A Special Report On Call Center Strategic Plan

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Find out what really works in today's call center improvement strategies.

How To Benefit From This Special Report?

These days, competition in the successful call center industry eats alive everyone who is either not good enough or not good enough in the long haul. And as a matter of fact, bankruptcy in the industry looks like a monthly “decimation” in Rome.

Why is it happening? Why do the majority of a call center’s owners in the US, Canada, and Western Europe feel insecure? The answer might surprise you. And here it is. They don’t know how to do what they are doing. And they don’t learn. 

Usually, they lack a good plan for the business and struggle with employee engagement, call center training, continuous improvement, keeping money, and everything in between. 

In this special report, you’ll discover how to tackle the most painful customer issues and call center improvement, which all call center managers consider a nightmare. And it could be your winning call center strategy or a life raft that will save your business, even when you think that everything is lost.

How To Develop A Winning Call Center Strategy That Keeps And Earns Money?

Experts agree on the subject that identification of the problem and timely call center improvement is the fastest most effective way toward customer expectations betterment. 

For instance, you’ve told your contact center agents to be more polite, study the product better, report about problems, adhere to the scripts, improve sales pitches, attend agent training, etc. 

Moreover, you’re conducted proper training, work on mistakes, customer expectations, and shift adjustments. Maybe you even make adjustments to the knowledge base for both customers and agents. Yes, there’re a few better ways for continuous improvement and saving a lion's share of time and money.

The question is whether these are the best, good enough, mediocre, or not even close to sustainable results in your successful call center. Thus the workable call center improvement takes every small advancement regarding employee engagement, supervisors, and call center managers by weaving them into one.

 That’s why the prime goal of this special report is to furnish you with the latest and encompassing ways to achieve the winning call center strategy that touches hiring, budget, workload, delegating, customer expectations, and many more. 

If You Want To Build A Business, Build The People

This one belongs to Brownie Wise, the US businesswoman, who was responsible for selling  Tupperware’s home products line. That’s what every head of the call center or call center’s business owner must have in sight when planning their call center strategy. Now, let’s start from the beginning and walk the full path.

Hiring Like A Steel Trap Is Your First Step Towards Call Center Strategy

And here’s why. Even if you are in a hurry when hiring, try to devote enough time to the hiring process. Screen new people for your successful call center deeply to understand with the precision to clearly define what they can do and for how long they will last. You must achieve the full answers to questions such as: 

What is your’s employee experience? It’s important for the agent to the previous place of the job. For example, if you need salespeople, you’re likely to hire door-to-door people or any person that has direct or indirect employee experience in building productive customer relationships or experiences in advertising, selling, or negotiation of any scale.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that electric engineers can’t fulfill the promise to constantly deliver a decent level of sales. Well, you need to be sure by asking these questions. 

What’s your education? There’s one myth that constantly arouses, and we’d like to clarify the case. Some business owners presume that education or even a college degree makes the person’s sales or negotiating habits better. Yet it isn’t approved by the best call center practices.

Moreover, in the vast majority of cases, higher education harms salespeople. Mainly because these individuals are overwhelmed by the logical side of the selling. They think too much about specifics and lose the magnetic-electricity behavior that attracts people. And unfortunately, these people have no personality or are afraid to have it. 

Thus when we’re talking about working as an agent, especially in a sales department, education is not so important and even harmful. 

What’s the motivation to apply for the work in the call center? The motive power that drives people to work as contact center agents. 

Hint: money is a low motivator. Yes, everyone is working for money, yet psychologists come to the conclusion that money is not the best factor. Why? Because employee engagement stems from their emotional attitudes in accompanying the financial. 

That means that employees, in the call center niche, like to speak with different people and have a desire to call or receive calls and find solutions. 

So when you hire the person, their motivation has paramount importance for successful agent performance in the call center industry. Let’s say you’re asking the question: What drives you to work in a call center? And with the natural motive will respond something like: “I always liked to work with people and want to solve customer issues". 

Then try to make your question a little bit wider: “Please tell me, have you read something on the subject of the selling or call center industry?” Do you know the right answer to this question? There is always a certain amount of classic books widely known by professionals in any niche. 

