4 Tips to Avoid Dreaded Call Center Mishaps


Preparing for the big third-party transition can be a scary step in the process of growing your business, especially when you consider the four dreaded call center mishaps listed below.


However, as with any business expansion plan, it takes considerable preparation and planning to ensure smooth and positive movement. Mishaps generally only occur for companies who haven’t dotted all their “i’s” and crossed all their “t’s.”


Consider the possible complications below and also how you can better prepare your company before taking the plunge into a potentially very rewarding direction.


1. Find the Right Agents

Your company is specialized in your industry, and ensuring that your third-party team is just as specialized can make the difference between an agent who helps with customer retention and one who creates an upset media frenzy. These frenzies aren’t common, but they can happen, so taking the extra time to find the right agents is imperative to keeping your company in a positive light.


Customers have high expectations, and it’s crucial that your agents not only know the related terminology but they should also know how to solve your customers needs quickly. Part of this is related to training that comes through your company, as the intricacies of your company differ from others in your industry, but it also comes from training on behalf of the call center.


Maneuvering between virtual private networks, multi-channel communication systems, and industry-specific needs can be challenging. When you make sure the right agents are chosen (and even being prepared to train agents who aren’t up to par yet), the transition will be smoother for all parties involved.


This also means that your relationship with your call center is an important aspect of finding the right agents. The more you can narrow down and communicate your needs, the more the call center can reference their team of agents or hire new agents to meet your needs.


2. Staff Just Enough Agents

Your call center wants to be prepared for your company’s expected growth without making you pay for more agents than you need before you need them, making this a tricky situation.


To save you money while anticipating your growth, long standing centers understand natural influxes that occur in various industries. For example, the medical field may receive more calls in the fall as bills come due after back-to-school illnesses set in, and the banking industry may receive more calls in the spring as people prepare to buy and sell their homes. Of course these are simplified examples in very complex industries, but they give you an idea of what influxes may look like.


As part of the preparation for your expansion and seasonal influxes, your center may source from a team of agents who are cross-trained and whom may also be on standby. As companies grow, then agents are readily available to fill in the gaps.


Throughout this process of anticipation your needs, it’s possible that some agents may end up waiting for projects, but in general just as your company grows so does the call center. So, the likelihood that you’ll be overstaffed is less likely than the possibility that you’ll be understaffed. Although, it’s not guaranteed that either of these situations will, or need to, occur.


This again is why communication is an important part of the equation. Your company will always have the agents you need, and even better you can have the pre-trained and cross-trained agents that you need, as long as you continue to inform the center about the growth and seasonal influxes that you already know are coming.


Related Article: 5 Overlooked Reasons to Outsource Your Customer Service Team


3. Retain Agents for the Long Haul

The call center career can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging. Your agents spend their entire day solving problems, and the more prepared and valued they feel then the more likely they will continue in their position.


While ongoing attrition can add up financially for your company, it’s less of a concern when you look for centers that vet their agents from the start. Lower attrition rates (particularly in the 5-7% range) are also more likely in places where agents are trained both by the government and by the call center. In Belize, for example, the government encourages its citizens to seek call center positions, making the career field more competitive and highly prized.


Additionally, like at any other company, agents are more likely to stay in their position when they have incentives to do so. This includes an atmosphere of positive reinforcement for a job well done, vacation time, and more. So, you may want to discuss the internal atmosphere to make sure your agents are happy and motivated to stay.


You can also provide your own incentives to your agents. They are, after all, part of your company even though they work remotely. So, while it’s not a requirement, you may consider offering your own incentives and motives for agents who do a great job, just like you would for internal staff. The more your remote team feels valued, the better off you’ll be in the long run.


Related Article: Is the Cost of Business Outsourcing Worth It?


4. Maintain High Customer Satisfaction

This is one of the most common concerns for both the customers who are calling your company for help and for companies who seek third-party providers. Ensuring that customer needs are met quickly, correctly, and happily is no simple task.


Similar to other ways to ensure high quality agents and bypass common call center mishaps, communication is key. A good call center will encourage regular meetings to discuss quality control, individual agents, and your company’s ongoing needs.


Ideally, agents will be doing a perfect job on every single call, but realistically they are constantly confronted with increasingly complex problems for which they can’t easily prepare themselves. The same can be said of internal staff who answer the phones and aren’t sure how to help. Sometimes, it’s not an easy solution.


Regular meetings provide the perfect time to update the center about changes in operational equipment, changes in your company’s services, and common issues related to internal infrastructure. Even though this may mean exposing your own operational deficiencies, the more prepared a call center is the more they can not only help your customers, but the better they may be able to help your own company find solutions to common operational problems.


Above all, call centers are great partners and can provide amazing expertise and skill in handling your customers’ needs, but in many ways it comes down to your company’s ability and interest in maintaining communication related your needs. That’s why collaborative planning between you and your center will help you meet and exceed your company’s goals while avoiding common mishaps.


Contact ABC Marketing Services today to prepare for a smooth, successful addition to your team!



Related Article: How ABC Marketing Services is Upping the Bar on Quality Control in Belize Call Centers
Related Article: 5 Overlooked Reasons to Outsource Your Customer Service Team
Related Article: Is the Cost of Business Outsourcing Worth It?