Call Center Best Pratices Overview


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This is an example of the 21 Call Center Best Practices that I and my staff designed, developed and deployed to Call Centers. These practices delivered increased focus on the customers, increased agent morale, improved productivity, increased revenue and reduced turn-over. Within this presentation I have only presented the marketing data but we developed procedures, and training materials to go along with all the Call Center Best Practices we deployed globally. See the attached presentation for how all the Best Practices fit together to drive Customer Delight. For additional information please feel to contact Brian Hughes.

Published in: Technology, Business

Call Center Best Pratices Overview

  1. 1. You’re Business & Clients You’re Work Environment You’re Career Call Center Processes – Best Practices Customer Employee Excellence Performance Excellence Excellence Transform to Grow New Processes Operational Processes help you make New Agent Essential Skills Training the most of all you do. More focus on customer service skills The new operational processes are simplified, streamlined and relevant for the work you do. These changes mean consistent Introducing the “Academy delivery, increased focus on the client, and the power to better Team” to get new hires out balance your work schedule and your life. When the on the floor faster operational processes are in place, no one will be able to match your ability to manage your contact centers. Up-Selling and Cross- Selling Communicating expectations about work performance and Coaching for Success attendance can be a tricky part of a leader’s duties. Fortunately, the new Career Commitment Process is providing some structure to manage those responsibilities in a consistent manner that supports Employee Scorecard the team, contact center and organizational objectives. The Employee Scorecard provides objective From quality monitoring, which provides better opportunities for measurements on: recognition and accountability, to a balanced life account that Quality enables you to better manage time off; these new processes are designed to put you in charge of the service you provide your client, Accuracy the co-workers you may support, and your career. Productivity Attendance Contact: Brian Hughes Schedule Adherence
  2. 2. Call Center Operational Processes & Training • Section 1: Call Center Best Practices (Name, Definition, Benefits) • Section 2: Best Practices Linkage Document (See additional for the document) • Section 3: Best Practices Marketing Flyers • Section 4: Training Courses Marketing Flyers • Section 5: Job Aids Examples (See additional file) Employee Performance Excellence Excellence Transform to Grow S 2
  3. 3. Call Center Processes and Training Customer Employee Excellence Performance Excellence Excellence Transform to Grow S 3
  4. 4. Phase I 1. Performance Measures employee performance based Reduces attrition through consistent Evaluation upon defined performance metrics, and feedback to employees on job (Scorecard) facilitates providing feedback, rewards performance, using industry standard and recognition, and coaching. metrics for call center excellence. 2. Quality Facilitates monitoring and evaluating Monitoring work performance of agents, recording • Optimizes agent performance calls and data transactions, and providing through coaching and feedback to agents. identification of opportunities for reward and recognition • Promotes objectivity, improves performance against service level standards and customer expectations. 3. Recruiting and Enables consistent recruiting and Increases productivity and quality through Selection selection practices from the completion of providing qualified candidates as quickly the staffing request to preparing for the as possible, and decreasing screen-out applicant to start work. time. Provides several job aids and checklists, and electronic resume collection. 4. Supervisor “Lite” Provides training curriculum and delivery Reduces attrition through equipping Training methods for acclimation and training of supervisors with the performance and call center delivery employees at the coaching skills needed to align agents’ supervisory level. skills and knowledge to organizational goals and achieve call center service excellence. Phase II 5. New Agent Provides agenda, facilitator, participant Reduces attrition and improves quality Essential Skills materials, and Train-the-Trainer activities, through equipping new agents with the Program for acclimating new agents to their jobs, skills and knowledge needed to achieve and their customers. measurable performance expectations as Training can be combined with sites’ quickly as possible. current best training practices. 6. Recognition and Provides assistance to leaders in Reduces attrition and optimizes Appreciation developing a program to recognize performance through recognizing desired employees’ achievements. results, and capitalizes on sharing ideas Includes a database of creative ideas between sites. from all sites for activities. 7. Career Planning Facilitates coaching in identifying Increases retention through career goal employees’ desired career path. motivation, improving skills and personal growth. Motivates contact center employees to improve their skills, continue their education, and cross-train. 8. Administrative Provides procedures and guidelines for Reduces future attrition by encouraging Exit managing voluntary or involuntary candid feedback from separated separation of an employee. employees, and enabling contact centers to analyze the data. Phase III 9. Performance Provides guidelines to assist leaders in Reduces attrition by providing early Improvement consistently addressing problem recognition and documentation of performance, attendance and/or problems, and a uniform method to misconduct by employees. conduct improvement plans. 4
