In order to run a thriving call center, 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.
To help you go the distance, we’ve put together this list of call center best practices that highlight how to manage a call center efficiently. 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 sales, surveying, or fundraising, make sure your team understands 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, pay special attention to the following:
- Average handle time: High handle times can suggest your agents need help closing deals or succinctly communicating product information.
- Conversion rate: How reliably are your reps bringing sales in?
- First call close: Closing on the first call with a customer is a high watermark of efficiency.
- Occupancy rate: Agents who are off the phone for relatively long stretches of time might need a hand 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. 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. Knowing where individual agents need a boost helps your supervisors create better personal development plans, and spotting team-wide performance trends lets your trainers deliver the most effective sessions. 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 script building:
- 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 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 dialer 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 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. Workflow 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 system helps you put these 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.
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