Call centers are responsible for fielding nearly every incoming and outgoing customer call, which means things can get hectic without the right resources. For growing organizations that are ready to scale, pay attention to these four tips.
In the world of customer service, call centers are essential – no matter the size of your business. Call centers are often behind the first interaction that a customer has with your company, which sets the stage for what happens next. After all, first impressions can’t be repeated.
The best way to get the job done is to have qualified call center representatives and innovative technology solutions in your toolkit. But a successful call center doesn’t have endless resources at its disposal – just the right, scalable balance.
What Does Scaling Your Call Center Mean?
Scaling your call center simply means that you invest the appropriate amount of time and money into improving your call center for both your customers and team members. Ultimately, this ensures that your representatives have the bandwidth to do their jobs without needing to over-hire in times of high workload.
There are a number of things you can do to effectively scale your call center. Let’s get into it.
How to Scale Your Call Center: 4 Tips
#1. Hire and Train More Call Center Agents
While hiring more and more call center agents in perpetuity as you grow is not the ultimate answer, you do need to start with the right baseline number of team members in order to scale.
A truly scalable team requires an efficient process to interview and onboard new employees.
Usually, when a company hires someone new, that person is given a ton of new information during the first few weeks of employment. This can be overwhelming, but you can make this a less stressful process by creating an online knowledge base. This is a portal full of customer and team information that team members can access 24/7. With this tool available at their fingertips, new agents will have the ability to review any information they may need at their own convenience.
Both new and existing team members need to know what your company’s goals are in order to do their jobs well. The best way to measure success at any company is to set clear, measurable goals for each department and each team member. When onboarding new call center agents, make sure to emphasize the importance of these goals so that everyone works towards the same outcome. These goals will also provide visibility into your team’s progress, allowing you to best leverage each individual’s unique set of skills and serving as an indicator if you do need to hire more.
#2. Track the Right Call Center Metrics
There are several call center metrics you need to track in order to provide the best customer experience possible. These metrics – also known as key performance indicators (KPIs) – are vital when it comes to meeting customer and team member needs.
Some KPIs you should be tracking include:
- Average speed to answer – your call center representatives need to answer the phones within the first few rings. If that’s not happening, then you may not have enough staff to handle all of your customer needs.
- First call resolution – if customers have to call back multiple times to get what they need, then agents are not meeting expectations within that first phone call, and that needs to change.
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) – you should be sending your customers a survey after they use your services so that you can gauge how the interaction went. These scores will tell you what you need to improve upon.
- Cost per call (CPC) – this indicates how knowledgeable and resourceful your employees are. A call center representative should know exactly who to transfer a call to based on a customer’s needs.
- Peak hour traffic – your time zone and the products and services your company provides will dictate peak hour traffic. Make sure you have enough call center agents working at this time so no call is missed.
#3. Automate Recurring Tasks
The right technology will help your call center agents have impactful interactions with customers. It’s impossible for every single employee to have all of the necessary information in front of them when they answer a call, but that’s where technology comes into play. Some essential call center features you should incorporate in order to scale include:
- Screen-pop: functionality that brings a specific customer’s information automatically to an agent’s computer screen when they answer a call from that customer. Computer telephony integration (CTI) technology makes this possible by integrating other tools like your CRM, ticketing system and order entry system.
- Jobs engine: synchronizes products and other systems, databases, web services and more to give a call center agent the right information to assist customers. Users, tickets, items and other customer-specific information can be created in real-time to ensure that both the customer and agent experience are as seamless as possible.
Call centers are fast-paced environments, and providing customers with the exact information they need within seconds is one of the great challenges of working in this department. By integrating jobs engine technology and screen-pop functionality into your call center, you can overcome this challenge and more effectively scale your call center.
#4. Integrate Everything
Technology is important, but only if each piece of technology works together. Make sure that agents utilize integrated technology from the beginning of a call to the end. No call center can scale if agents are opening and closing different windows, logging in and out of different systems, and manually transferring information back and forth. Instead, they should be able to access everything in one central location – again, powered by CTI technology.
The following tools should be integrated and automatically archived in your telephony system, CRM or other external systems:
- Call recording: to help agents backtrack if they missed something important during a call. This will also help the call center monitor agent performance.
- Voicemail: to help agents quickly access and catch up with messages from customers during non-working hours.
- Call metrics: to easily monitor KPIs mentioned above.
- External communication: to engage and connect with customers from one central screen with tools live chat and SMS.
Can CDC Software Help?
Scaling a call center is not a once-and-done task – as time goes on, you will know when making a change becomes necessary for growth.
Utilizing the right CTI solution will make scaling your call center a breeze. This technology will make every customer interaction smooth and straightforward, and you will be able to track metrics to ensure that goals are being met. As your company grows, your technology will be able to grow with it, helping you reach your highest potential.
Learn how CDC software can help you scale your call center by contacting us.