8 Tips to Improve Call-Center Productivity
4. Ask for, and respect, customer preferences. Nowadays customers are “driving the bus,” so you better ask them how often they’d like your full-line catalog, your sales catalogs, your e-mail newsletters, your special customer sale e-mails and so on. Confirming basic customer information and asking for preferences are part of inbound sales reps’ jobs. They need to do it seamlessly, effortlessly and make the customers feel they’re working for them in the process.
5. Remember, what may seem like a stupid question to your call-center rep is obviously not to your customer. Any question should be answered respectfully, along with a reference or referral for more detailed or related information. When I tried to make my hotel reservation at Radisson, my question on how many square feet the hotel room was was scoffed at. It seemed like a logical question to me.
6. Hire some “racehorses” for your call center. Pay them double your normal rate, and expect double performance. More experienced, mature reps can often change the attitude on the floor and provide leadership.
7. Post performance metrics for each call-center rep every week. Nothing silences complainers like knowing they’re in the bottom quartile of performers and, as such, have little credibility and may be in danger of losing their job.
8. Make sure every senior manager in your business walks through the call center each day, knows all the reps by name, demonstrates respect for the importance of the position and has productive conversations about what’s going on with customers.
Your inbound call-center reps are your front lines. They hear the “pains” of your customers, receive new product and service ideas, among other things, all while building relationships, loyalty and repeat business. If your call-center staff isn’t the happiest, most productive group in your business, you’ve got work to do.