
To stay afloat, let alone grow, in such a competitive industry, your call center needs every advantage it can get.
Changing your call center infrastructure design can be a daunting task, but its virtually impossible to gain an advantage over the competition without making some alterations.
With this in mind, what call center infrastructure design changes do you need to make by the end of 2016?
Here are a few suggestions:
Create an Open Work Environment that Allows Phone Agents Freedom of Movement
The design of a call center workspace can have a significant impact on phone agent productivity and attrition. One study conducted by Herman Miller compared the performance of phone agents that were kept in cramped conditions versus those who were put into a more open work environments that encouraged collaboration.
According to the Herman Miller study:
the facility with pole-based workstations proved superior in two key measures of agent performanceAfter Call Work (the time it takes to complete wrap-up work after a call is completed) and First Call Resolution (the percentage of calls completed without being transferred to another resource). The pole-based system even came out ahead by delivering greater customer satisfaction with agent performance, fewer lost workdays, and lower workers compensation costs. (Herman Miller)
These results are supported by further evidence. According to studies cited by Impact Learning, just having a view of the outdoors increased productivity by 6-7%, resulting in savings of approximately $3000, per employee.
Another case study cited by Impact Learning showed the impact of redesigning the workspace on employee attrition. According to the case study, prior to the redesign, the call center had a (not untypical) turnover rate of 60%. And after the redesign? The turnover rate decreased to 17%.
Studies such as these highlight how the design of a call center workspace can impact productivity and turnover. This makes call center design a critical element to include in any plans for making changes in your call center.
Another key element of your call centers infrastructure is the technology you use to empower phone agent success.
2: Update Your Call Analytics Solution
For a long time now, call centers have used speech analytics to capture the text of a customer conversation, typically with the goal of checking phone agent compliance. With the text of a conversation recorded, its easy to tell if a phone agent is going off-script from what theyre supposed to say.
However, theres a lot more to customer interactions than what your phone agents say. Transcripts are useful for telling you what was said, but rarely give you any real context for the conversation.
What your phone agents say isnt always as important as how they say it, especially since they cant communicate body language over the phone. A phone agent could stick to the script 100% faithfully, and still be putting customers off with a rude tone of voice or apparent lack of empathy, things that the text transcript wont catch and that you might not hear in the one or two sample calls you have the time to listen to live.
Using predictive voice analytics software allows your call center to capture automated assessments of phone agent behavior and tone on customer calls. This empowers call center
QA staff to identify trends in phone agent performance in a single day rather than the weeks of study that traditional analysis requires.
Using this powerful call center tool enables better training regimens and results for your call center agents, making for more effective phone agents.
These are just two examples of changes that call centers need to make as they transition into the future. There are many more alterations that your call center could use to improve its infrastructure, and even more ways to use analytics solutions to improve performance with specific key metrics.