  5. 5. 10. Performance Provides a measurement and feedback Management program, specifically focused on agent • Reduces expense and Program (PMP) performance. administration time through a Facilitates consistency between streamlined process. scorecards and Agent PMP • Improves employee satisfaction measurements, using scorecard scores through focused consistent to update each agent’s PMP record on a performance management. quarterly and annual basis. Streamlines the form and annual performance review process for agents. 11. Leadership An internship or apprenticeship program • The program provides selected Development for agents to gain experience and employees with an opportunity Program exposure to management they can use to determine responsibilities. whether a supervisory role is of career interest to them, increasing employee satisfaction. • The program also enables a leader to adapt to fluctuations in the demand for supervisory manpower by providing a temporary pool of experienced candidates for supervisory roles, enabling better cost and people management. 12. Balanced Life Provides common methods and tools Reduces attrition by offering solutions to Account that assist employees in managing their agents who may need help managing time off. their time, while encouraging them to manage their schedules and time effectively. Phase IV 13. Change Provides a framework, methodologies, Reduces attrition and costs through Management and training for contact center employees enabling contact centers to remain to manage operational and management focused and effectively manage change. changes. 14. Project Provides a formalized process and Reduces salary costs by providing a Management training to structure and enable project consistent, prescribed methodology for management with the contact center. managing projects in the contact centers. 15. Escalation Provides for the creation of an internal Reduces the need for escalation and Process & help desk that is driven by service levels, improves customer satisfaction by Structure available all of the time, and staffed with providing a process to evaluate trends leadership development program and develop plans to address candidates and/or high performers. deficiencies. Facilitates tracking of complaints. Leadership Training 16. Leadership Instructor-led course that focuses on the It creates consistency among contact Academy I basics to successfully lead a contact centers, regardless of the tenure of the center team. Newly hired or newly- supervisors and their managers located at promoted front-line supervisors in the the site. contact centers will have a safe environment in which to learn and practice leadership skills. 5
  6. 6. 17. Leadership Instructor-led course that allows Academy II supervisors to gain a better • Practice business communication understanding of roles and skills, review P&Ls, and review basic responsibilities; HR issues; innovative contract measurements. Our goal is thinking; team building; business to help the supervisors understand communication; reporting financial how decisions they make can impact information; recruiting; transition from the bottom line. temporary agent to employee; retention; • Review Co. tools available such as and career planning. Talent Mgmt System, Job Competency Matrix, IDP, SAP Vacant Positions Report, etc. In addition, supervisors will discuss how to have reactive career discussions. 18. Coaching for Intended for individuals who provide any • Establishes the value of using a Success type of coaching feedback to contact Coaching model. center agents, including call-monitoring feedback, monthly Scorecard, yearly • Follows through on identified review, PMP, career planning, and other developmental action items results in day-to-day issues. agent job satisfaction and retention as a result of improved metrics, quality scores and relationships. 19. Strategic The Strategic Leadership Upon completion of this program, Leadership Management Program (SLMP) participants will be able to maintain Management equips contact center managers constructive relationships; focus on the Program (SLMP) with a strategic sequencing of situation or behavior, not the person; key actions that lead to employee maintain the self confidence and self- satisfaction and commitment, esteem of others; lead by example, and customer loyalty, thought evaluate work in terms of its impact on the leadership, and business customer. success. The (SLMP) is a performance improvement system with a focus on behaviors that enhance collaboration, interaction, and coaching in a positive growth environment where people are involved and recognized for their contributions. Agent Upsell/Cross-sell Program 20. Building on Instructor-led course provides modern Improves the quality of service our Success with Soft- telephone techniques that are proven to agents provide our customers while Selling be effective for expanding the business increasing sales and profits. base by up-selling and cross-selling. 6
  7. 7. Recruiting and Selection Call Center Processes Hire the Best Candidates Faster New recruiting tools and more appropriate best practices for the call center environment are giving you the ability to get the best candidates in the door faster. Agent turnover is a fact of life in the contact center environment. But unfilled or poorly filled positions don’t have to be. By making use of the new Recruiting and Selection process, you’ll gain access to the tools and proven practices that will help you attract, identify and retain the best candidates. Recruiting collateral is being introduced to assist in the hiring process, as well as best-practices such as group information The intent of the Recruiting and sessions and information/feedback gathering sessions with agents, Selection process is to: conducted at specific intervals, once agents are on board. New recruiting tools are: Attract the best candidates • A job profile worksheet to assist in developing the Staffing Decrease the time to Request identify candidates •, a Web-based interface between Web job boards and Assist leadership in company site. It populates qualifying resumes in a tool qualifying best candidates accessible by recruiters through their desktop application. for open positions • A Realistic Job Preview pamphlet Ensure consistency in • An automated phone skills assessment tool recruiting and selection • Interview checklists Improve agent retention • An applicant tracking sheet populated with corporate reason codes for denials 7
