Tech Tools to boost Contact Center rep motivation and productivity
Rep teams are on the frontline representing your company to hundreds of people every day. With Contact centers handle high volumes of incoming and outgoing calls, emails, text messages, and other forms of communications; it’s of utmost importance to keep these brand ambassadors well informed, trained, and highly motivated if you want to succeed.
Though contact center interactions may serve endless purposes, they have one thing in common: they all need to be resolved positively, promptly and as efficiently as possible. And it all comes down to your rep team.
Working as a call center representative involves performing somewhat repetitive tasks, and frequently talking with unhappy and frustrated clients throughout their whole shift which can get quite hectic, causing them to be demotivated. This very human problem takes a toll on efficiency and productivity, becoming a business problem managers must address. Hence technology can’t be yet another thing to worry about.
- Technology can help avoid unnecessary issues that may lead to agent demotivation by:
- Centralizing all information without having to switch from one software to another.
- Providing reps with the correct information in a timely manner.
- Enabling crystal clear communication and avoiding client and rep frustration.
- Managing call queues and on-hold time efficiently.
- Automating repetitive tasks and avoiding human error.
- Leveraging Artificial Intelligence to help reps resolve calls better and faster.
- Allowing managers to monitor, help and train reps more successfully.
Fortunately, with technology advancing day by day, call centers have adopted new ways to achieve their goals. For example, according to the “45 General Call Center Statistics of 2022” by Zippia, 36% of call centers use cloud technology, as cloud-based call centers are reported to have 27% less downtime.
To boost productivity, the following list of tech tools and best practices for call center management will need to be in place:
- Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
- Modern CTI for Contact Centers
- Proper hardware for contact centers
- Good internet connection
- Using a dialer
- Integrating a sales engagement platform
- Using sentiment analysis
1. Customer Relationship Management System (CRM)
A good customer relationship management (CRM) system will provide the representative with insights into the person or account he will interact with and help maintain customer-centered communication.
Having all relevant information at their fingertips allows reps to make better decisions without requiring them to go through extensive onboarding, training, and learning endless information by heart.
Not to be dismissed, the use of CRM systems always leads to improved productivity and reduced call resolution times, improved customer satisfaction, and overall representative performance and motivation.
2. Modern CTI for Contact Centers
CTI (computer-telephony integration) brings together telephony features and CRM so agents can handle their activity and customer relationship records from their computers without jumping from one software to the other. These tools help maximize productivity by streamlining processes, avoiding repetitive tasks, and giving managers an eagle eye on all operations. Using a cloud-based CTI gives great flexibility and will help leverage telephony features combined with your CRM favorite modules directly, for example, Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud.
- So, in case you’d like to look for the best CTI for contact centers to cover your needs, you should look for one that:
- Is a Pure Cloud Call Center Platform
- Includes inbound features such as IVR, Call Routing, automatic call distribution queues, wait time announcements, and call recording.
- Includes outbound features such as Automated Dialer, import dial lists, Click to Dial, Screen pop, Call Outcome, or Automated Outbound Call Recording.
- Integrate with your CRM of choice.
- Offers Live Call Center Activity Dashboards & Coaching to track and measure KPI metrics
- Centralizes all communications like inbound and outbound calls, emails, and SMS.
3. Proper Hardware for contact centers
Hardware is a vital complement to any call center team. Poor equipment can lead to severe physical and mental distress such as decreased sight, occupational dysphonia, postural-related pain, and stress.
Today, you will easily find screen protection accessories and high-quality headsets. Just bear in mind non-wireless ones will always be more reliable and will keep your call quality safe, avoiding rep des motivation and customer frustration for broken interactions.
Make sure your team can count on computers that cover minimum requirements, such as a CPU with no less than Core i5 and at least 8 GB of RAM, a Solid State Drive (SSD) for storage to improve the read and write speed and accessories safe to use for long hours. Everyone can relate to the frustration attached to a laggy computer and poorly designed contact center reps are no different.
4. Top internet connection
A good internet connection is important for any office setting and a call center facility. A bad internet can cause drops and breaks in calls, lowering call center employees' morale and performance.
If you serve customers in multiple locations, you need a good internet connection for telephone exchange (PBX) and international calls routing. To have better call quality for local and international calls, use a VoIP gateway as your telephone exchange supported by a reliable and high-speed internet connection.
To ensure VoIP quality for your call center, you need to have connectivity with solid SLA. This includes dedicated broadband connection, sufficient bandwidth, optimized QoS, lower latencies that support concurrent calls, and full-duplex voice service.
