Contact centre basics which drive efficiency

In order to run a successful contact centre, operational efficiency needs to be continuously upheld. There are different components to contact centre efficiency, including: how your staff interact with customers, how streamlined procedures are and whether operations are running in a cost-effective manner that does not impact the customer’s experience.

Despite the varying definitions of efficiency, it all boils down to two things: supporting customers and improving performance. It’s important to keep these two goals in mind and implement basic practices to drive efficiency.

Optimise team efficiency through training

Making use of team productivity is important to ensuring efficiency. A study by Aberdeen  Group found that contact centre agents spend around 25% of their paid time idly and not communicating with customers. Therefore, it is vital that this time is dedicated to developing your agents’ skills and knowledge surrounding best practice and customer service.

This is achievable through continuous, digital training. Agents are consistently sat at their desks with a computer. Therefore, during their idle time, it would be a great opportunity for them to complete quick online learning on their computer, or even mobile. This is why Wranx is an extremely beneficial method of training for contact centres, as a daily drill takes around 0.7% of a 35-hour week to complete. Alongside the use of Spaced Repetition, learners will see more value and retain more knowledge from those 2–3 minutes a day.

Wranx has previously worked with the holiday rental company HomeAway. After implementing Wranx training, their agents found that they had retained more knowledge after completing daily learning. The company also saw a 5-second drop in average handling time (AHT). Consistent training creates competent employees who can apply their knowledge in real life call situations. This increases first-call resolution (FCR), which then reduces AHT. A lower AHT drives efficiency, as customers are dealt with in a quick, coherent manner that a positive impact on their satisfaction.

Leverage experienced agents

Another basic to maintaining contact centre efficiency is having a system in place that helps new staff get up-to-speed as soon as possible. Contact centres face a very high employee turnover rate: they have a 26% employee turnover annually, whereas the average rate for the UK is 15%. Therefore, effective onboarding is vital. This can be done by utilising more experienced agents and drawing on their knowledge to help new staff adjust to the business’s processes.

As part of the onboarding process, experienced agents can help to coach and monitor live calls. Monitoring calls and having a support system of more existing agents will give new staff more confidence in their job and ease the onboarding process. A high level of employee confidence is key to increasing efficiency.

This is where Wranx can help; we convert lengthy onboarding materials into bite-sized, online modules for agents to complete daily. This links back to the idea of continuous training and the development of agents to ensure operational efficiency.

Measure performance and set targets for achievement

It is important to measure performance within any organisation. Having a clear set of data can help not only evaluate but also benchmark individual and team performances. Analytical dashboards help identify knowledge gaps and the areas that need improvement, meaning contact centres can administer valuable, cost-effective training that will improve performance.

Focusing on targets can also enhance performance, as employees are aware of what is important to achieve within the centre. Aligning metrics with goals and making them clear to employees gives a purpose to their work and encourages collaboration.

Boosting efficiency in a contact centre isn’t done overnight – it requires measurement and consistent tracking of what is affecting performance. However, being able to identify areas for improvement is the first step, as these can then be resolved. Implementing these basic procedures, like using idle time for productive and effective onboarding, will have a significant impact on each agent’s performance and confidence.  Competent and knowledgeable agents will then increase customer satisfaction and overall efficiency within the contact centre.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Persia is passionate about helping organizations improve employee engagement across their professional development initiatives.
Published: 15 Jun, 2022