Days in a call center or contact center can often feel never-ending. Hardworking call center agents deserve well-earned breaks throughout their day. But have you ever wondered if they're using clever tricks or strategies to lighten their workload and maximize their breaks?
In this blog, we'll explore seven common hacks that agents use and show you how to identify them using Brightmetrics. Discover how you can ensure optimal productivity in your call center or contact center while still allowing your agents their well-deserved rest breaks and avoiding burnout.
A clever strategy known as "rounding up breaks" skillfully extends an agent's allotted break duration. By tactically maximizing these intervals, employees can craft a buffer that limits their availability to answer calls promptly.
While ensuring suitable breaks for employees remains extremely important, managing the potential overextension of break periods is critical to sustaining productivity and fulfilling service-level commitments. This can be achieved through the cultivation of an open and responsible work culture. Encouraging employees to take ownership of their performance goals aids in self-regulating breaks, fostering a balance that honors well-being while fine-tuning call center operations.
Personalizing after-call work refers to the practice where call center agents tailor their post-call tasks to enhance their individual efficiency while also evading incoming calls. Agents strategically structure their tasks in a way that not only optimizes their workflow but also reduces the likelihood of being immediately assigned to another call.
While this approach may allow agents to better manage their personal workload and responsibilities, avoiding immediate call engagements can increase queue wait times and affect the workloads of fellow agents.
Call center agents sometimes hide behind an "IT problem" to buy time and temporarily avoid taking calls. While technical difficulties can arise, it's crucial to address any patterns of abuse and ensure that legitimate IT issues are promptly resolved.
Maintain open communication channels and provide adequate training and support to minimize the need for such tactics while optimizing call center efficiency.
Call center employees utilize lightning-fast switches to briefly enter AUX mode, strategically pausing their availability to escape the pressure of incoming calls momentarily. While short breaks can help ease stress, it's important to ensure that employees adhere to established policies and guidelines for AUX mode usage.
Considering that close to 80% of call center employees are stressed, you should provide relaxation and stress management opportunities. There are different ways of achieving this, including setting up comfortable break rooms. Furthermore, encourage healthy work habits to maintain individual and collective productivity.
Performing surveys is a key part of enhancing customer experience and gathering feedback. This is often one of the easiest parts of a call center agent’s job. That’s why some may employ a method called "keeping the line open during a post-call survey" to bypass additional incoming calls.
But it's important to balance survey participation and prompt customer service. Implement strategies to streamline the survey process without compromising on-call quality. This should be accompanied by providing training on efficient survey administration to optimize workflows and enhance customer satisfaction.
Understandably, call center employees are often tired towards the end of their shifts. As a result, some have honed the skill of strategically navigating their workload to escape the last, often time-consuming, call of the day.
While it's natural for employees to strive for a balanced workload, addressing any patterns of avoiding responsibilities is important. So, adopt effective time management techniques and provide support to help employees meet their targets while ensuring outstanding customer service until the end of their shift.
Another common hack is "sitting on a hanger or transfer." This involves call center agents cleverly delaying or redirecting calls to others, giving themselves time to handle complex issues or complete other tasks before taking on the call again.
While this tactic can help maintain efficiency, it's essential to ensure customers do not wait for extended periods. Research suggests that 60% of customers will hang up if on hold for a minute. Therefore, encourage your team to balance call redirection with prompt and effective customer service, ensuring that each inquiry is handled efficiently and without unnecessary delays.
Your core responsibility as a call center leader encompasses ensuring your agents adeptly manage customer inquiries, issues, and needs, fostering strong brand connections with every interaction. While technology helps to achieve this, it's important to remain vigilant about these tactics.
In addition, call center leaders have an equal obligation to safeguard their agents' well-being. If these strategies are exploited, it's vital to swiftly devise fair resolutions that balance productivity and employee welfare, cultivating an environment where both flourish.
At Brightmetrics, we understand the importance of equipping your call center leaders and agents with the tools to succeed. Our solutions are designed to empower your call center teams with actionable insights and analytics, enabling you to make data-driven decisions and drive customer satisfaction to new heights.
Start your free trial today if you want to improve your dashboarding and reporting capabilities.