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Improving Quality and Performance Management
in Your Contact Centre

Contact centre management teams work to monitor, regulate and improve performance every single minute your operation is running. The management you choose can in many cases have virtually full control over your phone dialler program, how it is run, and key areas where it can be optimised.

The fundamental roots of overseeing a well-run contact centre are optimising your phone dialler program. This is done by ensuring that nearly all your agents are repeatedly engaged on calls while regulating the number of outbound calls made by the dialler to avoid having a large number of silent calls.

It all comes down to data, both data management and database administration. However, what is really of concern is the quality of this data. If you were to input a solid amount of high quality and accurate data then it is unlikely your phone dialler program will have to make many calls to get through to one of your waiting agents. On the flip side of things, if the quality of the data in-putted into the phone dialler program is of a relatively low standard then the dialler will have to undertake many more calls just to get through to a single agent. Data quality is therefore of prime importance.

Once you have your data, you should choose the reports that are relevant to your company. Don't place your attention on aspects of the phone dialler program that will have little eventual outcome in your centre's efficiency, but pinpoint the factors and reports that will be consequential.

Should you desire any temporary or longer-term change of strategy; the management team must be involved with this. Senior managers should be seen as somewhat inspirational figures within the company and be on hand to guide and explain any shifts or emerging patterns that need to be altered or amended.

One of the best ways to gain full control of your diallers is through call monitoring and recording. The most obvious reason for this is to find fundamental flaws within your communication systems. For example, should a misunderstanding occur between an agent and a caller it is extremely difficult to develop a clear understanding of what went wrong with the call in the first place. Without these call recordings, it becomes near impossible for you to rectify the situation and prevent similar misunderstandings from occurring again in the future.

You should do your best to get individual agents involved in the process as well and utilise their feedback with regards to the implementation of new ideas and tactics. As well as allowing your management team to monitor calls, the agents too should be able to ascertain their own strengths and weaknesses and by listening to their own and other individual’s calls, and learn how to improve their job performance. It’s often argued that the best way to get someone to change their behaviour is to hold a mirror up to them: Show your agents how others are working. In addition to this, do not simply focus on your underperforming agents, but rather do your best to nurture everyone's abilities.

Your phone dialler program and your employees are just as important as each other. An excellent way of improving everyone’s understanding of the operation is to switch roles now and again. We're not saying managers should regularly be doing the roles of contact agents, but rather let agents occasionally sit in on managerial meetings. This will help them understand the reasons behind any decisions for tactical shifts. This works both ways too and those in management should also spend the odd day answering phones and emails so they can quickly understand first-hand what exactly is happening at the other end of the company and also potentially identify any inefficiency that could be done without. It's about coaching, coaching and more coaching. In the arena of a contact centre there will nearly always be ways for you to improve efficiency and quality of service.

Never forget that though some agents may outperform others, they are nevertheless working as a team, a solid unit: it is important to keep everybody’s goals in line. You don't want any of your employees to feel too under the hammer, as this will only affect their performance negatively. Instead you should try to empower them and encourage certain practices from the top down. This way, everyone gets a say in how to do the best job they can.