Working in a call center for several years already, it is inevitable sometimes to be frustrated whenever I encounter difficult customers, those customers who wouldn’t listen, those customers who will continually ask you the same questions that you’ve answered several times before. Now that I’m not taking calls anymore, I realized that customers are calling because they need help. Customers are calling because the product or service offered by the company we represent is not what they expected or less than what they expected. Customers get even more upset because they need to wait on long holds before they can actually talk to a real person. As a result, customers vent out their frustrations to the agent and the agent takes it personally, that’s where miscommunication happens. It will then turn out to be a long and low quality call. Based from the numbers, it will be interpreted as if the agent did not perform, which is not so motivating on the agents end.
We then revised our quality guidelines and lowered our handling time goal. Performed daily monitoring thinking it will motivate the agents to be better because they know they are being monitored. But the numbers are still not improving, we were stuck on low quality and high handling time. Then it hit us, we thought that we had all the answers but what if it was the questions we had wrong on the first place? That forced us to evaluate our shortcomings from the very roots!
We started changing our perspective about the issue. We up-trained our agents, not just how to memorize the script but we encouraged them to be more engaging. We emphasized understanding to be a key factor. Let them imagined themselves to be the customer, how frustrated would they feel if they experienced the same thing?
We also change our call center software to ClearView, a more up to date software that provides visibility and transparency more than the previous software we are using. You may think that the software don’t matter that much but in reality it can improve more than 50% of your productivity. ClearView brought new levels of visibility and accountability to all levels of our organization. It increased agent and management accountability and created a culture of continuous development essential to meeting business goals. Part of it’s numerous features is that the agent himself can view his real time performance, if he is on goal or not. This motivated the agent to reach the goals and be more competitive, it was actually so much more motivating than the knowledge of being monitored. And since it provides a fast real time data, we were able to identify the agents who are not reaching the goals, coached them as soon as the call flow permits us. The numbers started to look like rainbow, it was colorful and full of life.
I admit that we are not perfect. I don’t know if we will even reach perfection in this fast changing world. However, our pursuit to provide world class customer experience is continually progressing and we will not stop trying!
For more inquires about ClearView, visit http://www.clearviewlive.com.