August 08, 2016
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The call center is one of the most important divisions in any company as it offers the primary interaction point between the company and its customers. For too many organizations, however, the importance placed on recruiting, training and employee retention programs for call center employees is lacking. The culture doesn’t support the type of interactions customers demand, meaning that something has to change.
According to a blog by telemarketing software provider, VanillaSoft, it’s time to define the culture of the call center. It sounds like a tall order, and call center management likely doesn’t have the bandwidth or the power to change the culture of the entire corporation. But the small steps needed within the call center itself have the opportunity to improve productivity while also impacting the way upper management views the department.
By defining the culture of the call center, people with similar traits and values around a common purpose have the potential to succeed together. With a team already in place, a great place to start is to define the characteristics of the ideal call center and its agents. You can then hire according to those attributes. This will help eliminate the problems that can arise when simply hiring just to fill a seat.
The telemarketing software company suggests that when employees are hired and training to use the same language and customs, they are better equipped to meet sales goals. This does require that call center management formally define sales and lead management processes, but then new employees can be hired on these processes. Plus, employees can be accurately trained on products and services offered to ensure they understand the specialties of the industry and how best to serve the customer.
At that point, call center management can then build the culture to motivate agents. This isn’t an exercise in warm and fuzzy surroundings, but instead very real actions and outcomes that help the division overall improve, both on paper and in the eyes of decision makers at the top of the organization. This involves not only hiring the right people, but also providing the right tools so they can easily achieve their goals.
It’s also important to continue to focus on training and coaching. A culture that trains only at the point of hiring and provides little more than telemarketing software can expect nothing more than sub-standard performances. Instead, the culture should be one that focuses on consistent improvements, providing the feedback and coaching that agents need to be successful. When provided with the right tools and support, agents have what is necessary to drive the desired results.
Edited by Alicia Young