Properly built communication with customers is the key to the success of any company. After all, not only do your staff need to promptly answer questions, there is also an efficient expansion of sales to be handled. And that’s exactly what makes the services of call centers today quite in demand.
Outsourced call centers make a great solution for small companies that simply cannot afford to set up a full-on contact center. However, the crucial business-deciding point is how you manage an outsourced contact center. Management is the pillar of your business income generation and continuous development.
Do the Right Thing – Managing an Outsourced Call Center Team
It cannot be stressed more that personnel management is the major aspect of the call center. After all, this type of company is primarily focused on people’s communication. Consequently, the quality of staff performance is paramount.
Managing an outsourced customer support team
Operators are the main group of personnel in any call center. They are led by a senior operator. Ideally, such a person should sit in each row, which is six people or more. If there isn’t a person responsible for the operation of operators in each raw, miscommunication and other issues may arise.
This is especially relevant for outsourced call centers. They perform a lot of tasks and senior operators are the major go-to instance for operators. A senior operator is fully knowledgeable about the tasks that are performed by his colleagues. This reduces the burden on supervisors. At the same time, each supervisor should manage no more than 15 operators.
All in all, it is important that you clearly understand the logical hierarchy of workers, which starts as follows.
Supervisors are the direct superiors of operators. They do not work on the line in some companies and engage in calls in some way in others (mostly, in outsourced facilities). Their primary task is to monitor the quality of operators’ work and regulate their workload.
Business coach’s job
The personnel training department and, specifically, business coaches are only partially integrated with the overall workflow of the company. They train new employees, improve sales and telephone service skills, and monitor the quality of speech of employees who communicate with customers.
Business coaches participate in each stage of project preparation, as well as in the process of its implementation and monitoring of implementation. They are often attracted to write scripts and optimize call center performance indicators.
IT department’s job
Employees of the IT department interact with various enterprise levels and, on the other hand, have their own direct management. It is this department that ensures the smooth operation of operators in terms of software and monitors the state of technical equipment.
Human resources department
One of the main issues of an outsourced call center team is the constant staff turnover. Operators often quit, so the human resources department usually has a lot of work to do. All employees who come to get a job are offered a survey, after which they are invited for an individual interview.
Personnel officers are also engaged in the design of vacation and workaround conditions, and they process various applications, too. The personnel department reports directly to the top management of the call center as well as to the managers of some of the projects (in cases where you need to select people for specific tasks).
Project managers are an integral part of a well-loaded outsourcing call center team. Thanks to them, it is possible to remove part of the load from supervisors and improve the quality of customer service.
You should also keep in mind that supervisors probably used to work as operators, so direct communication with the customer should be entrusted to a manager who has the skills to competently organize interaction and slightly increase the average check for additional services.
Sales department responsibilities
The sales department in an outsourced call center is usually gathered from among the most experienced operators. Also, some companies hire a development manager who reports directly to the head of the call center. The larger the organization, the more people must work in the sales department.
Overcoming the Staff Burnout
As we have already mentioned, in a call center, a lot depends on how well the staff performs. Many employees consider this work as temporary employment, so the staff turnover in such organizations is quite high. In order for employees to want to stay in the call center for as long as possible, in addition to the size of their salaries and satisfaction with their workplace, employees are motivated by:
- constant support during the adaptation period and the organization of quality training;
- the ability to work based on a flexible schedule;
- communication opportunities for staff;
- the ability to take breaks in the equipped recreation area;
- career prospects.
Experts also say that personnel in senior positions burn out much faster, as they have a wider range of responsibilities and are constantly in a seriously stressful situation so keep that in mind.
Picking a certain style of management and improving the quality of corporate culture will help reduce the turnover rate as well. If a friendly nature of the interaction has been established between employees and management, it will be much easier to keep employees.
How to Estimate the Quality of Employees’ Performance?
Today, in order to determine how well a particular employee performs his/her work most efficiently, the KPI system is used. If you manage an outsourced call center team, then you need to take into account such Key Performance Indicators:
- Overall operator performance;
- the call center’s availability to subscribers;
- the level of customer satisfaction;
- the quality of service;
- The overall profitability of the call center.
In order to boost the effectiveness of your call center, each operator should be interested in career and personal growth. And for this, they must understand the criteria by which their activities are evaluated. All of them should be objective enough not to cause questions. Therefore, employees should be clearly explained why they get their salaries and bonuses.
Automated Service Organization
The organization of automated customer service is an integral part of outsourced contact center management. Using specialized software, you can reduce the load on operators and minimize the call waiting time. On top of that, the advantages of introducing automation technologies include:
- reduction of human resources costs (IVR-systems allow serving customers 24/7);
- clients can be automatically divided between operators depending on their requests;
- a positive effect on the image of the company as a whole;
- simpler organization of information and advertising services;
- services that are easily integrated with efficient CRM systems;
- recording the appropriate scripts and configuring the whole thing is enough to keep everything going.
Organization of Personalized Customer Interaction
The foundation of outsourced call center operations is individual customer service. In order to maximize the automation of the call center and operator control, various CRM systems are used. They allow you to fully control all the processes that occur in the company, build sales funnels, and interact with customers in a more individualized fashion. Using such systems, one can:
- pick those products for clients they really need based on their history of previous requests;
- establish rules for processing incoming calls, which will increase the speed of staff performance;
- predict the profits the company can make and plan sales growth;
- perform the automatic distribution of the database;
- automate simple technical tasks of staff;
- organize customer data in one place.
Managing Work Time Efficiency
In order to efficiently manage the employee’s working time, the so-called WFM system can be used. This is a separate module that can help handle:
- load planning;
- calculation of breaks;
- changes in personal performance.
When using such a system, improving the quality of work can be carried out due to:
- reduction of staff due to fewer excess staff members;
- distribution of employees according to their skills;
- uniform distribution of load between operators;
- adherence to the schedule;
- reduction of overtime payments.
Conducting a Call Center Audit
Answering the question of how to manage an outsourced call center the most proper way, you should definitely pay attention to the audit. Indeed, without periodic inspections, it is impossible to evaluate the effectiveness of employees in-depth.
As a rule, one of the management or the supervisor receives an observation sheet or KLN which contains the main evaluation parameters. Most of the time, more than one operator accounts for 3 to 6 test calls. After that, the results of this assessment are used for deciding a fair payroll.
It is necessary to regularly analyze customer reviews and complaints that come. Thus, you can identify both common problems and the shortcomings of individual operators.
It is also important to measure customer satisfaction. This indicator is major. You can also attract third-party experts who will analyze the quality of work and give recommendations on how to eliminate weaknesses.
Managing an outsourced call center, it is important to remember that the main task is to correctly organize the work of a large number of people, optimize internal processes, and do everything to overcome the employee turnover. It is important to remember that a call center is a people-based business.
The high-quality training of operators, the correct construction of interaction within the team, the establishment of clear quality criteria will help make the company truly successful.