Call centers are always working hard to deliver excellent customer support. But no matter how good they are at their craft, most of them are bound to get poor performance reviews at some point.
These setbacks are a natural part of running a contact center. You may think you have outstanding employees, high-caliber tech tools, and robust strategies, but you can’t always maintain a stellar performance. Despite rigorous planning and stringent monitoring, you might still end up committing mistakes or overlooking pertinent aspects of your customer support operations.
It can be hard to get back on track once a client gives you a disappointing appraisal. After all, you’ve devoted a lot of time, money, and effort into doing your job well. The good thing is, you can use this negative feedback to improve your processes and empower your organization.
Here’s what you should do to recover from, and make the most out of, a bad performance review.
1. Reflect on what went wrong.
A less-than-favorable feedback from clients can be quite daunting for call center leaders. Upon receiving one, you might feel anxious, outraged, and disheartened all at once. This is exactly why you must take the time to breathe and reflect on the situation before responding to it. Otherwise, you may end up making hasty decisions that may place the entire organization in an even stickier spot.
Once you receive your client’s performance evaluation, try to step back from the situation so you can objectively assess what went wrong. Start by examining the big picture: What were your major mistakes and how did they affect your client’s brand and your organization?
Afterwards, you can zone in on the specific details. Investigate the root cause of the problem, re-check the evaluations (particularly the quantitative ones), and determine your performance gaps
2. Talk to your client.
Contact centers play a crucial role in helping companies maintain a spotless image, as they’re the ones that directly interact with a brand’s customers. You should thus be prepared to assume responsibility for your performance lapses and show your client that you’re willing to fix the problem.
One way to do this is to talk to your client about your performance review. If they’re located overseas, you may call them via the phone or set up a video conference. Better yet, you may visit them personally so you can communicate with them more clearly.
Before the meeting, make sure to identify the topics you want to discuss with your client. Jot down your questions, if you have any, so you can clarify gray areas. Additionally, don’t forget to address the most crucial aspects of the performance evaluation report. They may be difficult to talk about, but dodging those matters will only aggravate the problem. You may also ask your client for inputs on how to improve your processes so you can create a strategy that meets their standards and expectations.
3. Update your customer service strategy.
Unless there are uncontrollable external factors preventing your organization from doing its job well, poor performance is often a result of weak internal processes. Thus, you need to rebuild your company’s overall strategy to iron out the issues and deliver better services. These are the major aspects you need to examine:
Human resource processes
• Are you recruiting competent professionals who are fit for their roles?
• What mechanisms are in place to reduce attrition?
• Are your training programs designed to supply agents’ knowledge and skill needs?
• Should you change the metrics you’re using to assess agents’ performance and measure the quality of interactions?
• How do team leaders and trainers deal with poor performers?
• Do you need additional resources to improve employees’ productivity?
• Do you need to acquire new tools or deploy new processes to eliminate performance gaps?
• Are your software and tools updated and optimized to meet clients’ standards?
• Are you able to maximize the use of big data and data analytics to enhance customer support?
• How would you describe your internal culture, and how does this type of environment affect people’s performance and work ethics?
• Do silos, or isolated departments, exist in your organization?
• How can you promote collaboration in your call center?