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Maximizing Call Center Efficiency

One of the benefits to outsourcing call center services is it doesn’t matter where the agents are situated. If you want to stay on top of what they are doing, you can have them set up in house. Otherwise, the providers have large call centers that the reps work out of. They may also have agents that work out of their home but have access to the same information and technology.

Regardless where the agents will work from, you want to make sure you get the most out of your call center. Here are some helpful suggestions:

Don’t forgo your internal staff

Consider call centers as a supplement to your existing customer service department, not a substitution. By eliminating the number of staffers you have working for you, it just puts more of the burden on your call center (not to mention the negative impact such a decision can make on your existing employees.) It’s important to have these employees with the company since they know your customers the best and can offer the interaction they may be looking for.

Group everyone by skill

Ask your call center provider to group agents to reap the cross-functional benefits. Let someone with a strong focus in one area help someone with a weak focus. You can then use skill-based routing to make sure the right agent gets the call.

Assess your call center needs

Take a look at what your call volume is and figure out how much staff you will need to man the phones throughout the day, factoring in coffee breaks, lunch, and other instances where the call center won’t be fully staffed. This will let the vendor know how many agents your company will need and allow them to assign the appropriate number for your campaign.

Reporting functionality

There’s only one way to say for certain how your outsourced call center is performing: by seeing the results of the calls coming in. With reporting, you can let the vendor know what details you want the reps to obtain and it can be sent back to you in a table or comma delimited format. Some reports can track the length of the call, how quickly reps answer the phone, how many calls are made per hour or per day, hold times, and revenue. Find out which data means the most to your employees before entering any discussions for a call center solution.

Offer services beyond phone calls

Email is as big now as it was 10 years ago. People will use it give in-depth explanations of their questions or concerns. Make sure your provider can handle them. If possible, have them assign the reps with the best written communication skills to handle email correspondence.