How can you better promote accountability in your contact center?

 

When you take ownership and accountability for your actions, you're much more likely to produce higher quality service.

For managers, inspiring this level of accountability within your contact center is a key step on the path to success. Employees that feel a level of ownership over meeting company goals or achieving critical objectives are more invested and engaged in their work.

It's no surprise, then, that over 90 percent of leaders rank improving the ability to hold others accountable in an effective way as one of the top development needs of their organization, according to a report by Partners in Leadership. Despite this desire, 82 percent of respondents readily admit that they have limited to no ability to actually hold their reports accountable.

So how can you better promote accountability in your contact center?

You can't expect your agents to be accountable if they don't know what you need them to be accountable for.

1. Set clear expectations

You can't expect your agents to be accountable if they don't know what you need them to be accountable for. Taking ownership of tasks starts with setting clear expectations. Let each of your employees know what your desired outcomes are, what metrics they need to work within to reach these goals, as well as the consequences of not achieving them. Setting these expectations ensures you and your team are on the same page about what is required.

2. Give clear feedback

Honest and ongoing feedback is critical to accountability. Your agents need to know if they are meeting expectations and if they're not, feedback sessions are the perfect opportunity to realign their paths. With clear measurements and pre-determined goals, these conversations can be fact-based and simple. These meetings are also a great opportunity for your employees to give you feedback on processes to help keep you accountable as well.

3. Build clear consequences

If you have made an effort at all of the above steps, there is no reason your agents shouldn't be holding themselves accountable. At this point, you have three options: repeat, release or reward. If they are meeting outcomes and hitting metrics, reward them for their successes. If you think you haven't explained yourself well, repeat the above process. If they're continuously missing goals, it is most likely time to release them from the role. Make it clear that these are the consequences of a lack of ownership for their roles - as this failure ultimately affects the quality of your organization's services.

Interested in learning more? 

Accountability is just one aspect of a larger theme: Quality Management. When you control the quality of the service you're delivering to your customers, you can optimize the productivity of your agents, increase customer satisfaction rates, and maximize your bottom line.

Call Design offers a two-day course that covers the essentials of quality management, including taking ownership for goals and tasks. To learn more about how you can get started, download our Quality Management Essentials brochure or reach out to the Call Design team today!


What are the 2 golden rules of customer experience?

 

Did you know that customers are willing to pay more for a good customer experience? And that exceptional service is a better indicator of customer retention than product pricing? Just take a look at a few of the numbers from the Aspect Customer Experience Index:

  • 54 percent of consumers stopped doing business with companies because of poor customer service.
  • 68 percent of consumers and 78 percent of millennials did more business in 2017 with companies because of good customer experiences.
  • 52 percent of those consumers said they'd pay more for good customer service.

Organizations need to have a strong grasp on the fundamentals of a positive customer experience. It is critical to incorporate this understanding into contact center agent training so that you can ensure high quality customer service every time.

So what are the two most fundamental things customers want from their experiences with your contact center?

Did you know that customers are willing to pay more for a good customer experience?

1. Consistent, seamless experiences

Contact centers need to provide customers with omnichannel options that offer the same quality of service across the board. According to Salesforce's State of the Connected Customer report, three-quarters of consumers demand consistent experiences across platforms.

What's more? Over 70 per cent of respondents said they would switch brands if a business doesn't offer multichannel, seamless experiences. And more than 60 per cent of Australian consumers say they won't go back to a company once they've left, according to research from Accenture.

You need to provide your customer base with options for contacting your team and ensure they are receiving consistent care across the board. If you don't, you risk losing their business permanently.

2. Authentic interactions

Sure, digital mediums have taken the world by storm, but that doesn't mean they've replaced the value of a human touch. Customers expect to be treated like a person, not a number.

Salesforce found that 70 percent of customers claim a business' understanding of their personal needs directly influences their brand loyalty. In fact, over 65 percent of consumers stated they were very likely to switch over to a competitor if they felt a business wasn't treating them like an individual.

It's important for your agents to remember this. Every person in the queue deserves an equal level of personalized attention and care. These authentic interactions are the difference between a loyal customer and lost business.

Keen to learn more? Reach out to us today!

Monitoring your team's approach to customer experience is a critical aspect of quality management. When you can accomplish a consistently high quality experience for consumers, success is inevitable.

