Archive for March, 2010

The Right Call Center Agent : Hunt Is On

call center agent searchCall centers are in full gear to provide superior services and customer satisfaction. In order to achieve these goals, they have shifted their focus on their most important asset  agents. Also, they are trying to reduce the attrition rates by deploying and practicing employee friendly practices within the premises.

Call center outsourcing needs agents who could remain calm and confident even under pressure and possess good communication skills. Here are some tips on how you can explore your most precious treasure for your call center:

1) Interviewing: Test your candidates on the base of their key potential and competencies. Make interview interactive and let the candidate speak. You will be able to judge his communication skills, confidence and calmness level as well. Ask them about issues, challenges and goals they have handled.

2) Recruit Big: Never hire or go for one agent. Try to hire them in small groups. This way it will be easy to manage and train them. Five is an ideal number in this case.

3) Honest still rules: Communicate clearly with candidates. Be transparent about the objectives of the company, working environment they will be working in and pressure they will be dealing with. This will help them to decide about the job offer which will eventually reduce the attrition rate in your call center because they won’t abscond in half way then.

4) Invest in the induction stage: Try to open up with agents at the induction time itself. Let them feel comfortable about your organization and be in sync with its working culture.

5) Add external recruitment consultants: Make your external recruitment company, your long term solution provider because in that case, they will be in a position to understand your business better.

6) Budget: In a minimal budget, you can coordinate with local press to drive your PR campaign or job classified.

7) Multi-Channel Approach: Try social networking and social marketing sites to post your job requirement.

An applicant agent should also understands that call center services are about providing excellent customer support and boost the services of client whereas a management should also understand that there is no such fixed criterion to find a good agent. Atmosphere of call center should be work compliant to hold their agents.


Call Center : Improve the Perfomance to Get Maximum

Innovative software, industry expertise and proven business practices are deployed by every call center but only some of these are able to kick it up a notch while some others become a dampened squib.  Despite of every mandatory infrastructure, performance levels of the success and results of call centers differ hugely. To remain viable and stand apart in this outsourcing call center industry, it is necessary to evaluate the performance and maintain the qualitative yardsticks across the processes.

These performance metrics can give you wonderful insights and knowledge into the realms of customer service and experience.

1)      First Call Resolution(FCR)
A recent research has established the value of FCR all over again.  Even one percent of improvement can bounce the efficacy of services of call centers.  Also, you can enjoy several benefits such as reduced operational costs, lower revenue risks, higher employee and customer satisfaction.

2)      Service Level and Response Time
Classics never die. Same is true for service level and response time metrics. In today’s modern time these older techniques are still effective as new. With these, you can know your reach and accessibility to the customers or the actual volume of received and answered calls.

3)      Schedule Adherence
The management of log in time and taking calls of an agent during his shift can be a critical tool to gauge the quality of the services being provided in your contact centers. Agents cannot control the volume and influx of calls but management can regulates the time being spent on line and wasted. With this you can come to know the actual productivity per agent by taking an account of the numbers of calls one takes.

4)      Forecasting Accuracy
This performance metrics is decided on a comparison between the number of calls received and forecasted by an inbound call center within a definite period of time. This helps to determine a BPO to evaluate the number of staffers employed in terms of understaffing or overstaffing.

5)      Accessibility and Self Service
This helps you to determine how actually helpful is IVR and other interactive web applications are in comparison with Live agents? Are customers really approaching them or their deployed off load services are putting them off?

6)      Contact Quality
How your agents are receiving your customers? Are they using proper pleasantries or just skipping it off and being rude. Are they polite or fake?  Through proper monitoring or live.

Call Centers : How to Motivate Work Atmosphere?

Call Center industry has been on an exponential growth rate and expanding from mere offering customers oriented support to much more comprehensive strategic restructuring service providers. From wide array of services, quality technology, infrastructure; call center outsourcing has evolved in a larger than life way but the only thing which has remained in- situ is their backbone that is their customer representatives. Call center deploys highly qualified and skilled manpower to ensure seamless operations. Strict schedules, rigorous disciplines and pressurized atmosphere lead to the attrition of agents. Keep them motivated and dedicated long enough is what call centers struggle about most.

To keep your workforce on the wheels and motivated try these sure shots success formulas:

1) Give them their due recognition for their work. This will help them to improve their work and develop a healthy competition. A pat on back or just two words ‘Well done’ can make them loyal worker. A face to face approach or personal ‘Thank You’ has magical aura around it.

2) A candid atmosphere and freewheeling no holds barred conversation between supervisors and agents can vent up work frustrations and negative feelings. Timely sports camps can also be good getaways for your agents.

3) Call centers offer great compensations and salary to the employees. To prevent the job hopping tendency, your invested money and efforts, you should develop a framework of consistent quality approach. Cultivate their skills and give them opportunities to grow professionally.

4) Improve and fill the gaping holes the communication between management and agents. Try to implement a communication draft where problems, issues and tiffs should be addressed and solutions encouraged. Make team meetings regular and fun things.

5) A supervisor should know the positive and negative traits of his team. He should try to bring the strengths more strongly. They should be part of annual management surveys and goals.

6) The last but the most important part is to deal with your always unmotivated staff members who can ruin the overall efforts you have done. Try to talk to them and figure out the key problems. Force them to make a decision about a project. This can help them to realize the responsibility a work place holds.

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March 2010
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