  8. 8. New Agent Acclimation and Training Call Center Processes Achieve “Top Box” Scores by Delighting your Customers with Company New Agent Acclimation and Training Newly-hired agents are equipped to delight your customers by performing their responsibilities more effeiciently and with confidence through the New Agent Acclimation and Training Process. You’ve just gone through the time and expense of hiring the right candidate for your open agent position. Now rely on the New Agent Acclimation and Training Process to help your new hires get up to speed quickly and effectively. There are four primary benefits: • Equips agents with required skills and knowledge to perform duties in a controlled, non-intimidating environment • Helps new hires feel part of the company, and more self-confident when reporting to their work unit • Ensures consistency in new hire training processes that can be leveraged across all contact centers • Provides “Best-in-Class” customer service training to all contact center agents for performance and positive business results There are four phases to New Agent Acclimation and Training: Foundation Training Client Specific Company Systems Academy Team Client Training ( New Hires only) 1 Week 2 – 4 Weeks 1 Day Min. 1 Week Features Features Features Features • Overview of CRM and Company Values • Client History and • Company and CRM History • Mentoring • Call Center Industry Business Model • Brief Intro to Career Planning • Introduction to Performance • Nested • Product and Services Management Program Environment • Personal Change Management Training • Visit by Call Center Management and Tour • Introduction to Career • On-the-Job of the contact center Planning Program Training • Introduction to Customer Service • Delighting the Customer: An Introduction • Company Policies and • Graduation and to Quality Background/ Benefits Celebrations • Keeping the Skills Alive: A Customer Service Refresher • Building Rapport to Delight the Customer • Creating a Dream Team: The Fundamentals of Teamwork • Listen to Calls 8
  9. 9. Performance Improvement Process Call Center Processes Ensuring Commitments to the Job The Performance Improvement Process gives call center leaders a framework to address employees’ commitments in job performance. Communicating expectations about work performance and attendance can be a tricky part of a leader’s duties. Fortunately, the new Performance Improvement Process is providing some structure to manage those responsibilities in a consistent manner that supports the team, call center and organizational objectives. The purpose of the Performance Improvement Process is to: • Ensure consistency in the administration of professional work expectations for all employees with the focus on attendance and performance. • Provide contact center leadership with a framework that will enable them to address their employees’ professional The Performance commitment in the areas of attendance, performance or Improvement Process conduct issues. provides leaders with • Provide a stepped program to move an employee’s behavior guidelines on how to help from unsatisfactory to satisfactory in a consistent and timely agents improve their manner. performance or change their This process will assist contact centers through the following: behavior or conduct. This process offers leaders the • Early recognition and documentation of a problem. following: • Early notification to the employee of the issue through verbal Guidelines for early discussions or documentation. notification, warnings and • Continued observation and documentation. corrective action plans. • Presentation of a verbal and/or written warning with “or else” consequence. Shared templates for writing warnings and • Presentation of a written improvement plan. corrective action plans. • Conclusive action (e.g., successful completion of the plan or appropriate disciplinary action). 9
  10. 10. Quality Monitoring Call Center Processes Taking Customer Service to the Next Level – Quality Monitoring The difference between good customer service and great customer service lies in knowing what the customers wants before they ask for it. Quality Monitoring gives you ongoing feedback to identify your next opportunity to exceed your customer’s expectations. The key to continuous improvement is continuous feedback. The Quality Monitoring (QM) process provides qualitative and quantitative feedback to contact center agents based upon reviewing and monitoring a percentage of their interactions with The value of the Quality customers. Additionally, the QM process reinforces our continued Monitoring Process is as use of best practices in customer service. The QM process will be follows: an important component in recognition of achievements in agent performance, as well as measuring how we are all performing in The QM process begins during the meeting customer Service Level Agreements (SLA). New Hire/Acclimation Through the use of the QM process, you can expect the following: Training and is an iterative, on-going Better opportunities for recognition and accountability process. Early problem identification to resolve performance issues Reviewing this quickly feedback helps us A faster path to reward and recognition all to learn more about what works The following principles guide the QM process: and what doesn’t with our Call centers will seek consistency in quality monitoring, quality customers. And standards, and processes where practical that means more satisfied QM feedback will be provided to agents in a timely manner customers—every Random samplings of customer interactions will be used to day. ensure a consistent process, where practical 10
