Improving Call Center Statistics, Quality, & Profitability
Running a successful call center means keeping your costs as low as possible while providing a great service to keep your customer retention as high as possible.
In the call center industry, profitability and healthy growth relies on running an efficient operation. Having the ability to offer competitive pricing to your call center customers requires accurately calculating both your fixed and variable costs and controlling them as best you can. Fixed costs such as the monthly lease of the call center facility and your phone system are long-term considerations that not only require a lot of research and planning, but are hard to change once you have made a decision. This is why controlling or even reducing variable costs is an easier short-term goal.
One of the most obvious variable costs of operating a call center is operator staffing because it is such a huge and apparent factor in calculating rates. If you were to calculate your rates based on the average number of calls an operator handles per day, and an increasing number of your operators fall below that average, you will invariably run into issues such as insufficient staffing, longer wait times, customer dissatisfaction, and declining margins. While you may initially feel that "the operators are just taking too long on their calls", the reasons are usually more complex than that. Identifying these causes and improving the statistics is of utmost importance, but should be handled carefully.
Take a number of sample recordings from a random selection of your staff at different times of the day and you will come up with a good representation of your call center as a whole. This data will prove to be more helpful than if you only took recordings of operators who are performing below the average. By analyzing and comparing calls from operators who are performing at or better than the average daily call volume with those who are under performing, you can begin to pinpoint areas that could use improvement. Under performing operators may be having trouble with courteously ending calls with customers who are talkative. Likewise, recordings of operators that appear to be performing the best "on paper" may raise concerns about professionalism and call quality.
After taking notes on operators you feel have "room for improvement", the best course of action may be to calmly discuss your concerns with them on an individualized basis. Motivating and helping your operators to improve in areas they are lacking is going to yield better results than threatening or reprimanding them. Although you may need to take a stronger stance with operators who are actually careless and apathetic about how well they perform, the majority of your operators who work hard and take their jobs seriously deserve your guidance and support.