Coach Agents

How to Coach Your Contact Center Agents

Contact Center Agents

If you want to facilitate an environment for your contact center agents to succeed, you need to start coaching. Coaching is a great way to encourage, enable, and empower your agents to not only want to be better at their jobs but perform better. Coaching is also a great opportunity for your agents to learn new skills, get feedback on the work they are doing, and resolve the problems they might be having with calls.

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Gamification

How Contact Centers Can Leverage Gamificaton

Leverage Gamificaton

Contact centers are always looking for new ways to ensure employee engagement and productivity, especially now that many agents work, at least some of the time, from home. For remote agents especially, it can be more difficult to plug into the culture of the office and stay engaged with the brand without the face to face interaction they would usually have in the contact center. This is where gamification can help. Contact centers can introduce gaming elements to motivate and engage staff while helping upskill and cross skill staff. It is an invaluable approach to increasing productivity for your workforce, whether they are working from home or in a contact center.Read more


Call-Design

4 Ways to Reduce Agent Turnover in Your Contact Center

Reduce Agent Turnover

One of the most significant challenges that contact centers face is an incredibly high rate of agent turnover, creating a cyclical problem where the Learning and Development team is continuously training new agents for them only to stay with the company for a couple of months. This can be expensive. In this blog, we have four strategies for contact centers that are hoping to retain their agents and reduce turnover.

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Call-Design

Transitioning Back to the Contact Center

With the threat of COVID-19 still lingering, everyone needs to understand exactly what it means to come back to the office. Contact centers are at an especially high-risk for transmission due to the number of people on each shift and the sharing of equipment between team members throughout the day. There need to be strict safety guidelines in place for businesses that are bringing their workforce back into the office. In this blog, we go into detail on what bringing your staff back to the contact center should look like.

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Increased Handling Times

The Impact of Increased Handle Times

Increased Handle Times

Written by Michel Niere

In our third instalment in the WFM and New Normal series, we talk about the impacts of increased handle times. As a lot of contact centers have quickly had to adopt work from home strategies to maintain business as usual status, there have been some things to be wary of, and increased Average Handle Time (AHT) is one of them. Some of the causes of increased AHT might be due to:

  1. Technical issues like the internet not being fast enough, therefore taking longer to load information and as a result increasing talk or hold times
  2. If a secondary team is involved and the agent can’t get a hold of anyone and has to place the customer on hold for extended periods
  3. New staff coming on board and taking longer to find and resolve the issue

(These incidents can, of course, occur even when staff aren’t working from home, and there is no pandemic).

Average Handle Time

Let’s focus on Average Handle Time. Average Handle Time is the sum of talk time, time on hold, and wrap-up time divided by the total number of calls. Targets are often set for individuals to maximize performance, keep hold and wrap times low, or manage talk times but still provide excellent customer service. A business can implement a learning curve or glide path to help the employee meet personal goals and for the group to meet capacity targets. Any change to call flow or products and services offered can lead to a change in handle time duration.

How WFM Can Help

From a WFM perspective about forecasting, changes in AHT can be either permanent or temporary. With guidance from the business and an understanding of the external factors influencing the changes, a WFM practitioner would adjust their forecast as necessary. For example, if the causes of the change are permanent, this could lead to revisions in capacity plans or budget forecasts, quarterly forecasts and even intraday level forecasts. However, if the change is temporary, then perhaps a quick forecast for the next three days or week would suffice. As much as we want to be proactive in forecasting if you can’t change schedules in a short period, forecasting at short notice may not be beneficial. 

If however, you believe it is the “new norm” then it is essential to make the changes to ensure more accurate forecasting and planning.


Call-Design

Effective Strategies for Managing a Contact Center

Managing a Contact Center

Contact centers are the frontline of your customer service operation, which means that your contact center must be operating at optimum capacity at all times. The management of your contact center is an essential element to operating successfully and providing your customers with the very best customer service. The success of your contact center relies on the strength of your agents and management teams. Without the right management, even the best contact centers will suffer. Below, we have 4 effective strategies for managing a contact center.

