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7 Best Practices to Optimize Contact Center Efficiency

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Manager speaking with contact center agents

Consumers have more options to reach customer service than ever before, but how does this impact your contact center’s efficiency? More channels can mean greater complexity, which in turn could translate into delayed response times, more abandoned calls and lower customer satisfaction.

While today’s customers have more ways to interact with your organization than ever before, businesses also have access to powerful tools that enable them to manage those interactions with impressive efficiency. That’s good news for supervisors who want to optimize their contact center and improve the customer experience.

If you want to make your agents more productive, make sure your contact center is following these seven best practices to optimize efficiency:     

1.  Deploy One Solution Across the Organization

Getting the right technology in place is critical. As businesses grow or acquire other companies, they often inherit one or more contact center solutions. This makes it challenging for agents to hand off callers to the right departments. Deploying a single solution across all locations eliminates such headaches and improves the first-call resolution rate.

2.  Automate Everything You Can

Today’s customers strongly prefer web and mobile self-service options, according to Forrester. That’s good news for contact centers. When customers can resolve simple issues on their own, agents have more time to resolve complex problems for other clients.

3.  Give Agents Access to Customer Details

The more information agents have at the start of the call, the more effective they’ll be at making customers happy. Detailed caller information can dramatically reduce interaction time, so businesses that integrate CRM data into their contact centers will improve agent productivity.

4.  Use Smart Routing Tools

Customer data can also be used to prioritize and match calls with appropriate agents. For example, repeat callers can be routed to representatives who have a demonstrated ability to work with difficult customers. Likewise, technical questions can be routed directly to agents with IT expertise. This strategy greatly improves first call resolution rates.

5.  Foster Collaboration

At some point, a caller’s question will stump an agent. Contact center managers can reduce call times by making it easy for their staffers to discreetly seek real-time advice from managers and subject matter experts. With collaboration tools such as instant messaging and presence, agents can find help fast, both inside and outside of the contact center.

6.  Offer On-the-Spot Coaching

Real-time feedback improves the effectiveness and productivity of new agents. Be sure that managers have the capability to listen in on calls and provide immediate advice via such features as silent monitoring and whisper coaching. Such side-by-side capabilities can make a measurable difference in key performance indicators.

7.  Monitor, Measure and Analyze

To make quick decisions about how to best allocate resources, supervisors should be able to read the call center’s pulse at all times. With detailed information about call volume, agent utilization, abandoned calls and other tracking measures, contact center managers can route traffic to keep operations running smoothly. During spikes, bottlenecks can be avoided by redirecting calls to other groups or adding remote agents.

By investing in both technology and talent, businesses can make significant improvements in productivity and efficiency. And by following these seven best practices, contact center managers will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction. The reason’s simple: When you optimize your resources in the call center, the customer benefits from faster service and more positive experiences.

Learn more about ShoreTel’s contact center solutions.

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