Ah, the call center: What criticism could be aimed at these in this article that hasn’t been repeated many times over?
The call center – which first appeared in the mid-1960s – has been lambasted as a dreadful place to work, a dreadful place to contact as a customer and a general representation of the depersonalization subjected upon the modern human being.
This doesn’t stop call centers from being absolutely essential for many businesses. If you think being contacted over the phone lacks a human connective element, try sorting all your problems out over email! Although the call center has been around as a concept for 60 years, they are still being improved. One day, call centers might have a more positive image. If they do, then they will have had to have eliminated these three issues:
Patronizingly Competitive Culture
Call centers have gained an unsavory reputation for inciting their often young and ambitious agents to take part in a commission-based competitive culture. Call center agents are lauded for making commissions and shamed for not making them. They sometimes have to take part in long, patronizing daily hype-up meetings designed to get them to hurl themselves towards unrealistic targets. Quite aside from being a nasty environment to work in, this culture actually decreases the level of customer service that a call center is able to offer. The undue stress that agents are placed under in this competitive environment often damages their ability to care for each customer as an individual, retain important information and make appropriate reports.
How Can This Be Fixed?
By ditching the patronizing and competitive culture in the office. Treating staff members as adults and individuals will allow them to work towards giving genuinely helpful customer service without burning out. Get rid of the sad Wolf of Wall Street garbage and look after the wellbeing of the business’ most important resource: the people.
You can’t listen in to every single agent call or customer complaint. It would simply be too time-consuming. This means that the performance of a call center can often drop off without the senior management having any idea of why.
How Can This Be Fixed?
By using technology to track performance and make changes. Modern data analytical software allows call center performance to be tracked both as a whole and in relation to individual agents - learn more about using call center analytics to improve the customer journey.
The worst call centers require their agents to work on a dizzying array of platforms – transferring information from one to the other. This not only causes agent attrition, but also produces data silos. A data silo is information in one database that cannot be accessed from another.
How Can This be Fixed?
Intelligent computing solutions. A well-organized call center only has one platform that can log and make calls and upload data to a cloud-based server that everybody can access. Keep it as simple as possible and less can go wrong.