  11. 11. Performance Evaluation (Scorecard) Call Center Processes Customer Satisfaction Is Up To All Of Us. How Do You Measure Up? We all know that keeping the customer satisfied is our most important job. But how do we know how we’re doing? The Employee Scorecards keep us in the know. It’s a fact of human nature that we can only improve when someone tells us how we’re doing. We all need objective feedback that identifies strengths, patterns of performance, and areas for improvement. Now we have the employee scorecard to help all of us in the contact center—whether agents, supervisors, or leaders— to understand more clearly how we’re contributing to customer satisfaction and where we can get better in the days ahead. The Employee Scorecard Process provides on-going, frequent The Employee Scorecard provides feedback to employees. This ensures that the performances of all objective measurements on: employees who deliver customer service are assessed using data Quality and metrics specific to their work environment. This includes: Accuracy Agents Productivity Supervisors Attendance Schedule Adherence Center Managers The Employee Scorecard Process helps us all become better by: Providing us with frequent feedback and recognition on our performance, as appropriate, Encouraging a coaching relationship and communication with our leadership, and Providing a regular means to receive guidance in relevant competencies, such as leader skills or call handling. However, the most important reason for using the Employee Scorecard Process is that it increases credibility with our customers through an up-to-date view of overall Center and individual performance, reassuring customers that your company is closely monitoring Call Center performance to provide excellent service. 11
  12. 12. Administrative Exit Process Call Center Processes Recording Employee Exits in a Standard Fashion To the extent that is practical, we all need to record information about employee separations from a company in a standard manner that can be leveraged across the enterprise. The intent of the Administrative Exit Process is to ensure consistency, to the extent that is practical, when employees are separated. This ensures that information captured—particularly employee feedback from voluntarily separated employees about why they are deciding to leave company employment—during this process can be leveraged across all contact centers. There are four major steps to this process, as shown below: Identify type Notify parties Complete Complete all and reason for as appropriate, payroll administrative separation i.e., ER, information tasks employee, HR, security This process applies to all separations that occur in the contact centers except for employees separated because of a workforce reduction or account closings. The process: • Begins with the decision to end employment. • Encompasses both Voluntary and Involuntary separations. • Includes Exit Interviews for both Voluntary and Involuntary separations. • Ends when the separation is completed, recorded, and separation data is reviewed. 12
  13. 13. Recognition and Appreciation Call Center Processes Create an Environment that Motivates Everyone The Recognition and Appreciation Practice creates an environment in which people are motivated about work priorities, improving morale, client satisfaction, and employee retention rates. Recognition and Appreciation plays a critical role in motivating employees and rewarding them for accomplishments. Recognition is critical to any sustaining effort in support of key corporate initiatives focused on customer satisfaction, productivity, efficiency, There are four components to and cost reduction. The challenge at work is to create an a Recognition & Appreciation environment in which people are motivated. Practice. They are as follows: The Recognition and Appreciation Practice creates a framework for Recognition of individual sites to conduct recognition and appreciation activities appropriate status to contact centers. The practice contains the following components: Recognition of individual employee and team Appreciation Activities - show general appreciation to large excellence groups, generally the entire site or a program/account team Recognition of individual Individual Status Recognition – create status with visible forms of and team improvement recognition for performance excellence and/or metric target Appreciation activities for attainment. Individual status recognition is not necessarily tied to all site/team members Benefits of the R&A Practice rewards of value but rather is intended to convey individual contribution, achievement, and value to the organization. include: Short Term Individual and Team Recognition - provide performance incentives for teams and individuals within those Creation of a database of teams to ensure continued motivation of high performing and ideas improving individuals and teams Increased motivation of Peer Spot Recognition - encouragement for recognition at peer team members levels Increased employee satisfaction Supervisor Discretionary Recognition - allow an independent, Reduced attrition flexible means for immediate or near immediate recognition of Better ability to influence individuals and/or teams for actions and performances not covered the bottom line through elsewhere. Further, this component allows the leader to make the meeting or exceeding recognition special and unique for the individual. performance standards 13