Optimizing Your Center of Excellence: Eight Areas to Consider [A Checklist Primer]

When building, managing, and scaling a successful contact center, you need to focus on optimization in eight key areas. This blog outlines best practices that will help you turn your contact center into a true center of excellence. It will overview everything from recruiting and staffing to reporting and data analytics. If you’d rather opt for the comprehensive white paper on the topic, you can download that here!

1. Recruiting and Staffing

In order to build a successful contact center, you need to staff it with the right people. This means finding agents who are not only skilled in customer service, but who are also a good fit for your company culture.

You are operating at best practice if your recruiting and staffing efforts are:

  • Dynamic with a consistent flow of new applicants to account for any shifts
  • Linked with forecasting and scheduling efforts to anticipate agent needs
  • Strategic with consistent agent evaluations to determine the right profile

2. Training

Once you’ve found the right candidates, it’s important to provide them with adequate training so they can be successful in their roles. This training should cover not only the basics of customer service, but also your company’s specific products, services, policies, and procedures.

You are operating at best practice if your training processes include:

  • Instructional design, building content specific for your unique agent audience
  • Training facilitation, teaching various proven methodologies in an interactive format
  • Certification to ensure complete readiness before interfacing with customers

3. Quality Assurance

Quality assurance (QA) ensures that calls are being handled properly and that customers are satisfied with the results. By implementing a QA program, you can identify areas where your contact center can improve and make the necessary changes.

You are operating at best practice if your quality assurance program:

  • Ensures soft-skills are in-line with given requirements
  • Protects all parties involved through call compliance
  • Addresses quality oversight of all contact channels
  • Sets behavior expectations and provides accountability

4. Workforce Management

Workforce management includes activities like call routing, schedule adherence, and performance monitoring. By properly managing your workforce, you can ensure that calls are routed to the right agents and that they’re able to handle customer inquiries in a timely manner.

You are operating at best practice if your workforce management:

  • Leverages multiple tools, functions, and personnel to optimize staffing in your center
  • Creates the proper workforce size, balancing service level with agent utilization goals
  • Has a healthy environment that fiscally benefits your organization and agents

5. Operations and Vendor Management

Operations management is the process of overseeing contact center activities on a day-to-day basis. Vendor management, on the other hand, is the process of managing relationships with external vendors who provide services to your contact center.

You are operating at best practice if your operations and vendor management:

  • Works side-by-side all other functional areas effectively
  • Is made up of leaders, supervisors, and agents
  • Partners with vendor managers to drive KPIs

6. Tools and Technology

The right tools can help you automate call handling, track customer interactions, and generate detailed reports. 

You are operating at best practice if your tools and technology include:

  • CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service) as your main platform
  • A customer relationship management (CRM) system that integrates with your CCaaS
  • Call, chat, social, and email management that integrates with our other tools

7. Reporting and Data Analytics

By generating reports and analyzing data, you can identify areas of improvement and make the necessary changes.

You are operating at best practice if your reporting and data analytics include:

  • Custom built contact center reporting dashboards
  • Business intelligence analysis to optimize performance
  • Enable users to access data in real-time

8. Culture and People Practices

Creating a positive contact center culture is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. Furthermore, by implementing the right people practices, you can ensure that your contact center is providing the best possible experience for your customers.

You are operating at best practice if your culture and people practices include:

  • Taking care of your employees first and foremost, so they can take care of your customers
  • Building and maintaining a culture of trust, development, and participation
  • Effective hiring, development, communication, and empowerment

It’s no small task to optimize these eight key areas, but when you do, your contact center will be a center of excellence. If you want an instant benchmark on how you are currently doing check out our eight-point inspection. This tool evaluates the eight aforementioned areas and gives you a rating in real-time.

You can also check out our white paper that does a deep dive into each of these eight areas. We love to hear from you–which of these eight areas is your contact center operating at best practice?

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