The saying "happy agents make happy customers" may be overused, but that doesn't mean it's not 100% true. Engaged employees feel an emotional commitment toward their employers and are more vested in helping their employers succeed. According to a Gallup study, high employee engagement leads to higher customer engagement, lower employee turnover, and 21% higher profitability. Engage your agents by recognizing outstanding performance and providing frequent, effective communication. We've seen businesses improve agent engagement by making individual performance stats available on agent dashboards and by the gamification of specific agent behaviors.
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Inbound call centers have so many things they can measure that it's tempting to make each measurement equally important. That can lead to data overload and the really important metrics can get lost in the shuffle. Call centers should have 5-8 KPIs they use to assess the health of the operation and they should include a mix of operational and customer-related metrics. Every inbound call center will have unique priorities, but here some examples of metrics that are usually dashboard-worthy:
For more information about identifying inbound call center metrics, read our blog post, Establish KPI Reporting and Contact Center Benchmarks
Modern technology has created a unique opportunity for automation in inbound call centers. Interactive voice response (IVR) systems can automate common tasks to remove the need for customers to have to speak with an agent altogether, like checking account balances and paying bills. Chatbots assist customers with common questions, and if the issue is complicated and needs agent support, the chatbot can pass all that relevant information gathered to the agent to reduce the agent handle time. Speech analytics tools can screen 100% of recorded calls to identify common issues and individual calls that need further attention. These self-service and automation techniques are particularly impactful for inbound call centers as they help reduce the overall inbound traffic and decrease labor costs, improve accuracy, and give customers the opportunity to self-serve. The business case can almost write itself.
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The customer experience delivered by inbound call centers is highly dependent on how prepared the agents are. Training is a big part of that, but agents also need to be equipped with technical tools and data that includes everything from company policies to details about the customer's previous interactions with the organization. Centralized knowledge bases can house relevant static information in easily searchable formats while customer relationship management (CRM) software puts customer data at agents' fingertips.
Pro tip: CRM software is even more powerful when integrated with call center systems. Find out more by reading Contact Center 101: The What and Why of CRM Integration.
There will come a time when organizations that only offer inbound call center support will be a thing of the past. Customers expect to have options for how they interact with businesses, and this includes a higher demand for digital support through channels like chat and social media. Inbound call centers should plan for the day when they begin supporting additional channels and position themselves accordingly, including choosing call center software that can meet these future needs.
Watch our recorded webinar, Digital-First Customer Service: The Future is Here Today, to learn more about the need for digital transformation.
How NICE inContact can help inbound call centers keep their eye on the ball
NICE inContact CXone is the leading cloud customer interaction platform—100% focused on helping call centers achieve their customer experience goals. The CXone suite includes sophisticated analytics designed to turn raw data into actionable information that leads to better decision making.