Setting Goals for Your Contact Center in 2011

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As we look forward to a new year, it's time to start thinking about how the past year has been and set goals for next year.  Have you had a chance to think about what goals you are going to set for your contact center next year?

It is easy to get caught in the trap of transitioning from one year to the next and just going with the status quo.  Things have been just fine…so why rock the boat.  However, I would encourage you to take the chance now to think about what you really want from the contact center next year and set goals to elevate yourself and your contact center to new heights.

Here are some suggested areas for goals and improvements to your contact center:

  1. Get serious about social media
  2. Improve your IVR
  3. Measure customer satisfaction and improve it
  4. Do something to help agents be more efficient
  5. Do something to help agents be more effective

Get serious about social media: It doesn’t matter what your business is, your customers are increasingly using social media to communicate with each other whether you are there or not.  A contact center exists to communicate with customers, so begin to build a presence in social media channels and communicate with your customers who are already there.

Improve your IVR:  When was the last time you went through your IVR and updated it to reflect your brand and the image your want to convey to your customers or thought of new, innovative ways to make it better? Can messages be refreshed? Is there an opportunity to use speech recognition? Is there an opportunity introduce additional self-service options to your customers through the IVR? Don’t just let your IVR move into 2011 without a thorough check-up.

Measure customer satisfaction and improve it: I am constantly surprised to find out that a contact center isn’t regularly measuring customer satisfaction.  There are so many methods to measure customer satisfaction that I am sure you can do it in a way that fits your budget and processes.  If you aren’t already measuring customer satisfaction, do it in 2011.  If you are measuring customer satisfaction, then take a few minutes to review the results and trends of those measurements and brainstorm ways to improve your customer satisfaction metrics.  There is always room for improvement.

Do something to help agents be more efficient:  Every day the agents in your contact center handle hundreds or maybe even thousands of contacts.  Each contact presents the agent with a repetitive set of tasks such as looking up an account or an article from a knowledge-base.  Saving the agent just a few seconds in the regular call flow multiplied by hundreds or thousands of contacts translates into better customer service and happier agents.  Take some time and see if there are ways that you can help your agents be more efficient in handling contacts.

Do something to help agents be more effective:  Every contact the agent handles may be similar but each is still unique.  Each customer may be asking different questions, or has the same issue with different circumstances.  The reason why we have live agents taking these calls is to apply their human understanding and enthusiasm to the communication.  What you can do for the agent is to help them be more effective with each contact.  Are there ways to help the agent find the solution faster?  Can you train the agent more frequently with changes and updates to help them be better at their job?  Again, this will translate into better customer service and happier agents.

Are there any other goals that you are considering for 2011?  Please share them in the comments. Have a great 2011!