So, if the person tells you about such and such authors, and these are the classics in the niche, most likely then you are talking with the professional or rising star. On the other hand, if the person claims he or she wants to work in a successful call center but read nothing about the subject, it’s a little bit unbelievable. 

Once again, let’s clarify the matter. The inspired person that even hasn’t zero experience in call centers is likely to outperform even professionals in the long run. 

Because energy and motivation are everything, these kinds of people previously created the Fortune 100, Tesla, IBM, Gillet, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Ford, and other companies. We can give you dozens of examples, but one holds true, each of these companies succeeds just because of the natural motivation to deliver the perceived value that results in 5-star customer satisfaction. 

Plus, the motivated person has a high pain-stress threshold, the kind of character that prevents early turnover and employee satisfaction. Remember this rule that employee satisfaction depends on the person you’re hiring. So the right person will quit less frequently from the job in comparison with all others.

Do you understand the nature of your position? Then ask about whether the person understands that there are a lot of stressful situations that require professional customer interaction, walking an extra mile even with the hard customers. Routines because of studying the product and service, specs, and documentation, ways to improve:

  • customer loyalty;

  • customer interaction;

  • customer service standards;

  • call center efficiency;

  • business continuity;

  • agent utilization and many more. 

And a lot of effort by working at least the first 3 months of the company. Now, by asking such questions, listen to the confidence in the voice. Is the person demonstrating real confidence or avoiding a direct answer? 

It’s very important to identify whether all these mentioned above don’t arouse negative feelings. The right answer is prompt and looks something like: “Yes, I understand, and ready”.  

Remember that hiring is the primary part of your call center strategic plan. And that great employees are a rare breed and you can identify them by asking the questions listed above and looking at their answers. 

That's why in your call center strategy when you'll hire these people the process will look like a steel trap in a positive sense for both you and the employee.

The faster the better

The hiring was the first step, now you need to quickly include the person in your team. The faster you’ll hit the ground with the employee engagement in the work, the better. Let’s talk about how to give them from the beginning the easiest assignments possible and then move towards a more challenging one. 

Observe agent performance and make remarks on their routines. Don’t forget to watch their teamwork skills. Make your remarks about the person, especially, strong and weak habits or skills. For instance, try to use the quality monitoring scorecards as a handy tool for fast evaluation. 

When you’re hiring experienced contact center agents that position themselves as a pro, you need to watch for the actual evidence. Test them by giving assignments regarding their qualification. 

Perhaps they were great previously but today they can deliver a poor customer service experience. So the "test" is one of the most valuable words in managers' vocabulary when they onboard people.

In addition, your call center strategic plan includes the process of observing employee engagement, customer inquiries, and customer satisfaction scores for a week. Specifically, look at how do they adhere to the working schedule. 

Is there lateness or absence? In addition, take a close view of the agent's performance. Is the person studying materials and important information regarding their work? 

Remember to make the final decision on full onboarding in a month and no later than that.  

Are call center managers or employee engagement responsible for the company’s successes and failures?

Employees and proper call center performance management are responsible for the success. However, put a great staff in a call center without a good manager or supervisor, and the ship will be without captains and officers.

Since companies operate by the business owners and call center managers it’s the first who make decisions that directly anticipate the business's success or failure. And let’s face the truth: call center discipline and agent productivity are the reflections of a company's call center management practices.

Anyway, if managers are capable of managing themselves, which is meant to educate employees, solve problems, take an active part in customer interaction, set and reach each customer service goal, etc. They're capable of qualitative call center performance management.

So your personal call center improvement strategies include becoming an effective executive. You need to be a tough person that is uneasy about problems and knows the ways for higher customer satisfaction scores.

Of course, talking about best call center practices, all call center managers can become effective through self-education, applying new methods right away, and changing them when necessary. 

So, the opposite effect comes when managers lack self-organization. Eventually, neglecting the call center improvement triggers low overall agent performance, agent productivity, customer satisfaction rates, etc. That's better to not have any kind of call center management than to have a bad one.

Moreover, managers are responsible for hiring, educating, proper training, following promotion, knowledge base, and customer service process. And mistakes in each of these processes deliberately come at a price. 