If you're interested in more information on how to manage quality across your department, Call Design has the course for you. Our Quality Management Essentials training course gives you the tools you need to set goals for your agents, align your service approaches and assess core metrics.

Contact the Call Design team for more information.


3 important goals for a new contact centre supervisor

 

Congratulations on becoming a new supervisor! This is a great leadership position to be in, but it comes with its own set of challenges.

If this is your first time leading a contact center team, you're going to need to set some goals in order to begin. The following should be three of your priorities, which will establish your relationships with staff, implement an effective coaching program and confront the issues agents face.

Goal 1: Establish a relationship with your agents

Agents don't always feel confident speaking with their new call centre supervisor, which makes forming relationships step one.Friendly relationships can close some of the gaps between manager and agent.

Forming relationships with your agents can build trust and help them feel comfortable communicating with you. Additionally, Deloitte's senior call center manager Sarah Stealey Reed recommends introducing yourself when you first start so agents know who you are and what you stand for. You should also listen to co-workers in order to find out more about the issues they face.

  • Key takeaway: Introduce yourself to everyone when you start, sit down for one-on-one chats to learn more about them, and shadow their customer interactions every now and then to better understand their abilities.

Goal 2: Establish a culture of coaching

Another good tip for new call center supervisors is to implement a performance management initiative with a focus on coaching. A panel organized by Call Center Helper said that coaching sessions can help staff achieve their full potential. You won't be alone: major companies across the world are turning to coaching as a means to improve staff performance - including Adobe Systems, Microsoft and GE, according to McKinsey research.

  • Key takeaway: Take time to think about your agents' development and how you can coach them into improving their skills. If you aren't sure about performance management, talk to a company that offers performance management training, like Call Design.

Goal 3: Challenge existing business practices

It's important to challenge the norm in your company and use your new influence to help make agents' lives easier - especially now that you know more about them. However, the Call Center Helper panel advises supervisors remind themselves that they don't know all the answers. Reed also agrees with this: Talk to agents, learn why things work and don't work, and use their detailed knowledge of processes along with your own expertise to find a fix that works for everyone.

  • Key takeaway: Don't try to make a system work that you already know doesn't. Use your newfound relationships with staff to find out the root cause of their issues and combine it with your own experience to implement a logical, effective solution.

If your discussions with staff lead you to believe you need a better workforce optimisation platform, or a training course to upskill before you tackle performance management on your own, talk to the experts at Call Design today.


3 important goals for a new contact center supervisor

 

Congratulations on becoming a new supervisor! This is a great leadership position to be in, but it comes with its own set of challenges.

If this is your first time leading a contact center team, you're going to need to set some goals in order to begin. The following should be three of your priorities, which will establish your relationships with staff, implement an effective coaching program and confront the issues agents face.

Goal 1: Establish a relationship with your agents

Agents don't always feel confident speaking with their new call centre supervisor, which makes forming relationships step one.Friendly relationships can close some of the gaps between manager and agent.

Forming relationships with your agents can build trust and help them feel comfortable communicating with you. Additionally, Deloitte's senior call center manager Sarah Stealey Reed recommends introducing yourself when you first start so agents know who you are and what you stand for. You should also listen to co-workers in order to find out more about the issues they face.

  • Key takeaway: Introduce yourself to everyone when you start, sit down for one-on-one chats to learn more about them, and shadow their customer interactions every now and then to better understand their abilities.

Goal 2: Establish a culture of coaching

Another good tip for new call center supervisors is to implement a performance management initiative with a focus on coaching. A panel organized by Call Center Helper said that coaching sessions can help staff achieve their full potential. You won't be alone: major companies across the world are turning to coaching as a means to improve staff performance - including Adobe Systems, Microsoft and GE, according to McKinsey research.

  • Key takeaway: Take time to think about your agents' development and how you can coach them into improving their skills. If you aren't sure about performance management, talk to a company that offers performance management training, like Call Design.

Goal 3: Challenge existing business practices

It's important to challenge the norm in your company and use your new influence to help make agents' lives easier - especially now that you know more about them. However, the Call Center Helper panel advises supervisors remind themselves that they don't know all the answers. Reed also agrees with this: Talk to agents, learn why things work and don't work, and use their detailed knowledge of processes along with your own expertise to find a fix that works for everyone.

  • Key takeaway: Don't try to make a system work that you already know doesn't. Use your newfound relationships with staff to find out the root cause of their issues and combine it with your own experience to implement a logical, effective solution.

