5 Key Traits of an Awesome Call Center

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There’s five things that I think we look for when we see a high-producing call center and something in my call center that we really try to stress. And some of them might be self-explanatory but others might be a little bit, I don’t want to say off the wall, but a little unique. But number one is really measuring the proper metrics. Well, we are all and our industry as a whole is so stuck in service level, average handle time, ASA, talk time. And when we hit these metrics, so you know I have an 80/30 today with an average handle time under four minutes, so I had a great day. Well, the problem with that is the only thing that you’re measuring is the efficiency of your call centre and the efficiency of your reps. But you’re not listening to the customer experience at all.

So a high-producing contact centre, and I think one of the great contact centres now is starting to listen to the customer. That started with C-SAT and NPS scoring, but I think we can take that to the next level and really get into the speech analytics and looking at customer sentiment scores. So if you can benchmark a customer sentiment score and you’re raising those scores, plus having the efficiency of your call centre be… you know when you’re hitting those service levels, you’re hitting those telephony metrics. I think that’s kind of the new definition of a world-class centre and something that really you can benchmark from.

The other thing that we see kind of stresses in that education format, where your middle management run your call centre. If you have really strong supervisors, really strong team leads, you’re going to have a strong call centre. So making sure that you have a management training programme. Making sure you have ongoing education, not just for your reps but for your management. That you’re not just pulling a high-producing rep off the phones and putting them into a supervisory role, I think is really important.

Number three, and I know I’d like to talk about this a little bit more as we go on here, but number three is can you define your culture? And everybody talks about, hey, improving the culture. But nobody really knows what that means. So when you can define your culture and then you have the ability to hire, promote and incent off of that culture, it totally changes what your contact centre can be, from just saying, “Hey, I think this person’s really good. They’ve been in the contact industry for a long time.” That’s a really important part. And I know… I think we’re going to touch on that a little bit later.

Number four is it’s got to be fun, right? I mean the contact centre, and you can do things that you can’t do anywhere else. From having games going on constantly in the call centre to having something that the reps are getting up and out of their seat, I think is a really important thing. When you’re really looking at that occupancy number and dialling it down a little bit for a game or something in the call centre is important.

And the last one I have that I think is really important too is we do a very poor job as an industry as a whole with educating tone. When we educate, we educate where to click in the CRM and when a customer says this, you’re going to go to this and you’re telling this. But we don’t do a great job of actually using the tone of their voice. What words are we using? How are we saying it? Because my saying with my call centre is “the tone is the message”. And if your tone is poor, no matter what the experience or the message, and even if the customer gets what they want, if that tone was wrong, the experience was poor. So I think those are our five really core key metrics and things that people can strive to have a unique and a cool call center

Thomas Laird
Founder and CEO of award-winning Expivia Interaction Marketing Group. Expivia is a USA BPO omnichannel contact center located in Pennsylvania. I have 25 years of experience in all facets of contact center operations. I have the honor of being a member of the NICE inContact ICVC Board. The iCVC is a select group of inContact customers selected to join as trusted advisors to help InContact validate ideas for new products and features and plans for future innovations. I am also the author of "Advice from a Call Center Geek" and host of the podcast of the same name. podcast.callcentergeek.com

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