Creating Productive Teams in a Call Center Environment
There is a lot of buzz in the media about how technology isolates people, but the reality is technology is only a tool. When used correctly, technology-oriented call center solutions can bring your agents closer together and turn a group of individuals into a unified customer service team.
Bringing Agents Together
Despite the non-stop dealing with customers, agents often feel cut off in their positions. Traditional cubicle layouts increase this by putting every agent in a separate space. Originally done to minimize extraneous noise during the call, this structure makes each agent an island castaway. The work day becomes a grueling series of phone calls, and agents lose sight of the larger role they play as part of the company’s service structure.
Modern call center solutions bring agents together by eliminating barriers, both physical and psychological. In addition to more open work areas, software and electronic wallboards allow agents to see how the department as a whole is performing. These systems remind agents of the bigger picture they are a part of, and allows them to evaluate and respond to changing call traffic.
Bringing Departments Together
Another aspect of service center management that is changing is the way the operations are viewed in the larger context of the company as a whole. Customer service, technical support and other phone centers in the past were treated as isolated aspects of the company with little integration with profit- generating activities.
Call center solutions that incorporate the entire organization have proven to be more successful. Information technology makes it easy to feed call center metrics to anyone in the company. Executives can evaluate phone traffic in real time to see if changes are necessary or if new policies are working. Other departments might use current metrics to determine if it would be better to transfer a customer to a support technician now, or to take a message and have a technician call back during lower traffic times. Everyone becomes part of the customer service structure.
Bringing Global Operations Together
A customer in Atlanta who dials a toll-free service number could get an agent in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Tallahassee – or for that matter London, Madrid or New Delhi. The ease of sending information and voice communication anywhere has allowed organizations to employ agents all over the world. Companies may use dedicated phone centers, a collection of home-based agents, or a combination of both.
No matter how many support centers a company has, call center solutions unite them all into one global team. Whether an agent is a contractor working from a home office or a member of a high-tech service center that houses thousands of employees, each agent receives the same information, the same support, and the same feedback.
Yes, technology can divide but it can also unite. Comprehensive call center solutions include not only technological tools but also the policies that ensure those tools are used to improve operations and bring agents together.