If your discussions with staff lead you to believe you need a better workforce optimisation platform, or a training course to upskill before you tackle performance management on your own, talk to the experts at Call Design today.


How to manage millennial contact centre agents' performance

 

By 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But do you have a strategy in place for their unique performance needs?

You can't ignore millennial contact center agents, nor can you treat them differently based on whatever stereotypes you may have heard. In this article, we offer three techniques on how to properly motivate and manage millennials in the contact center environment.

Technique 1: Use the best technology you can

Millennials consider "technology use" the defining characteristic of their generation, according to a Nielsen study. Having grown up in the years of major technological advancement, your younger staff members will have not only an affinity for better systems, but a preference for them.

  • Key takeaway: If you're managing a large number of millennial staff, consider updating your systems to better optimize their contact center lives. Try linking their daily workforce management platform with a mobile app like Call Design's ME Mobile so they can check in on the go, on whatever device suits them.

Technique 2: Invest time in personalized coaching and development

Millennials want to be upskilled - to develop their careers, advance in the ranks and earn a better wage. A report on millennials by PwC found that "opportunities for career progression" was the top-most attractive trait of a potential employer, followed by competitive pay and training/development programs.

  • Key takeaway: Performance management can be a highly effective tool for motivating and managing millennial employees. Set your Gen Y agents clear goals and offer them coaching to help reach these, then evaluate their performance so they can upskill, achieve promotions and earn more money.

Technique 3: Offer two-way, clear communication

Numerous call center leaders agree that millennials prefer it when communication channels are open, encouraged, and work both ways. Backing this up, Deloitte's 2017 millennial survey also found that senior millennials rank "communication" as a more important skill than analytics, sales, business knowledge and even academic skills.

  • Key takeaway: You need to talk to your Gen Y agents. If you think other managers aren't effective at this, run communications training programs, and release communication policies that help staff young and old understand when and how they can talk to each other. Note, though, that PwC also found millennials prefer electronic comms over face-to-face, so ensure your new policy allows for a variety of mediums.

With these three techniques, you'll make great strides to better engaging your millennial staff. If you'd like assistance with improving your contact center's technology or implementing performance management plans, Call Design can help. Get in touch with us today to talk to one of our expert consultants.


How to manage millennial contact center agents' performance

 

By 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But do you have a strategy in place for their unique performance needs?

You can't ignore millennial contact center agents, nor can you treat them differently based on whatever stereotypes you may have heard. In this article, we offer three techniques on how to properly motivate and manage millennials in the contact center environment.

Technique 1: Use the best technology you can

Millennials consider "technology use" the defining characteristic of their generation, according to a Nielsen study. Having grown up in the years of major technological advancement, your younger staff members will have not only an affinity for better systems, but a preference for them.

  • Key takeaway: If you're managing a large number of millennial staff, consider updating your systems to better optimize their contact center lives. Try linking their daily workforce management platform with a mobile app like Call Design's ME Mobile so they can check in on the go, on whatever device suits them.

Technique 2: Invest time in personalized coaching and development

Millennials want to be upskilled - to develop their careers, advance in the ranks and earn a better wage. A report on millennials by PwC found that "opportunities for career progression" was the top-most attractive trait of a potential employer, followed by competitive pay and training/development programs.

  • Key takeaway: Performance management can be a highly effective tool for motivating and managing millennial employees. Set your Gen Y agents clear goals and offer them coaching to help reach these, then evaluate their performance so they can upskill, achieve promotions and earn more money.

Technique 3: Offer two-way, clear communication

Numerous call center leaders agree that millennials prefer it when communication channels are open, encouraged, and work both ways. Backing this up, Deloitte's 2017 millennial survey also found that senior millennials rank "communication" as a more important skill than analytics, sales, business knowledge and even academic skills.

  • Key takeaway: You need to talk to your Gen Y agents. If you think other managers aren't effective at this, run communications training programs, and release communication policies that help staff young and old understand when and how they can talk to each other. Note, though, that PwC also found millennials prefer electronic comms over face-to-face, so ensure your new policy allows for a variety of mediums.

With these three techniques, you'll make great strides to better engaging your millennial staff. If you'd like assistance with improving your contact center's technology or implementing performance management plans, Call Design can help. Get in touch with us today to talk to one of our expert consultants.