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Call-Design

Making Your Contact Center Work Better

Contact Center

Contact center changes are never an easy venture, but it's crucial to embrace an opportunity for change. While the world is slowly returning to normal after a global pandemic, now is the time to identify how your contact center can be improved. For some organizations, there may be an influx of calls from customers asking about your services. Your team will need to be ready, so it's essential to streamline your operations to address the needs of your customers and provide the touchpoints that they are looking for in order for them to interact more effectively with you.

Providing a great customer experience

A multi-faceted and customizable customer support solution is vital during a crisis to provide a great customer experience. Customers often struggle to reach businesses at a time when they need them most. During the recent pandemic, some contact centers faced increasingly high volumes of calls, which caused longer hold times, reduced callback numbers and increased frustration for their customers. It’s important to learn from this and to make the necessary changes to provide better support in the future. With the right tools and processes in place, your contact center will be able to field the calls that are coming in better and continue to provide a great customer experience regardless of whether your staff are working from home or in the office.

How automation helps

Automation includes Interactive Voice Response, Chat Bots, and self-help applications (web browser or smartphone app-based). However, all automation needs integration to source systems to make it truly useful in providing benefit to a customer. With an IVR, customers can access business functions you choose to make available to them in order to take calls away from agents, and only send those calls to an agent when a customer needs more assistance than they can get from the IVR. Careful crafting of your customized menus and transactions gives your customers a choice to make their own decisions. Additionally, when needed, it can route your customers to specialized agents that can be ready to answer their questions without hesitation, based on the interaction that the customer has had within the IVR.

Proactive outreach for positive touchpoints

Depending on your industry, this crisis might be an excellent opportunity for your agents to proactively reach out to your customers to ensure them that your team is still available and standing by to assist them with whatever they need. Whether this is through an outbound dialer, email campaign, social media, or even a widespread text message, it's essential to establish that your company is still in operation and that your customer's needs come first.

Identify all touchpoints

Touchpoints are all the places online that your customers can interact with your brand. These touchpoints could range anywhere from adding a product to their online shopping cart, engaging with a post on one of your social media channels, opening an email, or interacting with the customer service chatbot on your website. Once you identify these touchpoints, you'll get some immediate insight into what the customer experience is. Are there too many? Maybe your company website is too complicated, requiring too many steps to get to a purchase or a download. If, on the other hand, you find that there are fewer touchpoints than you realized, it's time to create some new touchpoints on your website. It's all about balance and making sure that the right pieces are in the right place.

Improve your Workforce Planning capabilities

Making sure you have the right staff, in the right place, with the right skills, at the right time is an essential part of optimizing the customer experience.  Unfortunately, it is something that is often not done well. Investing in the success of your workforce planning team is critical to achieving success.  When looking at ways to improve your contact center, review both your Workforce Planning software functionality and the team’s skills in both best practice WFM and using the tool.

How Call Design Can Help

Call Design is the ideal solutions partner for elevating the operations and processes of your contact center. Our consulting and technology solutions empower your staff to improve the customer experience, giving your company the competitive edge you need. By improving your operations and giving your customers options, you are improving their experience with your brand. Contact Call Design today to learn how we can help you.


Contact Centre

3 Ways to Drive Agent Engagement in a Contact Center

If you know anything about contact centers, then you know that it can be hit or miss when it comes to how interested (or engaged) an agent is with their caller, or their job for that matter.

Just a little nudge in the right direction, and your contact center could be humming, but if you are like many contact centers, that ‘nudge’ needs refining, and there’s a new way in which you can do it. What contact center managers have realized is that their investment in training and development, along with employee satisfaction and engagement, is the best investment they could ever make.

According to an Aon Hewitt study, a mere 5% increase in employee engagement can drive an increase in revenue by 3% by the following year. On the back of this ‘new’ digital age brings to the forefront major advancements in technology particularly in artificial intelligence, robotics and of course, gamification (our personal favorite).

Employees that work in contact centers may at times feel not qualified enough to perform their required tasks to the best of their capabilities and hence feel slightly unmotivated and unambitious. Engagement among contact center agents is important to ensure employee satisfaction is attained.

