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Common Call Center Problems and How to Overcome Them

Call Centers are the first line of contact between an organization and its customers. However, most of them are plagued by problems that make it hard for them to give quality customer service. The issues range from agent turnover to lack of motivation and often lead to poor customer service and loss of clients.

Staff turnover

Call center work is one of the professions with the highest rate of staff attrition in the US. The high turnover is attributable to poor remuneration, lack of benefits, and a stressful work environment. The problem is further accentuated by the lack of growth opportunities and a clear career path.

Organizations can overcome this problem by implementing agent engagement and motivation policies. The management should provide agents with a clear line of communication that they can use to share their grievances and provide input on decisions affecting them. Managers should also introduce performance evaluation and reward systems that celebrate excellence. Organizations should compare their compensation programs with industry standards and make the necessary adjustments.

Technology problems

Most modern call centers incorporate a wide range of applications into their systems. These technologies may include order processors, automated voice response and workforce management tools. However, some workers are not tech-savvy while others struggle to identify the most appropriate technology for a particular problem. Most of these problems emanate from poor agent training disjointed IT policies.

Organizations can overcome this problem by involving customer care agents in determining the type of technology to deploy. This ensures that they understand the new application and how it improves their work. Further, IT staff should explore ways of integrating the new application into the existing IT infrastructure for ease of use. They should then train the agents on how to use the technology through live sessions and follow up on the progress.

Poor customer service

Research by the SQM group indicates that 28% of the returning callers come back because the call center agents did not resolve their problem during the first call. Indeed, only 5% of the call centers in North America score 80% and above on this parameter. The poor customer service leads to increased operational costs, poor customer satisfaction ratings, loss of business opportunities, and loss of existing clients.

Organizations can improve agent effectiveness by training them and providing personalized responses through Interactive Voice Response (IVR). IVR providers such as Aceyus collect customer information and use it to direct their calls to the agent or unit responsible such queries. Some systems also rank callers so that high-value clients can jump the queue and get a VIP treatment. Call centers can also collect customer feedback and use it to improve services.

Shortage of human resources

Most organizations do not treat call centers as a core function and may even outsource the service. This leads to a lack of agents to respond to customers. Indeed, it is not odd to find call centers where customers spend several minutes on the line before an agent can pick their call. The problem may be due to poor staff scheduling or a general shortage of agents.

Managers can overcome agent shortage by assessing the call volume in their centers and making a strong case for more staff allocations to the Human Resources department. If it is a scheduling problem, managers can acquire scheduling applications that ensure there are enough agents during peak hours.

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