Planning for the Needs of Your Call Center- Infrastructure, Customer Journey, and Employee Engagement

We have been progressing slowly in terms of how the world is handling the coronavirus situation. Erie, Pa, where we are located, has moved into the “Yellow Stage”. We have moved from total fear to a “new norm”, and hopefully we everything will be returning to normal soon. We will all come out of this much stronger, and I hope my advice thus far has helped you with the transition to an at-home workforce.

Recently I have had a lot of people reach out to my saying that they want to re-do their call center: coming out of this pandemic maybe you want to move to the cloud, or you have made the move to the Cloud but your tools that you had from a QA process were not up to snuff. So how do you rebuild your call center?

There are three main tenants that we focused on when starting Expivia back in 2011. In our business plan we decided that if we were going to make a purchase or some type of investment that did not fit within these three parameters, we were not going to do it.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure comes first. A lot of thought went into this, we needed something that could be transparent for our clients, so they could have eyes and ears into it if they wanted to. Some of our clients are very hands-on and some of them are not. We wanted the option to have blind-monitoring, and also so that we do not necessarily have to always be on-premise.  We also knew we needed to address all our “compliances” that we needed to follow, for example, HIPPA, PCI, and security. Any purchases we were going to make from an infrastructure standpoint needed to take those compliances into account. Another no-brainer was the need for a cloud-based system. With the cloud, you need to have that internet aspect as well: fiber, Wi-Fi backups, etc. The last piece that has really saved us in the past is our integration piece- being an outsourcer, we needed to have a piece of software from an infrastructure side that we could integrate with Salesforce, Zoho, Zendesk, and proprietary systems.

Customer Journey

We want to make sure our customer Journeys are doing really well and we have a really good feel for how calls are coming in. We focus on the importance of monitoring and how we’re listening to them making sure that the whole journey is an enjoyable experience. How can we be unique in how we serve customers and the experience that we get? The first thing we did was make sure we had a great QA department and that were scoring calls right in the beginning. As the customer journey and technology evolved, we got into speech analytics. We’ve now seen that speech analytics is a key factor in scoring. Using keyword searches and sentiment scoring we are making sure we are not just scoring calls on what customers and reps said, but how they have said it as well.

Employee Engagement

We want our call center to be a fun and engaging place for our employees. We want them to be able to work efficiently and have fun doing it. We host a unique facility that we are proud of. This aspect gets left out of a lot of call centers: you either have it or you don’t. Grow a culture of fun. Before the pandemic, we constantly had games happening throughout the call center, as we had no problem spending money on that because it was part of our third tenant. We have now gone to the software side of gamification. Nice InContact had a product called InView that is both advanced reporting and a gamification piece. Reps can create an avatar, collect coins and badges based on the KPI’s that we set up. Reps can challenge each other, and bet coins, and these coins can win real prizes like vacation days or leave early’s. Our main challenge was engaging employees at home since they cannot play any physical games here in the office.

Those are the three things we have done that have worked well. When you are an internal call center with a limited budget, you really have to prioritize. Infrastructure is the most important, but you can also tie customer journey and employee engagement into that. I hope this helps you to prioritize what you should be spending money on, focus on those pillars, and you will slowly start to build out your centers. Build a plan.

Want more call center operations content? Head over to our weekly call center operations podcast “Advice from a Call Center Geek!” at expiviausa.com/call-center-geek-podcast/

Advice from a Call Center Geek is a weekly podcast with a focus on all things call center and contact center. We discuss topics such as call center operations, hiring, culture, technology, and training and have fun doing it! #callcenter #contactcenter #CX #custserv #callcentergeek

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