Are your agents leaving money on the table?

Jun 25, 2020

Posted In: Customer Service Author: Uthaman Bakthikrishnan

A 100-seater call center wasn’t doing well and their CEO thought that it is do with the quality of supervisors and managers that they had. He acted on it and decided to bring in some fresh blood. He engaged a headhunter and interviewed a bunch of seasoned supervisors. After a lot of deliberations and discussions, he felt that he found the right guy. Mr. Right was given the mandate of improving the efficiency of the call center.

He was given a free hand to implement what he thought was appropriate and the CEO just wanted to see results in terms of efficiency.

From his previous experience, he jotted down all the metrics that he wanted to monitor and improve to get the efficiency levels up. He installed a giant electronic board flashing metrics like average call handling time, call abandonment rate, caller wait time. This jamboree was forcing the agents to rush through the calls.

When the agents saw those numbers constantly running on the electronic board, that put a lot of stress on the agents psyche. They were trying to get the customers off the phone as quickly as possible.

While the efficiency of the metrics being monitored skyrocketed, it didn’t really make the organization go laughing to the bank. This is when the CEO took a pause and started to see what was happening.

What really was happening?

The CEO understood that they have converted the not-so-performing call center into a sweatshop, which was bad for their agents and the business. While the efficiency was going up, it wasn’t making the customers loosen their purse strings.

He along with the supervisor listened in on a number of conversations that the agents had with their customers and realized that they were missing a lot of opportunities to sell. They were more bothered about the call handling time and call waiting time of the customers that they were easily leaving about 25% to 50% of their potential sales on the table.

They decided to do change course and correct the anomaly.

They felt that they needed to make their customers feel wanted, but then they realized that they don’t have the systems in place to provide immediate value to the customers. They decided to change their system to a multi-channel platform that can integrate with multiple internal applications and one that is available on-demand.

The platform was able to integrate all their channels and applications and provided all the information that the agent would need on a single screen. This allowed the agents to provide their service better and faster.

This improved the sales considerably to the tune of 35% with repeat purchases going up by 40%. They started to look at the call center as a gold mine of customer information, as opposed to an efficiency engine. This provided inputs to tweak their campaigns and offers frequently resulting in increased revenues through better customer engagement and service.

The CEO was able to turn around this call center from a cost center to a profit center. Are you still operating yours as a cost center? Let us talk!

About the Author: Uthaman Bakthikrishnan