5. Using Sentiment Analysis
Sentiment Analysis software uses artificially intelligent bots to analyze whether the message communicated in text or voice is positive, negative, or neutral. It can help the contact center representatives understand the potential client's mood and help them devise their response.
The detection of customer sentiment provides reps the ability to assess their performance in real time and adjust their speech through software suggestions without having to be micromanaged. This can bring a sense of freedom as they’re not being told what to do, causing employee well-being.
6. Using a dialer
Dialers automate the dialing process, so your call center agents don’t have to spend time inputting numbers or looking up leads.
There are three main options of dialers that you can consider for your call center: power dialer, predictive dialer, and progressive dialer. With these tools, agents can focus all their energy on live conversations with customers instead of waiting for calls to be answered, or going to voicemail. Which type of dialer to use will depend on the kind of call reps do the most.
For example, in cases where there is high volume of cold calls, predictive dialers can be very convenient as they place various outgoing calls at once hence ensuring maximum agent utilization. The first person to answer a call gets directed to the next available agent. The use of a dialer always reduces downtime and increases the productivity of the call center agents.
7. Integrating a Sales Engagement platform
A sales engagement platform (SEP) is an extension of a CRM application that enables the sales team to engage with prospects and customers across multiple channels. It helps the agents with sales intelligence information such as calls made, emails sent, or even leads on social media, all streamlined and integrated into a single platform.
A fully integrated call center with a sales engagement platform increases the agents' productivity and creates a seamless work environment. These platforms serve as a single interface to plan, execute, track, measure, and optimize interactions between sales teams and customers across multiple touches and channels.
If you are using Salesforce for example, as your CRM application integrating it with the right fit CTI and sales engagement platform gets you the maximum efforts from your agents. To know more about which could be the best SEP for you, check out the comparison between Orum, Connect&Sell and PhoneIQ for outbound calling.
Best practices for call center management
Apart from tech tools, there are other best practices discussed below for call center management that increase call center agents' work efficiency and productivity.
Constant coaching and training
When the contact agent knows his job, he will be less likely to be frustrated. If the employee has a problem at any point, he must promptly be able to get in touch with the trainer. He must have the facility to ask any question at any time about any problem or situation, be it face-to-face, through video call, live chat, etc. Additionally, providing training and coaching opportunities to the call center resources provides career opportunities and increases their work satisfaction and efficiency.
Work-life balance is a must these days to keep an employee motivated, be it an employee of a call center or some other industry. There are many ways in which work-life balance can be ensured. First of all, it must be made compulsory to take breaks between work to get some time away from the screen. There must be an option of working from the comfort of the home.
Homeshoring call centers
Many businesses nowadays, especially in the US have adopted the homeshoring call centers by using at-home based agents. The concept of the homeshoring trend is the result of the evolution of call center models and technologies. Although this is not an option suitable for all employees, it can benefit call center agents. It can save the time of the call center agents in traveling. They do not have to worry or rush to catch the bus, and they can be saved from the frustration of being stuck in traffic. They do not need to carry heavy documents or a laptop to work from home and from home. They can take a break whenever they need it and spend more time with their family. These benefits make the call center agents feel less overwhelmed with workloads, increase their productivity, and have time to develop professional relationships essential to their well-being.
The human body was never designed to sit for straight eight hours of work. Sitting for hours staring at a computer screen can get hectic for the mind and body of a person. A new innovation is the use of standing desks. Call centers must introduce desks that can be used in sitting and standing positions. Whenever the body may feel that it has enough of sitting, the agent must have the option of standing up and doing the work. This is possible with the help of standing desks.
Many employees go through stress and anxiety in the workplace. For many, discussing disorders of mental health is an issue that is difficult to discuss with anyone. They fear people making judgments about them and treating them differently. The use of technology in maintaining confidentiality between the counselor and the employees can help them discuss their mental issues openly with peace of mind.
Gamification is the strategy to motivate the employees of an organization. It is the introduction of challenges in the workplace diversity with the help of which the employees compete and race with each other to improve their scores from other employees. This healthy race with colleagues makes them motivated and helps them be more productive. As a result of getting a higher score, the employees must be promised different sorts of benefits such as getting paid leaves or getting a chance to go on a fully-funded vacation to another country, or maybe a simple performance bonus.
When thinking of getting the most out of your call center agents, treating them the same way you would treat your customers should be the highest priority. This includes ensuring the call center has the best hardware-software facilities, and everything is running smoothly. Furnishing them with proper tech tools and implementing best practices for managing call centers raise their productivity morale, opportunity to innovate, and makes them happy. As a result, if the agent is happy and motivated in his work, it is always an overall accomplishment for the company.