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The 10 Call Center Challenges
Call center challenges abound on a day-to-day basis.
So, managers need to find cost-effective ways to tackle challenges successfully. As a result, they avoid long-term detrimental effects.
This article identifies and solves ten challenges every call center faces.
|Other companies||Magellan Solutions|
1. Lack of Budget
|Tight budgets have been a perennial problem for contact centers, thanks to the high costs associated with staffing them.
Some call center companies don’t regard contact center efficiency savings as “nice to have.”
Instead, they are demanding them as standard. This view of the contact center as a “cost center” restricts contact centers from providing their best possible service.
|We believe that organizations with restricted budgets must review their call center strategy.
If your resources are squeezed, you will inevitably need to lose your headcount. And if you’re going to do that, you need to reduce call demand to counterbalance it.
The secret to this is creating a mechanism that identifies why people ring the call center. By doing this, you can start fixing some of the problems at the source and reducing demand that way.
2. IT Issues and Need New Technology
|Call center outsourcing Philippines are drowned with software. Ranging from:
The call center challenge is common, and many struggle to keep up. They have difficulty identifying which channels to focus on and which technology is best to implement. And when new technology is installed, it is often not linked to other systems.
|Our solution to this problem will be finding ways to attain a bigger budget. We do this by putting together a good business case. There is also the question of choosing the right technology for your contact center.
In terms of implementing new technology to support new channels, we recommend first determining what you need in the short and long term. Separating the “must-have” and the “nice to have” features is good.
Once this initial analysis has been done, we will follow up with a new recommendation. Check that the new systems will integrate with the old ones. Or better, choose us as your vendor. We guarantee to consolidate its technology.
3. Conflicting Business Priorities
|This is also one of the typical call center challenges. Senior management’s job is to manage contact center performance for business priorities. But often, these priorities contradict each other.
For example, one priority is to increase customer satisfaction, while another is to cut costs.
However, improving satisfaction can be difficult when there is little financial support from elsewhere in the business.
|1.) The first we do is list your priorities in order of importance.
2.) Ask other parts of the organization for their main focuses and try to align your service with the values held in the highest regard amongst different departments. This will lead to a consistent experience.
3.) We then help eliminate those priorities that are poorly defined. We then contradict those of the most significant importance and go against organizational culture.
4.) Lastly, create a plan for investments in time and money. Make sure each is linked to the most important of your business priorities.
|According to a report by NICE, the average annual absence rate in the contact center industry in the Philippines and across the globe could be as high as 10%.
This might not seem exceptionally high. But the stark reality is that a 100-seat contact center with 10% absenteeism will only have an average of 90 seats at any time.
Unsurprisingly, a shortfall of this magnitude significantly impacts the quality of service.
This is because fewer agents are available to handle customer interactions, wait queues tend to increase, and agents are pressured to spend less time on each call.
This situation holds for some of the significant teams of known call centers.
Over extended periods, absenteeism can impact staff morale and may even foster similar behavior in those left to fill the gap.
|1.) The first step we mainly do is track absenteeism. We look for weekly, seasonal, and event-based trends.
2.) We will talk to your team once we gather this information. We guarantee to appeal to their better nature and explain the effect that absenteeism has on your business and ours.
3.) It is also important for us to implement and communicate a robust absence management policy. We are clear that employees will be contacted during their absence and must undertake a return-to-work interview. This helps our managers understand why they were absent and how a repeat situation can be avoided.
4.) To ensure real impact, staff should be aware that repeated unsubstantiated absences will result in formal action such as a verbal or written warning.
5. Advisor Attrition
|High staff turnover negatively impacts contact center quality. Every time a trained advisor leaves, fewer are on hand to ensure an optimum level of service.
Moreso, high costs are associated with recruiting, hiring, training, and developing new staff.
Additionally, the costs associated with the dip in productivity that is inevitable as recruits battle to get up to speed.
|Anyone looking to tackle high staff turnover should consider prevention rather than cure.
For our Filipino customer service, this means being careful about recruitment. We aim for people who see call centers as a career option rather than a stop-gap.
For others, it’s all about empowerment. As a customer service company in the Philippines, developing people and giving them skills is good.
But if you don’t allow employees to maximize those skills in full, they are likely to get despondent and leave.
The key is empowering advisors, even through small activities like giving them the freedom to authorize minor refunds.
Giving people this kind of ownership helps prevent them from feeling like a number. As a result, it makes them feel valued by the business, which incentivizes them to stay.
6. Lack of Time / Human Resources
|This is a workforce management (WFM) problem for some companies. If they still have these problems, you are likely to struggle with them in one of the following three areas:
• Forecasting your requirements – Are you struggling to predict your contact volumes? Is your forecast accuracy way off? This can cause great understaffing and make scheduling a big challenge.
• Planning your work schedules – Can you successfully schedule the correct number of staff to meet your needs while ensuring you have the right skills available?
