When designing a call center, how to select furniture is often viewed as an ideal area to cut costs. As long as the agents have a place to sit, a desk on which to work, a computer and telephone, all should be set and ready to go – right? Wrong.
As call centers have traditionally been cost centers for the organization, areas where costs can be saved are very appealing. But, as cost centers they are stringently monitored and measured for performance. As performance metrics are so important, it is critical that the organization provide call center agents the tools that they need to be successful.
One of the first concerns in selecting call center furniture should be the agent’s workflow. Agents are measured on the number of calls they effectively complete within a specified amount of time. If the furniture that they are provided to complete these calls is not conducive to their workflow, they will not be as productive as necessary, will miss call quotas and incur more cost for the organization.
Call centers also need to be concerned with the type of environment they are trying to create. Some organizations are fostering a more team-oriented environment where interaction and conversation is encouraged between agents.
Others still may operate in more delicate industries where privacy is critical. Providing office furniture that is designed to be flexible will allow for call centers to create the environment that is conducive to the business at hand.
Technology is also an important part of the call centers of today. As such, it is important to select furniture that can accommodate each agent’s technology needs. Office cubicles that offer generous channels for wires and cables will allow for connections between stations, while also keeping these elements out of the workstation and out of the way of the agent trying to complete their duties.
It is also critical to remember that one-size-fits-all is not the ideal in the call center. People of course come in all shapes and sizes, so must your call center furniture. This is not to say that the end result should be a disorganized jumble of multiple sizes crammed into the call center. Instead, focus on pieces that can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of the individual agents.
Research has time and again proven that providing the tools an employee needs to effectively complete his or her job will not only motivate the employee for successful productivity, it will also contribute to a satisfied employee. Satisfaction leads to loyalty and lower attrition, which helps improve the bottom line.
For more, check out the Call Center Furniture channel on TMCnet.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for eastbiz.com. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.