6 Contact Centre Performance Management Strategies
Author: Wil Sokanovic | Date: 19/08/2022
In an ultra-competitive business environment characterised by ever-growing customer expectations, it is more important than ever for businesses to provide outstanding customer service.
The stakes are incredibly high. 77% of customers now claim that they are more loyal to businesses that offer excellent service.1 As a result, delivering exceptional customer service consistently can be an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.2
However, ensuring that contact centres are performing at the highest possible level involves numerous complex processes — everything from training agents to measuring and incentivising performance — each of which comes with its own unique challenges.
In this article, we’ll highlight six important strategies that can enhance contact centre performance management, focusing on the critical role that technology plays in this process. Let’s dive in.
What is contact centre performance management?
First, let’s start with a definition. Contact centre performance management describes various processes, strategies, and practices used to maximise the performance of contact centre agents.
Getting contact centre performance management right is critical to a business’s success, allowing it to:
- Meet customer expectations with an outstanding service that is friendly and personalised
- Build customer loyalty and satisfaction
- Resolve customer issues and queries quickly and efficiently
- Gain a competitive advantage
But these benefits aren’t a given. Effective contact centre performance management requires understanding and implementing the right strategies, in the right way, using the right tools.
To help you achieve this, here are six strategies you can implement to boost call center performance.
#1 Identify important KPIs
To understand how your contact centre is performing, it’s critical to identify key performance indicators (KPIs). While each contact centre will have its own unique KPIs, some common examples include:
- First call resolution rate
- Waiting time
- Average handle time (AHT)
- Customer satisfaction ratings
Once you have identified your KPIs, you can track them over time to gauge your performance and understand areas in need of improvement. They should also be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are still relevant to your performance management and business goals.
While tracking KPIs can be a tricky process, the right technology makes it simple. For example, some performance management software platforms provide access to scorecards for every agent, which combine critical KPIs to provide a granular overview of performance. This helps contact centre managers understand where they can make improvements at an individual level.
#2 Offer incentives
In what is an extremely results-driven business, incentivising contact centre agents represents a powerful strategy. Incentives naturally motivate agents to up their game and go the extra mile, resulting in superior service and better outcomes for the business.
While there are countless creative ways that businesses can reward contact centre staff for high performance, some common examples include:
- Financial bonuses
- Vouchers and tickets
- Additional annual leave
- Social events
- Away days
- Public acknowledgement and recognition
- Opportunities for career progression
Whatever you choose, make sure that goals are achievable and that incentives are well communicated and appealing to employees.
#3 Provide insightful feedback
Feedback is a critical part of performance management in any field. Without it, even top-performing employees have little understanding of the impact their work has on the business, what they are doing well, and the areas they need to work on. Ultimately, feedback — when done right — is key to unlocking improved performance.
Getting feedback right in a contact centre environment requires a deep understanding of individual agent performance — and this is where technology can help. Beyond benchmark performance-related metrics and KPIs, technologies such as voice analytics can provide valuable insights not only into employee performance but also employee wellbeing.
By analysing verbal responses, voice analytics is able to:
- Highlight how effective contact centre agents are in addressing customer needs
- Provide managers with detailed, employee-specific insights that they can use to tailor their feedback
Beyond performance-related feedback, voice analytics also provides insights into employees’ emotional states, alerting managers when they might need support — something that is particularly important in a remote-first environment where employees may feel isolated from their colleagues for long periods.
#4 Implement effective training
Once managers have identified areas where agents need support, they can provide personalised training designed to close skills gaps and improve agent performance.
Likewise, training plays a critical role in the onboarding process for new hires, helping to bring them up to speed on internal procedures, tools, and expectations. In many cases, the quality of training provided is directly reflected in the performance of agents — so it’s important to get it right.
Again, technology can help here — with scripting being a prime example. Essentially, scripting tools provide agents with a script to follow during customer interactions, ensuring that their choice of words and tone of voice is always spot on. By steering agents in the right direction, scripts help them to become proficient in the role much faster, which reduces training requirements and smooths onboarding.
Technology is also transforming the way scripts are constructed, organised, and presented by:
- Providing a single interface for scripts
- Building customisable scripts from a library of ‘building blocks’
- Ensuring that agents always have the right script in place at the right time
#5 Deploy the latest software
As is the case in virtually every industry today, technology is the key to unlocking better, more efficient contact centre performance. With the right software, you can:
- Systematise the processes involved in call centre performance management
- Enable contact centre agents and managers to access all the information they need to do a better job
- Understand customer needs better
- Unlock powerful insights around agent performance — and what you need to do to improve it
- Automate and streamline key processes
Businesses that leverage the power of technology to improve customer support will see better outcomes, leading to improved customer loyalty and competitive advantage.
As we have already discussed, advanced technologies such as speech and voice analytics can take performance management to the next level by providing managers and agents with powerful insights into employee engagement, performance, and wellbeing.
In addition to voice analytics, modern contact centres can harness a range of powerful features to drive improved performance, including:
- Next Best Action (NBA): Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, this emerging contact centre trend helps to suggest the next step agents should take at any given stage of a customer interaction, reducing wasted time and improving the customer experience
- Multilingual agent guidance: With real-time translation into multiple languages, contact centres can offer seamless support to customers from all over the world without the need to hire language-specific staff
#6 Work with leading software providers
Technology has the power to transform the way contact centres are managed and customers are served. But in a world saturated with software providers, businesses have a huge decision to make in choosing the right one.
Customer support is a very specific area with very specific needs. For this reason, it pays to choose a software provider with proveable experience in this industry — one who knows what customer support agents and managers need to deliver an exceptional service.
On top of this, the right software providers will balance cost-effectiveness with game-changing tech. They’ll make the process of adopting a new platform easy, offering seamless integrations with legacy systems and a simple, intuitive UX.
Contact centre optimisation starts here
At Awaken, we pride ourselves on being pioneers in contact centre technology. Led by a team of industry experts with decades of contact centre experience between them, we understand the unique challenges businesses face in delivering outstanding customer support.
We also understand what it’s like to work with expensive, outdated, rigid technology and how it can hamper contact centre performance. That’s why we built a solution that’s cost-effective, flexible, and powerful, allowing you to:
- Access powerful performance-related insights
- Simplify training and boost performance through intelligent scripting and agent guidance
- Leverage speech and voice analytics to understand your customers and support your agents better
If you’d like to learn more about how Awaken could help you enhance contact centre performance management processes, why not get in touch with us today and book a demo?