In come companies like Call Design’s partner Datagamz who aim to optimize and radically improve the engagement and capability of contact centers by improving communication inside and outside the organization. They focus on gamification as well as analytics to provide insights, and throw a few games into the mix – which ultimately get’s everyone a little excited (and productive).

Here are 3 of the best ways gamification is used to drive agent engagement in contact centers.

  1. Gamification
    The concept of incorporating games into work has proved successful when the game is designed to improve productivity. Gamification taps into employees’ psychological needs for challenges, rewards, feedback and fun. Through Datagamz technology, the focus is on earning points, levelling up in games, having leaderboards and game targets that encourage employees to do better and ultimately be more competitive. It prides itself as a stakeholder in the incorporation of bringing fun into work – where an employee finishes a work-task and simultaneously levels up in a game. Constructive feedback will also be shared in the game, which is beneficial to all employees.
  2. Manage Employees using Game Console
    Frankly, nobody likes being micro-managed. With Datagamz’s solution, employers are able to keep track of areas they want to target to determine employees’ individual performance. Employees have the choice to either compete against or team up with their colleagues while completing tasks. Having a point system and rewarding employees for compliance encourages repeated positive behaviors.
  3. Recognition and Rewards
    Last but certainly not least is recognizing and rewarding employees’ performance. Announcing and displaying top scorers is one way to increase engagement and encourage others to follow in this direction or use Datagamz to reward high achieving employees with the freedom to play music of their choice upon accomplishing a milestone. Employees with exceptional knowledge and skills can easily be identified to help benchmark where everyone is at. Utilizing Gamification technology provides insights on employees’ motivations and engagement patterns. Recognizing their strengths and rewarding their good behavior will urge employees to keep up the hard work, hence increasing satisfaction as well as engagement overall. What more could you ask for?

https://datagamz.com/gamification/

https://insights.humancapital.aon.com/

https://www.calldesignNA.com


call Contact Centre

Play Your Way to a Higher Performing Contact Center

The biggest threat to the productivity of a contact center is a disengaged employee. If your team is disengaged with their work, the performance of your contact center will suffer dramatically. But what if you were able to make a game out of your employee’s performance? Making a game out of the mundane tasks that come with a contact center will not only increase the likelihood that these tasks will be finished, but it will also improve the quality of the work done on the task. If this approach can strengthen the integrity of the work for the smaller tasks, just think of what it can do for some of the bigger, more complex tasks that your agents face every day. Gamification is the answer to your employee engagement problems.

How gamification can help

Gamification is the implementation and application of gaming elements to encourage engagement with a product or service. We can utilize gamification to improve employee engagement to increase the performance of your contact center. These games are able to translate behaviors that improve productivity into badges, quests and challenges for all the players involved. Whether you are training your employees on a new product or trying to encourage the completion of mundane tasks, gamification will change the way your team works.

Driving performance with friendly competition

The success of your team may very hinge on the environment of their workplace. Automation is taking up more and more of the routine tasks of a contact center, so your agents are tasked with the bigger, more complex customer questions. Gamification can help facilitate an environment that engages your employees in competition to increase their productivity and on-the-job knowledge. Whether they are competing for the top spots on a leader board or levelling up in training activities, gamification can make your team members better employees through challenges that reward and empower them on a personal level.

Celebrate your success together

With gamification software, you have the opportunity to reward the employees who are doing well and celebrate their success publicly. You can utilize the screens in your contact center to live stream player progress, leader boards and achievements for everyone to see. Public displays of success are a great way to motivate disengaged or newer employees to join in on the fun, while also celebrating the good work of your engaged employees. When you can celebrate the success of the whole team at once, everyone wins!

If you are interested in implementing gamification solutions in your contact center, get in touch with someone from our team today.


books

Why and how to adopt a culture of knowledge sharing

What are your business's key resources? We’re willing to bet that your most precious one is in-house knowledge.

It’s simple really, all your employees need to be experts in their fields, be that engineering, sales or accounting, plus they need to know everything about your business and its products or services. The success of your company literally depends on keeping this knowledge in-house.

One way to facilitate this is to look into your knowledge sharing strategies. So what exactly is knowledge sharing, why do you need it and how can it be implemented?

What is knowledge sharing in a business?

