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5 Call Center Management Tips

By: Scott Resnick

 

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Your call center may not be the primary part of your business but that doesn’t make it any less important. Not only are call centers the primary way you manage customers they are also the primary way your customers can contact you for support. So you definitely want to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are some call center management tips to make sure you get the most out of your call center and never miss out on an opportunity to serve your customers:

 
1. Monitor Calls
 
If you have no idea how your call center representatives are actually working, then you shouldn’t be surprised if your customers start to go elsewhere. There are several ways you can monitor your call center employees.
 
 
One way is to listen in on live calls. You’ve heard the line, “This call may be monitored for quality assurance purposes,” right? Well, that’s a good place to start. You can also listen to recorded calls after the fact, perhaps with the representative so you can offer feedback. You can even apply analytics such as the length of the call and call abandonment to monitor calls and improve performance.
 
2. Hire Good People
 
This might sound like one of the more obvious center management tips, but the best way to have good customer service is to hire good customer service representatives. When you are hiring pay attention to the basics: look for experienced people, check their references, and ask situational questions. Choose people who are upbeat and are genuinely enthusiastic about helping people. You may also want to have seasoned call center employees interview a few contenders to narrow your options.
 
3. Pay Attention to Customer Feedback
 
When people tell you that you’re doing a great job, it feels good, right? But customers are not always going to call in with compliments. Most of the time they will only call with complaints. The point of a call center is to solve customers’ problems, after all. But how do you handle negative feedback?
 
Stay calm. The customer is obviously upset and might not be thinking rationally, taking out his or her anger on the customer service rep. It’s better to defuse a tense situation rather than escalating it. Follow through on your promises. If you don’t, the customer will tell other people. And in today’s interconnected world, one bad experience can derail your business.
 
4. Plan for Capacity
 
There are only so many agents to answer calls, even at the biggest call centers. Small-and-medium sized businesses can feel this more acutely. But where is the balance? Too many representatives on duty and you’re wasting money; too few and you can’t keep up with high call volumes. And nobody likes being on hold longer than they have to be. The best thing is to measure your peak number of calls and assign the greatest number of representatives to the busiest times, and fewer people when your lines are less busy in a flex schedule situation.
 
5. Deal with Downtime 
 
Even if you have good people and are making sure they’re performing, sometimes your systems won’t work as well as they should. It’s going to happen sooner or later and you’re going to have to manage it correctly. One thing you could try is to offer to call your customers back when your systems are up and running again.
 
Even if not all downtime can be prevented, a little planning can help stop big problems. You should test any new hardware and software thoroughly before deploying it. If updates break anything, it’s better to find out when it affects only a test system rather than a whole call center.
 
Of all call center management tips that you would follow, the most important one is to put your customers first. If you follow this suggestion and all the others ones, your call center experience will be much more pleasant for you and your customers.
 
This article was originally published by TTI Houston
Published: April 22, 2015
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Scott Resnick

Scott Resnick is the President and Owner of Today's Telecommunications Industries, LLC (TTI) in Houston, TX. For the past 39 years, Scott has been instrumental in serving the telecommunications needs of some of Houston's largest and most influential companies. TTI is one of the largest NEC dealers in the United States. Scott is an avid baseball fan, loving father, husband, and a world traveler.

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