How to Coach Your Contact Centre Agents

If you want to facilitate an environment for your contact centre 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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Optimising a Remote Workforce

Many employees in multiple industries are equipped with the right tools to work from home without hesitation. While it’s an easy shift for those companies, not everyone has the same luxury. Contact centres are facing a huge obstacle as they continue to struggle to provide effective WFH solutions for their remote agents. Providing your employees with the tools they need to work from home requires flexibility, resources and a fair bit of trust.

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4 Ways to Help Your Team Resolve Customer Service Complaints Quickly

Today, the general public doesn't wait for things to happen. When consumers are experiencing a problem, they expect a solution on the same day. Since the customer is king, contact centres need to double their efforts to resolve customer service calls more efficiently and quickly. Whether you are implementing new training, new technology or more communication channels, it's essential to be prepared to solve a customer problem quickly. Below, we have four ways to help your customer service team resolve complaints promptly and efficiently.

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The Benefits of Implementing a Flex Schedule

After the initial surge of COVID-19, contact centres everywhere had to scramble to keep momentum going. Now, many companies are faced with the potential of either not returning to a traditional office space or having to stagger agents to maintain a socially distant work environment. Now more than ever is the time to provide an ideal, flexible working schedule for your contact centre. By implementing a flex-schedule, you can ensure that your team is working the hours they need to work while improving the quality of their and the overall morale of your team.

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How Contact Centres Can Leverage Gamificaton

Contact centres 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 centre. This is where gamification can help. Contact centres 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 centre.Read more


4 Ways to Reduce Agent Turnover in Your Contact Centre

One of the most significant challenges that contact centres 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 centres that are hoping to retain their agents and reduce turnover.

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Transitioning Back to the Contact Centre

With the threat of COVID-19 still lingering, everyone needs to understand exactly what it means to come back to the office. Contact centres 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 centre should look like.

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The Impact of 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 centres have quickly had to adopt work from home strategies to maintain BAU status, there have been some things to be wary of, and increased 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.


Effective Strategies for Managing a Contact Centre

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

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Making Your Contact Centre Work Better

Contact centre 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 centre can be improved. For some organisations, 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 customisable 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 centres 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 centre 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 customised menus and transactions gives your customers a choice to make their own decisions. Additionally, when needed, it can route your customers to specialised 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 dialler, 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 realised, 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 optimising 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 centre, 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 centre. 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.