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Call Center Services Best Practices

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Call Center Services Best Practices

A call center is the outward facing contact point for most organizations. Often call centers are the only point of contact customers have with companies and the source of their impressions of the overall brand. Direct customer contact, visibility, and customer perception is why it is so vital that a call center function smoothly, efficiently and with a laser focus on quality and service.

Identifying best practices for call center services is the key to success

In order to ensure that a call center is fully equipped to provide the best possible service and highest levels of customer satisfaction, it is recommended that they adopt industry best practices. Industry best practices can include service standards, goals, and even the reliance on third party call center monitoring to ensure call center services are up to standards and always moving towards improvement. Below are a few of the industry best practices that call center services should implement.

Quality assurance monitoring. Quality for a call center has various aspects. There needs to be a way to determine hold times, call drop volume, call times, and a way to record and playback calls. Using in-house call monitoring and recording software, combined with third party quality audits are two simple and effective ways to determine call handling and service quality.

Goals, benchmarks, and accountability. In order to effectively monitor and determine the quality of service, there needs to be a set of goals and benchmarks for both the team and individual representatives. Benchmarks and standards are where minimum hold times, number of acceptable call drops and customer satisfaction levels need to be spelled out clearly for all those involved in taking calls.  Providing feedback, statistics and coaching on those measurements then becomes the responsibility of the organization’s leaders. Minimum benchmarks and how the team is doing against those benchmarks needs to involve constant and visible feedback. Goals should be attainable and can be tied to a reward system. It is also common that there are multiple levels of goals so that representatives are challenged and pushed to improve service.

Security and authentication (where applicable). In today’s business world where there are constant reports of security breaches, data theft, and fraud, customers are adamant that security be high. Authentication practices need to be in place while not being too cumbersome or invasive. Security measures that meet industry standards and requirements should be consistently and stringently enforced across the entire call center. Preventing fraud and identity theft is not a feature, it is a requirement.

Empowered reps and escalation procedures. Empowering call center representatives with the ability to provide quick and seamless resolution to customer issues is a mainstay for successful centers. Resolving matters on the first call also represents huge savings to an organization, whereas tracking, monitoring, making call-backs and escalation is a costly undertaking. At the same time, there needs to be a clear and effective process for escalating those issues and calls that require an authoritative decision at a higher level.

Customer and feedback gathering. The ultimate deciding factor on the service being provided lies with the customers themselves. As mentioned earlier, a call center is the voice and face of the organization. Customers are often happy to provide feedback as long as the survey is brief and not too time-consuming. This feedback should be gathered, used to coach representatives, shared throughout the organization and inform the policies and procedures, as well as any necessary adjustments or changes to all of the previously outlined best practices. The customer is the best source of the level of survey and their satisfaction the ultimate benchmark for success.

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