Knowledge sharing can be defined as a designed process where employees exchange both their implicit and explicit knowledge in order to create mutual understanding, resulting in new understanding. This can sound a bit complicated but basically it’s any process that allows employees to share their expertise efficiently with each other in order to generate new ideas and retain important skill sets within a company.

True knowledge sharing consists of:

  • Knowledge donation – i.e. communicating an individual’s intellectual capital to others.
  • Knowledge collection – i.e receiving and computing another person’s intellectual capital.

knowledge sharing in a business

Knowledge sharing is important for organizations. Knowledge sharing requires both donation and collection of information.

Businesses with an effective knowledge sharing structure often support these processes with carefully selected technology. This means that information can be accurately stored and distributed digitally to other employees in the case of someone leaving the company. It can also make processes like training and onboarding more time efficient, as employees can work through information at their own speed rather than attending classes.

Why should you adopt knowledge sharing?

As the old adage goes, knowledge is power. Without exception, groups are better at achieving goals when everyone involved has all the skills and knowledge required to do so. This means giving them key information about the process, teaching them the required skill set, and communicating effectively within the group so that everyone can perform a useful function.

Here are some further reasons why knowledge sharing is important:

Eases growing pains: Growing a company is always a difficult process, particularly when it comes to deciding who needs to know what. Who will train new staff and what are the clear chains of command? Having a clear knowledge sharing process can help to alleviate these problems at the source. Creating solid infrastructure that guides the onboarding process and ensures that everyone is getting the right information when they need it most.
Prevents knowledge hoarding: Knowledge hoarding is damaging for businesses. It means that when employees leave your company they take all of their expertise with them, leaving their team flailing. This is particularly important for organizations where specific client knowledge is essential for the working relationship. Knowledge sharing means that this expertise can be retained and built upon rather than dependent on certain individuals.
Retains your top talent: Providing people with all the information they need to succeed lets your best and brightest shine and prevents dissatisfaction from chronic communication problems. After all, no one likes being left in the dark, particularly when it makes their jobs ten times harder.

3 ways to create a knowledge sharing culture

Knowledge sharing can be a tricky culture to implement, largely because so much depends on how your specific company currently works. However there are some necessary basics that you can put in place.

1. Consider all the ways that knowledge is shared and encourage these activities

Ideas are exchanged in all sorts of ways depending on the situation and the characters involved. All the varied forms of knowledge sharing should be encouraged to ensure that you are getting the most from everybody. For example:

Face to face meetings and collaboration: Sometimes the best way to get to the core of a situation is to get some one-on-one time and bounce ideas around. It’s also a fantastic way to get the more shy older members of your team to contribute valuable insights. Setting regular time aside to communicate in this setup is often an important grounding for your knowledge sharing plan.
Offsite events or meetings: From company social outings to training events and conferences, changing up the scene is a great way to set collaboration in motion.
Presentations: Presenting ideas to a certain team or even the company at large means that everyone can keep up to date with developments and also take the opportunity to learn about things outside their roles.
Team sharing times: Whether its an hour every week to go through client updates or a quarterly break down, scheduling a regular opportunity to update everyone on progress keeps the team in the loop.
Outings are a good way to share knowledge. Knowledge can be communicated in a variety of settings.

2. Redesign your office to include more sharing space

Don’t underestimate the impact the physical space has on collaboration. There is nothing like planning a meeting only to find there are no rooms available. Building an office environment that encourages and enables easy collaboration makes knowledge sharing much more possible.

There are two effective ways to do this. One is to provide enough meeting rooms so that those who prefer private and quiet communication have space to carry this out. Secondly setting up common spaces so that employees can sit and work together. This allows casual get togethers and collaborative work to take place with ease.

knowledge sharing

3. Consider a knowledge sharing platform

A lot of knowledge sharing can be supported by new technology and associated platforms. This takes away many of the manual processes involved with storing information and giving staff access to relevant files and folders. Researching and finding a knowledge sharing software solution could help your company to more efficiently manage information and remove the heavy lifting aspects of processes.

If you’re interested in finding out more about knowledge sharing and streamlining your workforce solutions, get in contact with the experts at Call Design today.