Keep The Leadership Framework Simple

The concept of what constitutes as “high performance” isn’t new to customer care experts, unfortunately implementation methods are in need of tweaking.

Depending on the objectives set by the higher echelon of managers and the frame of reference used , the definition of high performance can vary and will have many different iterations and interpretations. Most of the time however, high performance correlates with staff engagement levels and returns on shareholder’s investments – contentment and satisfaction.

Leadership framework

We should ask ourselves if we are focusing our efforts on the tasks which provide maximum return value.

Simple and clear expectations

Make the team aware of what is expected – this is your number one priority as a leader. You don’t want your employees guessing what their goals are (and that’s the best case scenario).

Those expectations should be: clear, simple and actionable, but at the same time refined to fit each team or project separately.

Everyone needs to know exactly how they can help. Positive reinforcement is also a great morale booster – everyone’s contribution to the project is valued.

Leave no room for interpretation, this will remove confusion and will lead to greater understanding of the expectation – it will unify the team on a personal level. Working for the common goal.

Provide support

Our role isn’t complete after setting transparent expectations, we need to provide support for our staff; guide and help them gain the needed knowledge in order to complete the desired goal.

We can support our employees in multiple ways: feedback collection, coaching, training and development through courses. We need to equip our agents and managers with the best tools of the trade, to not only meet the required expectations, but to excel.

Relevant feedback provides great insight on performance, and coaching will reinforce positive behaviour.

Reinforce consequences

Positive reinforcement plays a key role in proper employee management. It might sound trivial, but it’s up you to determine what behaviour as well as corresponding consequences will be accepted or reprimanded – either directly or indirectly. If you want certain patterns replicated, you need to reward employees and the actions that led to them. At the same time manage those falling short of mark appropriately.

…and more

The points mentioned above are just a simple framework that can be used by leaders, supervisors and managers to define boundaries within which they operate.

Contact and call centres are a highly measurable environment, thanks to the metrics used to evaluate all aspects of its functions. High performance should be achievable if you: set expectations, provide support and utilise consequences to reinforce desired behaviour.

Your main role as a leader is to make the message clear.

How To Handle Customer Service Peaks

Brace yourselves, Summer is in full swing and with it arrive spikes in call volumes as well as problems with agent availability.

We at Opstalent, have prepared a guide to help you manage customer service peaks:

Seize the initiative

The best way to actually avoid “clogs” caused by demand spikes is to seize the initiative and reach out to the customers yourself. The multichannel approach is quite handy in this case.

Try to reach as many future “callers” through multiple channels, social media, email and even SMS. Each customer reached through other communication  methods is one less person held back in queue during peak time.

Prioritise

It’s a known fact that some queries are more important than others. Distinguishing which call is an emergency and which isn’t is a challenging, yet important task.

In order to pre-screen incoming calls you need to setup a solid IVR system. This solution will identify calls based of pre-set rules and will route the incoming traffic accordingly.

Highlighting and relegating calls will help your contact centre tremendously, especially during those “demand spikes” periods.

Outsource

When facing a sudden spike in demand, you should outsource. Just don’t pick the easy route that most companies choose – expensive term agency staff on a short-term basis.

Try to predict, when such spikes in demand will happen and choose a flexible outsourcing partner that will handle the spike traffic. This solution will leave your in-house staff focused on the core parts of projects.

In the long term, this will reduce training and staffing costs, just make sure that your outsourcing partner provides a scalable solution.

…and if all else fails, increase resources

In a case of extreme emergency, that “mother lode” of all demand spikes don’t be scared to relocate some of the admin staff to temporary contact centre duty.

The software is easy to use and highly customisable, it can simply be installed on all desktop computers around the office, this will enable an “on the fly” swap into contact centre agent mode if the situation is dire.

Just remember to take extreme caution, don’t train employees for tasks they might never need to perform, also it is highly counterproductive to force staff into roles they have no familiarity with.

However if done properly, such methods will make your staff and business as a whole even more customer centric.

The long term impact of such activities is highly valuable.

How to A/B Test to Avoid the Frankenstein Effect

When tweaking your landing page for conversion it’s best to adjust one thing at a time.

You don’t know what the ‘X-factor’ is and changing too many variables will skew the results of your tests.

Remember, every landing page is different, just like the target users base you’re trying to reach, it’s better to go slow and steady, as there is no ‘magical button’ which you can press to auto-adjust 🙂

The infographic from Formstack outlines all three core areas of optimisation and highlights changes marketers should focus on during the process of developing their A/B testing formulas.

 

AB Testing