• Managing your employees’ time – Are you prioritizing tasks to make the best use of your time and that of your advisors?
|Our solution for the first two issues is to train the WFM team. We help them be more confident using techniques like triple exponential smoothing for forecasting and tools like the Erlang Calculator for scheduling.
The more data, in terms of historical contact volumes, the WFM team has access to, the easier this will become for them.
Regarding managing the advisors’ time, this doesn’t mean targeting them against time-based metrics like Average Handling Time (AHT), which can lead to negative behaviors. Instead, we coach advisors to use techniques that improve the customer experience while lowering AHT naturally.
Signposting is an excellent example of this. For instance, in the classic scenario, people will hunt to find a pen when an advisor says: “I’m going to give you a reference number. Have you got a pen to write it down?”. Yet time can be shaved off this process.
If, instead, the advisor was to say at the start of the call: “I’m going to give you a reference number. It might be handy to have a pen”, the customer can rummage around as you carry on the conversation.
This is an excellent example of how signposting can save advisors time.
7. Lack of Skills
|At some point or another, some call center companies struggle to increase their performance levels. Often they reach a plateau or, worse, find that their adherence to targets is starting to drop.
This can lead to frustration for managers and front-line staff in an in-house environment like theirs. And in the outsourcing arena, it can cause clients to question the third party’s capabilities.
|Traditional metrics such as “speed to answer” and AHT can be why we fail to upskill advisors.
We believe that such metrics make improving critical measures such as quality and adherence much more challenging.
We focus instead on more relevant, customer-focused metrics.
8. Advisor Buy-In / Engagement
|At one extreme, the contact center industry in the Philippines can be monotonous. This is due to the highly repetitive nature of the job. On the other hand, it can also be stressful, thanks to the seemingly impossible targets and strictures that BPO companies place upon their staff.
In both instances, Telework PH runs the risk of their agents losing enthusiasm and becoming demoralized. In turn, it can lead to absenteeism and, ultimately, attrition.
|There are numerous ways that we improve advisor engagement. This includes
Look at what our readers found to be the most significant keys to advisor engagement.
According to many of our employees, offering incentives is another key to engagement.
We offer traditional incentive schemes. But we change these around regularly and are always coming up with new ways to recognize our staff’s hard work and achievements.”
Furthermore, technology can also play a role.
Systems such as intelligent call routing to direct customers to the appropriate advisor or service and automating routine tasks free staff up to focus on more complex queries.
9. Management Buy-In
|Customer service can be a crucial business differentiator. Yet, some BPO companies do not have this mentality. Customer service companies in the Philippines like them can struggle to get buy-in from the wider business.
Without management buy-in, a number of the other problems in this list become harder to solve.
|• We improve management buy-in is to put effort into showcasing the value of call center outsourcing Philippines.
Contact centers serve as a “hub” for the Voice of the Customers (VoC).
This means that it holds excellent feedback that can be used for your organization’s creative, marketing, and production teams. It would be best to think of ways to drive VoC into these departments for real change to highlight your contact center’s value.
• Another way we achieve management’s support in improving your performance. We present them with cost figures for absenteeism and attrition each year instead of percentage figures.
While this may seem like a small change, management will be more likely to invest in improving the contact center culture. This is because they see a cost-benefit instead of a mere percentage benefit.
However, remember to include hidden costs of HR time and so forth in your calculations.
10. Flat Structures / Few Progression Opportunities
|Fewer and fewer of their employees are multi-skilling advisors. They may be good at maintaining advisor focus but are not so good at equipping advisors with the skills they need for future job progression.
The problem is that some BPO companies are inherently flat structures. Their career prospects are often limited, as there are many more advisor roles than leader or manager positions.
The impact is clear. Organizations like them risk losing their best people if they cannot provide adequate career opportunities. Talented staff might also become demotivated and stop working to the same high standards they achieved previously.
|Getting your ‘future starts’ engaged in the organization and its development much earlier is good. Be clear about the opportunities that will exist and the timescales involved.
Be realistic. If you don’t see opportunities arising in the short term, you must manage the person’s expectations.
However, consider where else you can involve and engage in the business. For example, giving them responsibility for overseeing a new project where the skills they’ll gain will be helpful for a future management position.
Magellan Solutions makes sure that your team will not be left idle.
Your call center challenges will be lessened by joining an experienced call center outsourcing in the Philippines.
Some critics have repeatedly written off the call center industry. Yet, it has not only survived but grown tremendously over the last decade despite several hurdles and provided jobs to billions of youth globally, and continues to do so.
Slowly but surely, Magellan Solutions has provided a great call center experience and has solved many of the typical call center challenges in the Philippines for 18 years. We know how to overcome call center challenges by providing the best cost-effective solution.
We hire native multilingual call center agents to deliver the best services and build long-term customer relationships. Additionally, we have set up multiple delivery centers across the globe, allowing us to work in different time zones and even out any regional challenges, ensuring quick response time.
If you are looking for hassle-free call center services, please contact us by filling out our form below.
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