Putting a Stop to Underperformance in Call Centers

Faith Ocampo Published on January 7, 2016 Last updated on December 5, 2022

In call centers, underperformance may be caused by skills mismatch, lack of emotional connection with the job, and miscommunication.

frustrated call center agents responding to customer service agent

To outperform competitors and deliver great services, managers must shift their focus from customer to employee experience. Unfortunately, most team leaders and supervisors make the mistake of looking too closely at customer experience.

Although there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, an unintended consequence is that they fail to properly manage the people who keep the business running.

It’s true that to deliver great customer service, all you need is a bunch of passionate employees. But if your call center agents are suffering from poor team dynamics and lack of teamwork, it’s time for you to step in.

To heighten employee engagement in the contact center, try these coaching strategies.

  1. Identify the Underperformance Issue

    call center agents team leader coaching assisting employee

    In call centers, underperformance isn’t as obvious as it sounds. You’ll only know for sure whether your team’s slacking off based on measurable results, such as average handling time, number of sales, repeat complaints, and others.

    If results are dropping, you might want to ask yourself the following questions:

    • Are your call center agents accepting fewer calls?
    • Do your agents miss work often?
    • Are your agents not communicating with the team?
  2. Determine Your Agents’ Training Needs

    call center agents in training

    Training sessions can help boost employee engagement, especially if underperformance is caused by skill gaps. To identify your agents’ training needs, you need to assess them based on all parameters that can affect their performance.

    Here are some metrics you might consider:

    • Call rate
    • Rapport-building skills
    • Product knowledge
    • Ticket backlog
    • Reply and resolution times

    The training program you’ll be designing must directly address your employees’ specific needs.

  3. Improve Call Routing

    call center agents hand dialing langline phone

    An optimized call routing system will allow you to manage call volume by wisely leveraging the individual expertise of your call center agents. For example, if one of your agents is not that well-versed in technical issues, the solution is to transfer the call to someone more capable of resolving the customer’s problems. This way, you can easily spot underperformance issues without compromising the customer experience.

  4. Align Incentives with Important Call Success Metrics

    call center agents with performance incentives gifts

    Reward your employees and do so generously, but make sure that you’re incentivizing them based on the call center metrics that really matter. Channel incentives toward key result areas to motivate your agents to work on these priority metrics. You may use the mentioned metrics in the second suggestion above.

  5. Always Provide Feedback

    call center agents team leader coaching training

    Call center agents often feel disconnected from their job and the company because managers, though unintentionally, may be keeping them in the dark. If employees don’t know how their performance is affecting the company, they might slack off because they think their job is negligible. By praising their good performance or urging them to improve on some aspects, they’ll know that their role in the company greatly matters.

Outsourcing to Open Access BPO includes rigorous recruitment and training to ensure that your brand only gets diligent workers with the right skills for your program. Our inclusive corporate culture and employee engagement practices produce a positive safe space conducive for productivity and growth.

Contact us today to get in touch with a program development expert and learn more about our program management and employee development strategies.

 

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Faith is a digital media enthusiast aiming to become an active part of the tech world by sharing her insights. She likes to blog about everything digimarketing, technology, and social media.
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