The manager’s responsibility literally means, the ability to make decisions toward business goals while ensuring excellent customer service patterns. And say: “I’m a manager responsible for hiring, performing, agent productivity, etc.” 

You may ask - why is it so important for my call center improvement strategies? And the answer is this. Because agent productivity is highly weaved with the manager's behavior. And are trying to behave just the same as a boss or a senior person. 

If the manager does their job, then nearly 100% of the chances are guaranteed that there will be excellent customer service or replacement of the manager to another position. The best call center practices include replacing to another position, not firing, in the company if the person is unable to fulfill the job in the long haul. 

Setting the business goals is important, but you need to do something in addition

Without goals, your company is just a ship without a compass. It’s like starting out to find the undiscovered land. Yes, you may succeed accidentally and reach the customer service goal, yet betting on that is the gambling every business should always avoid. 

The life-promising part of call center improvement strategies is to set a realistic goal that you can accomplish. By the way, if you’re a young head of the call center, try to have a steady approach to goal setting in delivering positive customer experiences. 

Because one of the frequent mistakes is to try to make a big bite and consequently discourage by the results. Instead, take small bites and watch your successes. 

For example, your clear business goal is to reach the additional 20% of the net profit mark in the next quarter. Or to call more prospects and consequently increase the revenue through higher customer satisfaction. Maybe you want to enlarge your call center by hiring additional contact center agents. Whatever your goal is you need to set them before the actual start. 

It's wise to track the process of reaching the business goals as well as contact center metrics such as FCR, AHT, ACR, and others. The top managers that fulfill a lot of successful call center improvement strategies suggest setting goals and checking results and accompanying with key performance indicators in the middle of the period.

So, if you set the goal for the period of the quarter, check the path after the 1,5 months. 

These check-outs of goals and contact center metrics are one of the best call center practices and vital for your confidence that you are moving towards the goal. However, sometimes you need to change certain actions when you see that you’re missing the mark or delaying the reaching of the goal. 

Missing the mark or delaying is the normal situation for the business. What’s important is your response. 

And your response must be towards identifying the causes and effects and fixing the course of the call center. For instance, if you see that you’re incapable to increase the revenue by the end of the quarter and your call center improvement strategies a little bit miss the mark, your problem is either the low number of calls to prospective customers, wrong sales pitch, irrelevant list, customer satisfaction rates, or not enough time. 

Of course, in tune these things lowering customer loyalty by a decent degree. The solution is to quickly identify this cause and fix the direction.

Take the piece of the best call center practices such as delegating more responsibilities to employees. Because you can’t always fulfill the tough job and constantly spend large chunks of time in order to maintain the high results. Thus promoting has to be one of the goals in your schedule.

This particular person will report directly to you by fulfilling your job and freeing up your time.

The advantage of the promotion is in enriching and enlarging your call center’s natural competitiveness. For instance, enterprise-sized call centers can’t avoid promotion because the manager that will try to control 100+ contact center agents will have a hard time. Thus to effectively operate for every 10 employees, you need one supervisor or manager.

One of the finest short and long-term indicators in your call center could be the key performance indicators (KPI) contact center metrics.

How to make the life of contact center agents easier by increasing customer satisfaction?

You would be surprised to find out that the vast majority of call centers deliver a merely low level of service, just because of habit. It’s scientifically proven that the behavior of managers and consequently employees are habitual patterns. 

Of course, it’s much easier to deliver low performance because you never need to reach new marks, study new approaches, or take responsibility. How exactly do call centers create obstacles to customer satisfaction?

First of all, they force to call customers frequently on the same issue when it is in the best interest of the company to solve it from the first time. The reason why customers keep calling over and over again is the vague knowledge base and lack of the call center’s team preparation.

Contact center agents just don’t know how to solve a particular issue, waste a lot of time in the search, and even force customers to look for the solution. 

Perhaps creating the customer-oriented interactive voice response (IVR) system, FAQ, or QA and knowledge base sections on the official website solves the problem of the most occasional queries and frees up the potential of contact center agents for the most challenging and interesting assignments. 

