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Tools for Managing Agents in the Outbound Call Center
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Tools for Managing Agents in the Outbound Call Center

July 07, 2008
By Susan J. Campbell
TMCnet Contributing Editor

The outbound call center is often the lifeline of the organization. It provides the interaction point between the customer and the company, and the outbound call center helps to drive sales as well as serves as the customer service area of the organization that can make the difference between keeping and losing a loyal customer base.

The fact that the outbound call center has so much responsibility within the organization makes it especially important that call center managers have the tools they need to help drive optimal performance and overall productivity.

One of the first steps the call center can do to improve effectiveness in their calls is through call scripting. Well scripted calls can deliver improved sales, increased customer and agent satisfaction and reduced call times.

The challenge for the center is to effectively identify the script that will deliver these results. Carefully monitoring interactions and the results of these interactions using a script will provide clear insight into the effectiveness of the script and whether or not changes should be made.

Once an effective script is identified, it is time for the outbound call center to move onto other areas where productivity can be enhanced, the first of which is predictive dialing. Well trained agents can not only produce high sales during customer interactions, they can also build relationships that guarantee customer loyalty.

Time spent calling multiple numbers manually to find the next available customer is valuable agent time wasted. The use of a predictive dialer in the outbound call center eliminates much of the manual process of outbound calling while also ensuring that the center is adhering to all calling rules and regulations.

Another area that can lead to improvements within the outbound call center is a focus on improving the quality of service by way of voice recording and silent monitoring. Implementing a voice recording solution enables the call center manager to identify how the agent is interacting with the customer, as well as how the customer is reacting to the agent.

Capturing this information allows the center to measure performance, identify areas of opportunity for coaching and training and can even highlight areas where processes can be changed or improved in order to be more effective.

Silent monitoring is a concept that is not used in every call center, but can go a long way in helping an agent to handle a call, especially in the early stages of his or her career in the outbound call center. A supervisor can listen to the call and provide assistance to the agent while the call is taking place. The result can be a more productive call and the agent learns while doing.
While there is no one-solution-fits-all in the call center industry, there are proven applications that can lend to the ongoing success of the center, helping to drive effectiveness, efficiency and productivity for better overall performance.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMC (News - Alert) and has also written for Market Drive News. To see more of her articles, please visit Susan J. Campbell’s columnist page.

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