7 call center best practices to implement ASAP

Set clear goals, automate as much as possible, gather customer feedback, and more ways to manage your outbound call center efficiently.
7 call center best practices to implement ASAP

In order to ensure remarkable call center performance and quality assurance, you need both the techniques and technologies that set your team up for success. Your customers, prospects, and higher-ups alike expect more from you with each quarter, so every change you make needs to add value, save time, break down complexities, and energize your team to take on their targets with each phone call.

To help you go the distance, we’ve put together this list of call center best practices that highlight how to implement efficient workforce management. Take them onboard ASAP for happy customers, driven teams, and healthy ROI (you can thank us later).

1. Set clear goals and relevant KPIs

Whether you’re doing customer service, sales, surveying, or fundraising, it is best practice to make sure your agents understand the objective of each campaign you run. It's crucial to identify the most relevant KPIs to your overarching goals and track them consistently. While your reps are dialing away on calls, pay special attention to the following:

  • Average handle time: High handle times in call center agent performance can suggest your agents need help closing deals or succinctly communicating product information.
  • Conversion rate: How reliable are your agents bringing sales in?
  • First call close: Closing on the first phone call with a customer is a high watermark of efficiency and successful customer interaction.
  • Occupancy rate: A call center agent who is off the phone for relatively long stretches of time might need a hand from someone with the knowledge base to quickly complete their after-call work.

That’s a non-exhaustive list, but it’s a starting point to get a handle on your team’s productivity and quality monitoring. Once you’ve settled on the right KPIs, make the stats available to your reps — this will help them to understand where they’re succeeding and where they can improve.

2. Build a culture of continuous improvement

If you track metrics consistently and make them accessible and relevant to everyone, you’ll be well on your way toward a culture of continuous improvement in call center quality assurance. This approach to call center motivation encourages your agents to perform at their best and strive for success. Knowing where individual agents need a boost helps your call center management team create better personal development plans, and spotting team-wide performance trends lets your trainers deliver the most effective call center training sessions with high levels of employee engagement. Gamifying sales and tying incentives to KPI achievements can further spur your agents to close like never before.

These initiatives add up to an environment where your teams are always on the ball, and motivated to succeed.

3. Flip your scripts

The ideal script gives agents all the details they need to be clear and accurate, with enough wiggle room to be their best and most charming selves. And since your reps will be more than familiar with the script after a day’s dialing, their input is valuable to discern what works and what doesn’t. Make revisions based on what they advise and run A/B tests to determine the most convincing approach.

Beyond that, here’s some other good-sense advice for this call center best practice.

  • Make the customer feel valued and be mindful of their time.
  • Don't make promises or guarantees that you can’t deliver on.
  • Encourage reps to organize a follow-up if there’s interest but no closure.

4. Establish worthwhile call lists

Qualified leads are a treat to work with, and while your reps might have to cold call from time to time, they’ll certainly appreciate having quality, receptive prospects at the top of their pile. Having a CRM and lead management software integrated with your dialer can enable you to sort leads by rank order, while displaying handy information like product needs, organization, or call history.

ReadyMode’s integrated predictive auto dialer software automatically receives information from your lead gen website and other vendors. Once they’re in, your reps have all the details they need at a glance, prepping them to call with a click.

5. Get frequent customer feedback

Every interaction your team has with customers is an opportunity to better understand what you’re doing well and how you can boost customer satisfaction.

This is where it pays to integrate other communication channels and technologies into your sales and customer management processes. Speech analytics tools and surveys generated via email or through automated voice responses can help you identify where your sales strategies and products resonate with customers — and where you might need to fine-tune the customer experience.

6. Automate as much as possible

Put simply: the more time your reps spend bogged down with manual admin tasks, the less time they have to land sales. Outbound sales automation tools are an essential productivity fix, simplifying tedious and error-prone tasks like data entry, switching between apps, and sending reports and follow-up communications.

7. Prepare a contingency plan

We get it — you’ve got no time for downtime. But from experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, you know just how unpredictable life can be. Using call center software that’s resilient to outages is essential, but you’ll still need a plan to quickly get back up and running should anything extraordinary happen. Make ongoing efforts to support business continuity, identify at-risk and business-critical systems, test out your contingency plan, and clearly communicate the plan of action to your team.

ReadyMode’s call center technology helps you put these outbound call center best practices into place — automate the manual, analyze the data, and dial at max efficiency. Schedule a demo and get moving at full speed.

Photo: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock Inc.

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