Contact centers are driven by agent productivity. Because of this, emphasis on individual agents’ achievements is the norm. While this can encourage productivity, it also creates a competitive atmosphere that makes collaboration difficult. So how do improve contact enter collaboration?
Your customer benefits when contact center agents work like they are part of a team. Where one agent might lack knowledge or skill, another may excel. Drawing on this collective knowledge and experience will help agents be more dynamic and respond to customer requests more comprehensively.
Collaboration is essential in the contact center. It is the secret ingredient to solving big problems and coming up with creative solutions to common customer problems. Simply put: you can better support your customers if you collaborate.
So, how do you improve contact center collaboration? Below we share five tips to do just that.
Bonds build teams and iincrease collaboration
People that know each other on a personal level are more willing to collaborate. Group activities that encourage your agents to interact on a more personal level help to improve contact center collaboration.
Organize events and activities that encourage your agents to be themselves and not just their workplace avatars. Approaching coworkers for help or with questions becomes less intimidating or foreboding when your workplace relationships don’t feel so stiff.
You can also encourage team building by allowing for a bit of fun within your collaboration tools. Being able to react with responses that are normally used outside of the workplace encourages camaraderie, so emoji away!
Encourage group problem solving
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A reward model that acknowledges group achievements encourages agents to help struggling members of their team. You can form groups of agents that work together to meet collective KPIs.
Wait times are no longer just a single call center agents’ concern. Group KPIs encourage agents to work together for improvement.
To collaborate, be approachable
The sooner you know if something isn’t working in your contact center, the better. Agents need to be comfortable approaching you with issues they might be having. Create a safe space for voicing concerns about management, call center software, and customer satisfaction.
Welcoming constructive criticism has a positive impact on managing customer-facing issues. Offers insight that helps you get ahead of them before they become a problem. If your agents notice clusters of the same issue, you might want to investigate if there is something larger at play.
Collaboration breaks departmental down barriers
Your agents know best what prevents them from collaborating. If you want to learn how to improve contact center collaboration, learn what prevents it to begin with. Maybe your layout is less than ideal or your structure is overly hierarchical. Perhaps your no-chatting policy is getting in the way of building up the kinds of relationships that foster team alliance and creative problem-solving.
Ask your agents honestly what those barriers are and do what you can to break them down.
Make support bubbles to foster collaboration
Often agents will have a question and are willing to collaborate but just don’t know where to turn. They are forced to put your customer on hold while they hunt for the answer. Not knowing where to turn can lead to increased wait times and a poor impression
You can improve support for agents by creating bubbles of individuals possessing different skill sets or knowledge bases. Each member acts as a specialist that can provide particular support. No more hunting for answers.
Support bubbles also encourage knowledge sharing and acquisition. Members are constantly teaching each other new things simply by participating. The result? More knowledgeable agents that can serve your customers more efficiently.
The bubble offers an element of familiarity and expedites the customer service process. When agents know just who to ask for their questions, they feel empowered and can better serve your customers.
A collaborative environment can increase your customer service team’s productivity and morale. It can improve agent performance and confidence.
You need to create a space where your agents feel comfortable sharing insights, opinions, suggestions, and knowledge. Your customer service will benefit and so will your bottom line.