Getting The Best From Your Contact Centres

Monday, 25 August 2014

Posted by: Jonathon Little, Strategy Manager, Stellar Asia Pacific

If you’re in the business of customer service, you’re probably also in the business of running a contact centre.  And while customer experience may be top of mind, that doesn’t mean that the contact centre can always be your core focus.  So how do you strike the balance between a welcoming customer experience, happy employees, and solid business outcomes? 

There are a lot of factors underpinning a successful centre, so it’s helpful to think about your centre’s performance in three major categories – setup, day-to-day operations and customer management strategy. Here are a few key questions to think about within each category:

1. The setup of your contact centre

The right contact centre location and a strong operating rhythm is critical to the success of attracting and retaining the right employees; in our experience, if you get these elements right, you can go a long way towards driving stronger outcomes for your customers.

  • Is your centre based in a location that provides good facilities for your employees, encouraging them to stay working with you?
  • Are you attracting and retaining the right people with the right skillsets to keep your centre running well?
  • Do you have the building blocks in place to establish and sustain a strong operating rhythm - keeping track of all your metrics and communicating your successes?

2. Day-to-day operations of your centre

Ensuring everyone is aware of their performance and the impact that they have on customers is a key part of success in a centre. Sharing information on the key performance attributes across the company will help to build a stronger emphasis on how individual contributions drive customer service and financial performance.

  • Are all of your employees aware of the right KPIs to target, and are there coaching processes and resources in place to help employees grow, and exceed expectations?
  • Do you have clear scorecards to observe trends in performance and identify areas for improvement?
  • Are incentive programs in place to encourage strong employee engagement

3. Alignment of your centre with your customer strategy

Your centre cannot operate separately from your overall strategy for customer engagement and your brand. The contact centre is on the frontline of how you define your customer management strategy.

  • Have you defined targeted outcomes for engaging with your customers across all channels, including digital channels like live chat, mobile and social media?
  • Is the quality of your customer interactions measured through a framework that aligns to your overall customer experience strategy? Is there consistent awareness amongst your agents as to how each interaction should look and feel for customers?
  • Are you aware of the drivers that impact your call quality, in relation to what customers expect?
  • Do you track the extent to which your customers are likely to be promoters or detractors of your services throughout the customer lifecycle?

It’s a lot to consider, but each of these factors relate your operations back to the same critical element: the customer.  Taking each of these areas into account will help you establish a scorecard to measure the health and success of your centre.  Each area will have a different priority to you depending on the scale of your business and the channels you use to deliver customer service. Invest some time to think about how you could improve functions and measure your ability to keep your customers happy.