How to Reduce the Noise in a Call Center?

One of the major problems faced by agents working in a call center outsourcing company is the background noise. Management needs to take care of this problem as it creates a very unproductive working environment for employees. They are constantly distracted by it and are not able to focus on the task at hand. Further, this noise is also heard by the callers at the other end and makes it difficult for both agents and customers to communicate effectively over telephone.


Mentioned below are some of the tested and well proven strategies for reducing the effect of this noise.
Increase The Space Of Agents: This is probably one of the most effective but expensive strategy of reducing the effect of sound on the quality of your call center services. An ideal setup would require you to provide more than 120 square foot of space to each agent. This will provide proper space to each agent and will help them in focusing on their jobs.

Install White Noise Generators: This technique uses sound to kill noise. The white noise generators produce a predefined level of background noise which overshadows the more distractive & obstructive sounds that make it difficult for agents to hear what is being said from the other end.

Cubicles: Another great way of reducing the sound levels is by providing cubicles to call agents. These cubicles can be walled with voice dampening materials to make them more sound proof. However, this might require complete redesigning and furnishing of the center therefore it would be better if cubicles are installed during the development of offshore call center.

Reduce The Number Of Machines That Create Noise:
Machines such as fax machine, servers, photocopiers etc should be placed in a separate room. If such devices are placed on the floors where agents work then they are bound to get distracted by them. The coffee and vending machines should also be placed outside as they also produce sound when being used. Further, coffee machines are the most favorite spots for office gossip. This will also distract other agents.

Never Hold Meeting On the Floor:
Unless and until you have to inform your whole staff about something, avoid having meeting on the floor. Small gathering and private meetings on the floor are sure shot distraction points. Even if other agents are not able to hear what you are talking about, still they will be distracted by you and won’t be able to focus until the meeting is over.

Offshore call centers need to take special care of noise levels in their delivery centers as their productivity and efficiency will directly reflect in the performance of their clients. Poor performance is liable to invite undesired actions from such clients.

A peek into an Agent’s Notepad

Trainer explaining the nitty-gritty of a Process, Agents questioning, nodding, jotting down simultaneously, there is never a dull moment in the Training Room at Bluechip Callcenter. The Training Room, fondly nicknamed as the ‘Ground Zero’, is indeed one of the most vibrant places in office. The room is always abuzz as the Agents receive training for the upcoming new processes.
We have multiple training rooms and each has  up to 50 chairs, a spick and span whiteboard, and a projector. But what everybody loves most about the room are the couches. The Agents recline on these couches, and imbibe the knowledge sitting snugly on the comfortable couches. The atmosphere in a Training room is not as strict, like in a school classroom. Everybody interacts congenially and there are many lighter moments between the sessions.

But that doesn’t take away the seriousness of the training process. Every Agent first thoroughly understands the Process as elucidated by the Trainer. Then diligently take down notes in their notepad. This is a snapshot of one of the Agents Notepad who is trying to understand the process, in this case, of generating RA (Return Authorization). You can read how the Agent has simplified the process by tabulating the steps as follows:

Generate RA

Then…

Check to return this item

Then…

Select a reason

Then…

Select a return type

Then…

Process

Then…

You will get a return authorization number

Each call center Agent writes in their notepad similarly, simplifying the Process. Notepads often have scribbles and doodles as well. A typical one is that at the end of the Process, many Agents draw a Smiley to signify the happy ending to the process and a satisfied customer.

The training usually is of a couple of hours, and it can be extended to several days also depending upon the complexity of the project. The training is followed by an oral and a written Process Knowledge Test (PKT).

Once the Agent demonstrates complete understanding of the Process through high scores in the PKT, only then they go to the work-floor to take their first call. And before they step into their cubicle, they get a hard-copy of the process flow, like a users’ manual. All the instructions are present on their computer system as well. So there is no chance of any error during the customer interaction.

Bluechip Callcenter emphasizes on continuous training, of not just process, but also of soft skills like courtesy, ways of polite and amiable talking etc.

We invest in Training because we believe that our Agents are our true asset! And the enhanced customer service provided to our clients after training is the true ROI! After all, the raison d’etre of our training is better client service and better customer satisfaction. And with each training we move a step closer to perfection!

Learn to Manage an Underperforming Team of Inbound Call Center

The customer service representatives (CSRs) are the main pillars that establish the construction of a sturdy call center. The individual roles played by each and every CSR are very essential to deliver a performance that determines the overall sales of the call center. But team working in most of the call centers often goes through a stage that deliberately acts as an interruption in the personal aspects and the organizational growth. What may be the reasons that have initiated issues? Have the call centers keep an eye on the in-depth factors that have led to the downfall. In order to maximize the return on investment (ROI), business establishments must put in place effective call center performance management programs that assist monitor the customer care approach.