Yet most companies aren’t exploiting their advantage of the self-service and by doing so, increase the inbound calling volume and slow down the sales velocity. As a result, if customers would know about these bits of information posted online and could reach them, they would drastically reduce the strain on the customer service channels. 

Of course, they'd solve everything with their own efforts.

You heard about the customer’s frustrations because of numerous call transfers. And because customers can’t reach the relevant agent or department from the first call? Or they need to wait for minutes before the connection. And that’s exactly because the call center’s automatic call distribution system is ineffective. Today, this system drastically improves the reach from the first call to the relevant department or agent. 

The time zone compliance feature for the call center improves outbound calling campaigns and can help you save and earn money. Saving money is possible because you’re not violating laws. 

For instance, in the United States, you can call customers from 8 A.M. till 9 P.M. from Monday till Friday, unless anything else is reflected in the state laws. Moreover, you know that customers are willing to talk to or contact you through customer service channels only when they want or can. By the way, take a look at the top customer service tips.

Click-to-call. Forget about the tiredness because of the infinitive pushing of buttons on your telephone. Today, the contact center software allows you to just choose the number and click to call. That's the latest contact center software tech and inbound sales techniques that allow you fairly easily establish customer engagement. 

Or you can use the calling list and process phone numbers one after another without even a second thought of manual efforts. Remember that humans commit mistakes by numbering the wrong phone, yet contact center software always calls where you want.

Know how to deliver higher customer satisfaction, and you never be poor

Sounds bold, isn't it? And this is just the nature of the call center business. Those top companies that studied their customers always have higher customer loyalty rates and outperform competitors. 

How can you know your customers will never be poor? Some of the experts name the process user research, and others the ideal customer profile (ICP). 

Basically, the process includes studying and knowing the people that generate the most revenue for your company. Thus this audience makes purchasing or contact with the technical customer issues, and they are holding your business up. 

Do some people ask how to dig into their minds and conduct customer surveys? Well, that's simple you need to interview them, read their reviews, keep in touch with them, and most importantly know where they're spending their money. 

Customer inquiries and what people are saying is important, yet sometimes they are kidding themselves. And you as well if you rely on customer feedback deliberately. But try to look for customer journeys and where they spend their money, and you will surely know what exactly they want. 

Do you know that encompassing customer surveys will do? This kind of knowledge base can reduce your overheads to like a dollar's nineteen cents. And consequently, knowing customer journeys you will never be poor because you hit their primary inclinations all the time. Or at least more frequently than your competitors. 

Remember that their primary drives will differentiate from the vast majority of people those accidental audiences purchase your goods or services. Your task isn't so much in watching for customer feedback yet to become the knower of things that directly impact your business, which are marketing, customer accountability, seasonal changings, and competitors' advantages or disadvantages. 

What kind of call center is the best for you? 

Let’s take a look. Maybe it will be marvelous to have an office-based call center and constantly control contact center agents during the shift. However, even before the pandemic and economic disruptions, remote work breached businesses around the world. And the call center industry is one of the kinds that use the contact center software to call from any location.

The huge advantage of the contact center software is that all contact center agents need is to have a PC or laptop, headsets with the micro, and a wired internet connection. 

And they work from home. While in the case of the office-based call center you need to think about the working environment, equipment, healthy condition, workplace, piece of software, rent, infrastructure, etc. 

If you make simple calculations and risks you’ll see that an office-based call center is much more expensive than remote contact center software.  

What's to know in addition?

The finest situation in a business is when customer feedback is anticipated, and every problem is excluded. To fairly easily anticipate success or failure, you need a tactic. And moreover, strategy, when you want to achieve a long-standing result that profits you year in and year out.

The Importance Of Call Center Strategy In The Call Center Business

You already know that the call center business is a tough and competitive one. But do you understand that the competition will increase each quarter from now? Mainly because of macroeconomics, inflation, and customer behavior?

And that customers and companies prefer to work only with the best? Consequently, the top call centers will accumulate 80% of the revenue in the business for countries such as the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and even the world. Contact center software is just a tool for your overall strategy.  

Remember that every action towards the betterment of the business will positively impact.

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