10 contact centre solutions to improve your productivity

Jul 24
Darts targetting call centre solutions

10 contact centre solutions to improve your productivity

No matter how effective you are as a call centre manager, often the only reward you will get for your efforts are even loftier targets to be achieved on even leaner budgets. If there is any silver (well maybe a grey-ish) lining, it’s that you’re not alone. This is the reality in not only call centres, but in many industries in 2017. To succeed as a call centre manager in this climate, you need to up your productivity, and implement some call centre solutions to make what you have work harder than ever before.

 

  1. Get Blending

You don’t need a separate team for your inbound and outbound calls. Granted, if you are a large business with a large budget this could work for you, but if not, try blending your call centre. This means your agents will be able to take inbound calls and make outbound calls from the dialer without having to change queues.

 

How does this help your productivity?

A few minutes down time between each call can add up to a substantial amount across a shift, a week, a campaign. This will decrease your downtime, while helping your agents maintain their energy by having a natural progression from one call to the next. That’s a pretty solid call centre solution.

 

  1. Get yourself a dialer

If you have a large volume of calls to make across a shift, then investing in a power dialer is simply a no brainer. Depending on the type of dialer you invest in, your talk time will increase, your agent down time will decrease and your efficiency will skyrocket.

 

How does this help your productivity?

Depending on your campaign objectives, the right dialer can help with productivity in a few ways. It can increase the number of calls your team are making, predict the time taken on each call so it knows when to start dialling the next number without sacrificing time with your customer, or allow your agents to preview customer details and history before making the call.

 

  1. Clean you leads

Nothing wastes time and makes your productivity go backwards than a bad list. Disconnected numbers, wrong numbers, or even worse those on the Do Not Call Register can make your team’s momentum come to a grinding halt. Using a lead cleansing tool means every number leads to a conversation, not a recorded message. Active numbers mean every call is a chance for a sale.

 

How does this help your productivity?

Less time wasted on bad numbers means more momentum and energy for your agents by speaking to actual people with every call. A handy by-product of this is the increased motivation that comes from closing more sales.

 

  1. Refresh your list

People change numbers, move jobs, join the Do Not Call Register. This makes your list a dynamic asset- not something to check once and leave for the duration of the campaign. Invest in fresh lists regularly, to make every number work hard for you.

 

How does this help your productivity?

Numbers that sit at the bottom of an old list drain your productivity as they seem like they might be a genuine prospect, but really they waste time. Any momentum that may have been nurtured comes to a screeching halt when your numbers don’t lead to conversations.

 

  1. Reduce time between calls

A mere minute or two between calls, per agent, can add up to a jolly long time over the duration of a campaign. An easy call centre solution to implement is to keep a close eye on the down time your agents spend between calls. Invest in a dialer and strong list to ensure your agents are engaged and the next call is being connected soon after the last.

 

How does this help your productivity?

If your sales agents wait on average 1-2 minutes between calls, and you pay them $25 an hour, a team of 10 making 80 calls a day can be waiting up to 26 hours per day.

 

Over a 48-week working year, this adds up to 6,420 hours and $160,000 in unproductive time. Eek. Reduce that wait time by half and save yourself $80,000 (and that’s not counting to the recruitment costs that will undoubtedly rise when you have a team of unmotivated agents!).

 

  1. Get your team the right software

Nothing slows productivity than old, clunky software that involves a lot of screen-switching, data inputs from one place to the next and basically takes time and energy to navigate. What you want is something that understands call centres. A system that knows the importance of having customer details available at the touch of a mouse at any given moment, easy training through the software even when you aren’t physically next to the agent, and a hosted PBX that integrates with all your business systems that offers your agents (and importantly your customers) an easy, positive experience, on every call.

 

How does this help your productivity?

Quick and easy navigation of customer details and history mean conversations are more meaningful and impactful. Easy training means you have the most skilled staff possible making your calls. On top of this, the right system offers you smart insights into your team, their efficiency and how your campaign is tracking.

 

  1. Get in the cloud

You no longer need a whole room dedicated to your hardware. A cloud-based system means less investment required on infrastructure, more space available to you in the office, and an easy, low-cost system that means less headaches for you.

 

How does this help your productivity?

You will save money on on-site IT staff, your support will be seamless and in the one location, and your upgrades will be a lot less painful than having the entire system off line for a time. Any issues can be resolved quickly so your agents can spend more of their time on the phone, which is what drives your productivity.

 

  1. Effective Planning

Call centres are unpredictable. Well, any business is unpredictable, really, and if you fail to plan your response to the unpredictable there is little else that will have such a big and immediate impact on your productivity. You need the ability to scale up and down your staff depending on your forecasted call volumes, offer your staff the flexibility of working anywhere during outages without affecting their call volume, and offer instant call diversion, where alternative numbers are used should lines be compromised.

 

How does this help your productivity?

Disaster, or even inconvenience planning is essential in any business to avoid hours or days slipping by without working towards your targets. If you plan effectively, there should be very few circumstance that keeps the calls you need to be made, made.

 

  1. Monitor your staff

Monitor your agents in real time- don’t wait for the end of the campaign and try to get a sense of how each agent is performing by trying to make sense of the numbers. You want the ability to listen in on calls, offer feedback and coaching then and there, while the call is active, and tweak your scripts on the go to truly get the best outcome out of each call.

 

How does this help your productivity?

Agents need ongoing coaching and feedback to be on top of their game, provided at a time that gives them the opportunity to change their approach, if needed. A system that allows this real-time coaching is essential in making sure your standards of performance are understood and met by every agent on every call.

 

  1. Use Real Time Reporting

Post campaign analysis is an essential part of understanding what worked well and what needs to improve. But it doesn’t give you much of an opportunity to course correct if things are going pear shaped. You need to run reports that tell you what’s going on, in real-time. Monitoring the metrics that matter regularly gives you the opportunity to respond and keep the campaign on track to success.

 

How does this help your productivity?

Every campaign is different, with your agents challenged in different ways. If you have recruited well, each agent should have many strengths, but they all have their weaknesses. By identifying any areas that are off track while it’s happening, this gives you the best opportunity to get things back where you need them. The only way to do this is by having full visibility, all the time.

There you have it. A few call centre solutions that may help keep you on the path to achieving your ever-increasing targets. None of these require significant investment and most are simple to implement. All it takes is a commitment to improve productivity, and an understanding of what you can change. Then just do it!

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