Tips for Successful Contact Centre Management
In this series we will look at some useful tips for contact centre management, as seen by our work in the Australian contact centre industry. They are not presented in any particular order.
This article is the first of nine articles in the series.
Staff are intelligent – they have to be to work in a contact centre. They come to work each day with the intention of doing a good job and providing a high level of service to their customers. However, in many centres whenever a decision is required they have to refer to a team leader or supervisor for approval – particularly when there is actual money involved. Interestingly this can be as little as a $5 refund to the customer and the cost of obtaining the approval would far outweigh the refund itself.
There are two, equally important issues here – the customer service impact and the staff impact.
The customer service impact is obvious – particularly to the customer. By insisting staff obtain approval, even for small transactions, you are delaying the resolution. Whether you have the customer on hold while you refer to a senior person, or you have to call the customer back later, it is still an unnecessary (for small amounts) inconvenience to the customer. Further, the additional time taken will also add to the queues as staff that could be answering calls are off obtaining approvals.
The staff impact is not so obvious. By insisting staff obtain approval for what seems to be the most menial things, managers are effectively giving staff the impression that they are not trusted. This can have an adverse impact on staff morale and can actually contribute to staff turnover.
Have a look at your operation, understand what the most common issues are and come up with some appropriate boundaries for staff that empowers them to make decisions and take responsibility for their own customers. Actual monetary refunds are one obvious area, but altering standard processes, or rushing approvals or similar could also be included in agent’s delegation authority.
There are three key benefits to this:
- It improves customer service
- It empowers staff, makes them feel valued and improves staff morale
- It reduces workload from team leaders and supervisors, allowing them to focus on tasks where they can really add value.
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All previous articles are available on our web site – www.ccaction.com.au
Next article – Provide Appropriate Training.