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Call Center Playbook: The Do's and Don'ts

Call Center Playbook: The Do’s and Don’ts

Being on the phone all day is hard, and it never gets easier – your team just gets better. If you’re looking for quick tactics that you can implement immediately, you’re in the right place. Our call center playbook will go through the do’s (and the don’ts) to help your team move the needle.

Customer service 1 is a must for all companies, regardless of whether you’re a call center. Good customer service improves customer loyalty and poor customer service leads to increased costs and even employee turnover. It’s also the same for inbound call centers as it is for outbound call centers.

We’ve worked with many customers whose teams are on the phone all day. There are quite a few small changes that you can make to not only improve your customer satisfaction scores (CSAT), but also your overall employee morale.

Let’s get right into it – no fluff, just tactics.

 

The Call Center Playbook Do’s

Compliance

This is a no brainer. But most managers spend too much time on this instead of automating their QA and compliance. Find software that can automate the process for you so you can spend more time coaching your agents.

Spend Time Creating Your Onboarding Process

When turnover is high, onboarding becomes even more important. You should have a solid training program that includes shadowing your best agents, daily quizzes to help agents understand how to respond, and live call coaching software to give them confidence on the phone.

Incentivize High Performance

Create monthly or weekly incentives to help your agents, especially when times are busy. But even more importantly, don’t just limit this to individual performance. Include team goals as they will all start to help each other more.

Team Trainings

Have your team teach each other on topics. This can be a monthly occurrence, but it gives them responsibility and you can even pair agents together. This helps with team culture and allows them to see if they like the training/teaching side of the job.

Focus on Strengths (not just weaknesses)

Every coaching session should include how to improve, we aren’t disagreeing with that. But, we believe that “training” tends to be what your team is doing wrong. Instead, take some of that time to focus on what they’re doing right. They may be doing something great and not even know it!

Trust Your Agents

Yes, compliance is a must and your team has to say everything they are supposed to. But remember to trust first, accuse never. Give your agents a chance to tell you their side of the story. Now, if the same problem keeps occurring – that is different. But trust first, it will go a long way.

The Call Center Playbook Don’ts

Long Hold Times

If you’re looking to set up your team for failure, this is a perfect way. Long hold times mean customers or prospects are already frustrated. Then once the agent (who’s been on the phone the whole time) finally gets to them, the customer or prospect is on edge. Address this by using software that has live call coaching. This will help your agents improve their first call resolution as well as end the calls faster as they know immediately how to respond.

No Back Up Plan

What happens when there is an influx of calls? What happens if your best agent leaves? What happens if your manager leaves? While we don’t want you to dwell on the negatives, having a backup plan in your call center playbook (with required training needed), will make any transition period much easier.

Not Letting Customers Give Feedback

Sure, more negative feedback will come in than positive. But this is still a great way to see the customer’s perspective and notice if there are any trends happening that you might not see in the data.

No Focus On Career Growth

You may have a team that is comfortable where they’re at and have no desire to move up the chain. However, you will lose good employees if you don’t show them how to further their careers. Have a knowledge base, and share some of the training managers go through. Let them see the other side.

Letting Burnout Happen

Burnout is real, especially when you deal with customer service. It’s hard to always be positive when people are generally negative in return. Even more interesting, according to the World Economic Forum2, burnout can also lead to a monetary loss of $322 billion annually. This means your employees are losing you money because they are “done”. Don’t let burnout fester, find a way to help your agents from the start – and it may just have to be a conversation so they can vent about their frustrations. This is a must for your call center playbook.

Where do you start

Some of the above tactics may seem simple, but when you are stacking them on top of everything you already do, that is when it gets overwhelming.

Our advice: try one thing at a time. What is the most important thing for your call center that will improve customer satisfaction and reduce employee churn?

With our customers, we’ve seen live call coaching make an immediate impact. It’s easy to implement and takes one less thing off of the manager’s plate.

We hope this helps you create the best call center playbook for your team. If not, let us know how we can help.

We have call center customers on four different continents and want to see every company succeed in reaching its goals. 

Sources:
1. https://www.forrester.com/blogs/transform-the-contact-center-forresters-playbook-for-customer-service-excellence/

2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/burnout-is-making-us-worse-at-our-jobs-according-to-the-who

Author

Spencer Fossen - VP of Customer Success

Spencer is a husband, father, and SaaS jack of all trades. As the Head of Growth at Abstrakt Spencer uses, “making life easier for the end user” as his north star. From SDR to where he is today, the journey has provided him with the insight and experience to understand how to make life easier for those in SaaS’s toughest roles.