Agent Development:Open communication and clear expectations are two basic fields that measure the call center performance management. The success lies with the hard work and dedication of well trained and call center employees for successful call center performance management system. The agents are the voice of the company and that are the only resources from where all the business communities establish the relation and decide to follow an approach. The calling agents must be well trained on how to deal with complex people, the sales techniques and the complete picture of their performance. An ongoing coaching is also a vital aspect to enhance this factor.

Metrics Based Evaluations: To attain the best levels of customer care services, the role of the call center metrics is vital. Therefore, it is a fact that call center performance tends to focus on numbers and therefore, it is important that all the agents in the business processes should appreciate what each metric represents and must know exactly what a passing measure is. The organizational hierarchy of the customer care team must have the access to the individual metrics as well as those of the entire team.

Reward Arrangements: The agents dedicating their career in the call center outsourcing industry can be well controlled if the rewarding arrangements are properly made on time. A team that is highly motivated is simply like an extraordinary performing machine. When the CSRs sense that their professional offerings are respected and translate into tangible benefits, they tend to exhibit better skills in the present and future. The monetary rewards and rewards with promotions can also encourage better level of performance.

Just follow them and see the change in the team very soon.

A Short Note of the Rudiments of Call Center Outsourcing

The rising cost of the technology infrastructure and demanding labors in the developed nations have forced many prime businesses to outsource their business operations to approach the professionals that are located far away from their business locations. The concept of outsourcing is a widely applied methodology that determines the businesses to perform better and efficiently. For an existing firm that has been following this method from a long time can easily find out the conditions and how to handle the market situations in an adept manner. But for the establishments that are very new should understand the basics and a few questions that can help them to find out the best call center outsourcing establishments.

In the up-to-date economy, outsourced activity has extended beyond manufacturing processes to embrace diverse business functions that can include human resources, marketing, technical support, customer service and many more. Whether it is retail or finance, banking or insurance, etc. it has become mandatory for these sectors to make a guardian that are handling all the complex processes in a tactful manner. The feasibility to technical skills, multilingual ability, and lower costs due to less expensive labor markets have all made outsourcing the best option of all times. There are also some inbound call centers that offers specialized services such as consulting or professional services and can assist in providing advice on offshore strategy and management. Therefore, the companies that have already planned to outsource any outbound or inbound call center services should follow some basic questions which can help them to find the best outsourcing partner:

The following questions will help provide some important guidelines.

1.Which detailed professional or dedicated services do you offer that set you separate from your competition?
2.Will the outsourced call center services be translucent to my business partners and their customers?
3.What would be the concern in project implementation and the transition of the business?
4.Will be my data secure?
5.What if you sell ma data base to me competitors?
6.How can you promise a continuous transition and how will you exhibit commitment to my brand and company?
7.How will you adhere to my company’s values and maintain a high level of quality and service?
8.Explain your agent-training process, including acculturation and accent training if you use offshore agents.
9.What are the specific metrics used to measure accomplishment and how often will I receive performance updates?
10.Will there be any references provided?
11.What is your disaster recovery plan? Is there a practicable system in place that ensures ongoing business operations and negligible disruption to customers in an emergency?
12.What is the exit strategy if I’m discontented with your service?
Follow them and may be you can be on a safer side from now onwards.

Acquisition of Manpower for Call Center Services

Call center industry blooms only with the qualitative service and the services can only be better when the BPOs hire exceptional and intellectual agents. To achieve this target it has been observed that most of the call centers hire professional or a third party that easies the process and outsource a candidate that can be perfectly measured with the client’s requirement. But there should be a great care taken by the individual human resource team in the contact centers and prepare themselves with the tactics of hiring the best in no time.

Here are some of the tips and suggestions that can help the BPOs to deliver call center services with the recruitment process:

A) Make sure that you explain the job descriptions to the consultancies and to the candidates before the interviews are conducted. This is important to judge the interest of the candidates in the exact profile you need agents. It also helps the candidates to prepare a little so that the process can be completed within a small period.

B) The human resource team should have the experience to read the psychology of the candidate. Assessment can be made successful if they are skilled with questioning techniques. As call center services is all about communication skills, make sure that the candidates is capable to speak in a fluent manner and handle the pressure of the industry.

C) If the candidates are experienced make sure you inspect all the documents and review the CV. Look at the experience in the relevant industry and how stable the candidate is. If the candidate has no stability then hiring the same candidate can be a serious loss of time and efforts.

D) Look at the potential of the candidate. A good candidate should be hired even if he/she needs to be paid a little more. As the attrition rate of the call centersis high, it is important that the candidates are kelp engaged by any means. A better candidate can deliver better call center services.

E) Try to appoint the candidate in his areas of interest. There would be some candidates that are dedicated to some special subject matters only. If you can judge the potential of that person may be you are justifying that and the performance level would touch the zenith of excellence.

It is simpler and easier to follow these steps to make a resource to an asset.