No call center is perfect. Call center challenges are a part of business operations. Even the best call centers face challenges that can impact their ability to provide quality customer service. In this blog post, we discuss five of the most common call center challenges and how to solve them. By knowing what to look for and how to address these issues, your call center will be able to run more smoothly and provide better customer service.
Table of contents
- Common call center problems and solutions in 2023/2024
- Tools to identify contact center problems
- Challenge #1: Poor customer satisfaction
- Challenge #2: High agent attrition
- Challenge #3: Lack of budget
- Challenge #4: IT issues
- Challenge #5: Low employee morale
- The LiveVox solution
Common call center problems and solutions in 2023/2024
How can call center operations be improved? By knowing what problems to look out for. Let’s dive into the most common call center challenges and how to overcome them.
Lack of engagement
Agent engagement is critical to contact center success. To combat a lack of engagement, try to create a more positive work environment and give employees opportunities to advance their careers. One way to do this is by offering training and development programs.
High staff turnover
Historically, the customer service industry has always experienced high turnover. Given the shift to remote work and the availability of call center positions, high staff turnover is more common. It can be a big problem for call centers because turnover leads to a loss of institutional knowledge and experience.
Try to improve working conditions and offer competitive salaries and benefits. You can also lean on technology to help reduce the stress and workload of your agents with AI-powered chatbots. Chatbots can help relieve some of the pressure on your staff by handling simple customer inquiries.
Long wait times
Long wait times are often caused by a lack of resources or too few staff members. But with the global supply chain still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, contact centers are still experiencing an influx of customer inquiries.
To combat this, try to increase staffing levels or improve the efficiency of your call center processes. Create a robust knowledge base to help agents resolve customer issues quickly. You can also make this knowledge base a public resource on your website, so customers can quickly search for answers to their questions.
Tools to identify contact center problems
- Call monitoring tools: Listen in on customer service calls and help identify areas for improvement.
- Speech analytics tools: Help analyze customer service calls and transcripts to identify areas for improvement.
- Quality management tools: Score and grade customer service calls.
- Reporting and analytics tools: Help managers track key performance indicators (KPIs) and performance metrics.
- Customer surveys: Conduct surveys to gather feedback from customers about their experience with your call center.
- Training and development: Provide training and development opportunities for your call center staff. This can help improve their skills and knowledge, which can lead to improved performance.
Challenge #1: Poor customer satisfaction
There are many ways to measure performance levels in call centers. One of the most important is the first call resolution rate (FCR), and it’s critical in achieving high customer satisfaction rates. As business continues to move online, companies are seeing an increase of complex customer issues coming in. Oftentimes, these issues require longer resolution times. But if customers have to talk to multiple agents to get their questions answered, customer satisfaction takes a hit.
Utilize first call resolution rate measurements and call routing features to ensure customers are getting their questions answered quickly and effectively. With call routing, calls will be directed to the correct department or agent and your team is more likely to provide a positive customer experience.
Challenge #2: High agent attrition
The call center industry has a high turnover rate. The work environment can be stressful given the long hours and demanding targets. Many agents quit without notice and in general, just don’t stay at one company for very long.
When an agent leaves a company, it’s difficult for other team members to assist with the increased workload. Hiring new talent and training them to perform duties becomes more and more difficult. This cycle results in lower team morale and mounting expenses when considering the costs of recruiting, hiring, training, and developing new employees.
Implement an AI-based call center platform to offload some inbound traffic and take the pressure off of your call center agents. You can also utilize workforce optimization (WFO) software to support agent performance across channels and empower agents to learn and improve.
Challenge #3: Lack of budget
One of the age-old challenges for call centers is a lack of financial resources. A high agent turnover rate and therefore high staffing costs result in consistent monetary loss. From a leadership team point of view, this makes call centers a heavy drain on revenue. Some organizations cut their losses or don’t set up call centers altogether, resorting to other unsuccessful methods of addressing their customers’ needs.
Get a business phone system with flexible, customized pricing plans that fit your call center’s needs. By switching to a VoIP system, companies saved 90% on international calls and 75% on operational costs alone. VoIP is cheaper than traditional phone service because it uses your existing internet connection. There are no added costs for using long-distance or international calls.
Challenge #4: IT issues
Many times there are technical IT issues with call centers. On a busy day, phone lines may be jammed or there could be trouble integrating additional existing business systems. This leads to employee and customer irritation, wasted time, and a significant dip in company productivity overall.
Choose a call center platform that is reliable, easy to use, and provides effective support. The right customer service software should integrate with your other systems to reduce technical problems. Communication systems like Slack and Microsoft Teams, CRM software, social tools, and other internal systems help keep your company connected, organized, and functioning. Find a software that directly integrates across systems, so your team won’t skip a beat.
Challenge #5: Low employee morale
Unhappy employees result in decreased performance levels across the board. Call center agents are often given high-performance targets that they have to reach on top of dealing with dissatisfied customers all day. When your customers reach out to get help with their issues, they’re already frustrated or upset. It’s emotionally taxing for agents to meet grumpy customers with a happy and upbeat attitude.
A major call center problem is that they have very flat hierarchical structures – this translates into fewer promotions and opportunities for career progression. With limited team manager or leader roles, the majority of employees remain stuck at the base level. This tempts them to move to greener pastures and results in a super-high attrition rate.
Encourage team building and create opportunities for career growth within your call center. On a technology level, find a customer service software that empowers your agents and offloads incoming customer inquiries. A knowledge base is a great resource to create for agents and customers alike. Customers can find answers to their questions in a single resource hub without having to talk to an agent.
The LiveVox solution
Setting up a call center can be fraught with challenges, but by understanding the solutions to these five common problems, you can optimize your call center for success. At LiveVox, we specialize in streamlining call center operations so your business is efficient, cost-effective, and provides an excellent customer experience. View our cloud-based contact center platform to see how we can help improve your call center operations.