how to create a positive and profitable call center culture

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A positive call center environment is critical to a companys success or failure in the eyes of its customers and its bottom line. Knowing how to leverage call center talent to create a positive atmosphere will ultimately increase agent productivity and performance.

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  • 1. From Boot Camp to Teamwork: How to Create a Positive and Profitable Call Center Culture09-08-11 1

2. Agenda Introductions Positive and Profitable Call Center Culture Operationalizing Culture Improvements Questions and Answers 2 3. Todays Presenters David L. Butler, Ph.D. Director and Associate Professor, The Call Center Research Laboratory, The University of Southern Mississippi Executive Director, The National Association of Call Centers - a not-for-profit membership organization Author of Bottom-Line Call Center Management3 4. Todays Presenters Continued Matt McConnell CEO, KnowlagentKnowlagent at a Glance Call center agent productivity solution Founded in 1995 300,000+ agents in 17 countries using Knowlagent SaaS 4 5. Quality of the Customer ExperienceThe Attitude of Agents26%The Ability of Agents to Understand the Issue23%Queue Lengths20%The Ability of Agents to Resolve Issues at the First 20%AttemptAgent Knowledge8%Consistency ofBased on #1 choice ONLYInformation 2%Agent performance is vital to the customer experienceand customer satisfactionSource: Ventana Research CEM Benchmark Research 5 6. By the Numbers 6 7. The Nature of the BeastCall center created to deal with customers more efficiently Volume Lower cost resources Metrics criticalEasily leads to a command and control environment 8. Response Defines CulturePressures remain the sameHow you respond to them defines your cultureA tale of two centers 9. Know Thy Agents9 10. Know Thy Agents Continued Do you find your work challenging?No 24%Yes76%10 11. A Tale of Two Call CentersSame citySame labor area 500 seats eachSimilar working hoursSimilar benefit plans11 12. A Tale of Two Call Centers ContinuedPays $2 more an hour more Turnover rate 3% vs. 90%Waiting list to join company Negative culture 12 13. Volume Cant Change varying volume Can Make sure agents are prepared Break up the day with different tasks, alleviate boredom and burnout Change measurement focus 14. Resources Cant Change demographics of labor pool Can Give a career path Change management approach Invest in skills 15. MetricsCantStop measuringCan Balance productivity and performance Focus on metrics that matter most to customers (which empower agentsand drive behavior) Empower agents with information, not punish. Drive improvement whileinvesting in skills 16. The Payoff Source: Metric NetCONFIDENTIAL 16 17. Agent Training/Coaching* 29% provide as much training as they target: 73% say service level agreements dont allow enough time for trainingCoaching:37% have no set target for amount ofcoaching timeSource: Ventana Research Call Center Agent Productivity Poll 17 18. Wait Time: Five Weeks of Really Bad, BoringVacation Wait time = Five weeks; 2 minutes at a time. Secondary Loss24 x 2 minute breaks/ day 12%(off-phone work) Primary Loss 120 x 2 minute breaks/ week17%(Absenteeism, vacations, etc.) 480 x 2 minute breaks/ monthWait Time11%5,760 x 2 minute breaks/ year Call Handle time60%Costs our industry $30 billion/yearSource: 2010 Contact Center Shrinkage SurveyCategory 1 19. Agents have 17 hours of Idle Time Every MonthContact centeragents spend 11% Breakof their dayunproductively Lunch 50 minutes of unproductivewaiting for the next wait timecustomer Breakinteraction 20. Wait Time: Five Weeks of Really Bad, BoringVacationWait time = Five weeks; 2 minutes at a time.Secondary Loss 12%(off-phone work)Primary Loss Active Wait 17%(Absenteeism, vacations, etc.) 11%Wait TimeCall Handle time 60% Source: 2010 Contact Center Shrinkage Survey Category 1 21. Find time by Converting Idle Wait Time intoActive Wait time Leverage technology to redistribute the idle time and create 15-20 minute activity 20 minutes of sessionsActive Wait Use these dynamicallyLunchtime scheduled sessions to + improve 30 minutes ofBreak skills, communicate unproductive must reads, coach wait time agents 22. Time Invested for ImprovementsIndustry Average Composition of Secondary Loss 21% Training 17% CoachingSecondary Loss 12% 16% Team Meetings Primary Loss17% 11% ProjectsWait time11% 9%PaperworkCall Handle time 9%Call Research / Follow-up 60% 17% - Email, Call Back, Knowledgebase, Etc.Category 1Source: 2010 Contact Center Shrinkage Survey 23. Structured Activity Queues Drive the RightWork at the Right TimeOccupancy100%95%90%1) Urgent Must Reads85%2) Social Learning3) Coaching80% 4) QM Review75%70% Personalized based on agent need, prioritized basedon business objectives 23 24. Customer SatisfactionGetting First Call Resolution DoneMajor U.S. Telecommunications CompanyUsing Knowlagent to deliver moretraining, coaching, and communications to over45,000 agentsIncreased DeliveryDelivered more training time to a site in 5 days usingRightTime than was delivered over 1 month whenmanually scheduling timeImproved Take Rate71.7% take rate for RightTimevs. 59.4% take rate for pre-scheduled breaks 25. Operationalizing Culture ImprovementsVolume: Make idle time work for you and your agentsResources: Find time to make them betterMetrics: Guide your improvements, prioritize off-phoneactivities 26. Q&As and Contact InformationDavid L. Butler, Ph.D.601-266-4735david.butler@usm.eduMatt McConnell678-365-3500matt.mcconnell@knowlagent.com26

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