Call centers can be tough to manage, with an array of agents, scripts, clients, hours and languages. They are also a quickly growing market, expected to peak at $496 billion by 2027. When considering implying or building your own call center, it’s important to look at the common challenges associated with call centers, and how others have overcome them to create a successful and productive work environment that customers and staff appreciate.
A call center is where you expect to get answers, fast. Agents should have access to your data, and the answers you need – and they need it fast. In short, there are two main reasons to create a call center: Customer service and satisfaction and to generate more revenue. Let’s explore some of the most common call center challenges, and how they can be overcome!
1. Technology Issues
There is so much technology available for the modern call center, it’s hard to know where to start. CRM systems, management tools, auto or predictive diallers, and IVR solutions are just a few of the options you have when setting up a call center. It’s important to get the right, complementary technology that works together seamlessly, with no delay. Many call centers find that they have deployed too much technology without testing its usability, or that they aren’t making effective use of the technology they do have. The solution is simple – test out all technology thoroughly before deploying it, and work out all the bugs before your agents start using it with customers.
2. Customer Satisfaction
You could say that if your call center is suffering from low customer satisfaction, you don’t have a good call center. Customers dislike many things about call centers. Sometimes the scripts are uncomfortable and unnatural, technology slow or staff unprofessional. Sometimes staff simply isn’t trained well or doesn’t have access to the data they need to please customers and answer their questions. To fix this issue, train your staff carefully, and consider running customer satisfaction surveys, to see where you can improve. Ask your staff and customers for feedback to identify problems early.
3. Absenteeism & Unreliability
Call centers are tough places to work. You are presented with unhappy customers and issues daily, and it takes an endless amount of patience and empathy to get it right. This stress creates an environment where staff call our or leave frequently. This has become an especially big issue since the “Great Resignation” of 2021. To fix this issue, enforce strong policies around absenteeism. Be flexible with your employees with family or health issues that might cause them to be out. Some are even setting up call center employees in their own homes. Use the same empathy that you expect of your call center employees, when dealing with their personal issues (that we all deal with).
A common issue with call centers is agent productivity. With a large staff, some potentially working from home, how do you track agent productivity and how do you encourage your staff? Some are overcoming this issue by establishing clear key performance indicators, or KPIs, or deploying remote agent management tools. Finally, you can’t ignore the importance of moral on a productive work environment. Find ways to motivate your staff to give excellent customer service each and every time by offering rewards, accommodations or even prizes. Recognize excellence in your staff, and elevate that person to train others.
Consumers are trending toward a huge appreciation of good customer service, with so much bad customer service available, and 80% of Americans say that a positive customer experience depends on speed, convenience, knowledge and friendliness. We are relying on call centers more and more, but without equipping your staff with the right technology and the best policies and management, you are setting yourself up for failure. Ultimately, all that matters is that you are pleasing your customers, and solving their issues – and prioritizing your customers means focusing on your staff and internal practices first.
For more information on common issues call centers face, and how to overcome them, contact ListenTrust today.