11 Ways to Improve Your Contact Center's Performance
Time to read: 4 minutes
Your contact center is the foundation of your business. It doesn't matter how well you build your services or how perfectly you price your products—customers will eventually need help. And when they do, you need a dependable contact center to deliver top-notch support that assists clients, builds relationships, and retains your customers for the long run.
However, optimizing your contact center's performance is easier said than done. There are dozens of moving parts, and even the most trivial decisions can significantly influence your program.
Fortunately, you have Twilio on your side.
We know a thing or 2 when it comes to improving contact center performance. Our developers created Twilio Flex, the world's most flexible contact center platform, and we've accumulated plenty of know-how and insights from building this solution.
Below, we'll walk you through 11 tried-and-true ways to improve your contact center's performance.
First, you need to determine how success looks. Some contact centers use metrics like average handle time and first-call resolution, while others focus on customer satisfaction scores and response time.
There's no golden key performance indicator for measuring your call center metrics. However, your metrics must align with your mission.
Often, management can get lost chasing new numbers or offerings and lose sight of the ultimate goal. Revisit your metrics to ensure these line up with your contact center and business priorities.
If that's employee retention, you might want to focus more on agent happiness and attrition rates. Or if that's agent performance, you might want to prioritize metrics around workforce management and productivity.
Be realistic when setting your agent's day-to-day, quarterly, and annual goals. There's nothing more discouraging than chasing an unattainable number, and your team's morale will suffer if their best isn't good enough.
While you want to set goals that make your team stretch, you don't want them to stretch so far that they break. You want minor improvements over time, not drastic changes.
Think of improving your contact center's performance as a marathon and not a sprint. Sometimes, progress is slow, but everything should be OK if you head in the right direction.
What gets measured gets improved. So ensure you have reliable ways to track the metrics and goals you're chasing. Poor surveys or outdated tracking software can skew results and make performance look worse (or better) than it really is.
Empower your contact center agents and managers with the best-of-the-best technology and hardware to do their job. These tools should be easy to learn and simple to use. Ideally, you want agents to quickly enter a performance-enhancing flow—not time-wasting processes.
Then, look for solutions with powerful features and an up-to-date user interface. These should connect with your customer relationship management and sales tools to keep all your records synced and updated.
Give your customers options for contacting your contact center team—don't limit them to a single channel. You'll kick things off on the right foot if you allow email tickets when a customer doesn't want to chat on the phone. And vice versa—customers won't be happy if they have to jump on the phone for a simple task they'd rather submit digitally.
Here are the channels you should support (at a minimum):
- Facebook Messenger
- Google Business Messages
Tools and workflows will only take your customer experience so far. Ultimately, performance comes from your frontline employees—the heroes hopping on phone calls and answering webchats. To improve your contact center's performance, you'll need to improve the way you hire, retain, and engage your employees.
After all, your employees are more than just numbers. So talk to your agents and have regular 1:1 meetings to see how they're doing. Ask them about what to change or improve to help them do their job, and be generous with benefits and time off to give them the motivation and recharge they need to succeed.
Skill-based routing and interactive voice response systems can help automatically filter conversations to the appropriate agents. This immediately accelerates resolution time and prevents the dreaded back-and-forth handoffs that inbound callers hate.
Record and monitor your calls. This provides a few advantages:
- Encourages performance: Help your agents to always be on their A-game because they know you’re recording the call, and management regularly reviews calls.
- Creates learnings from top performers: Find out how (and why) your best agents go above and beyond when helping customers.
- Protects agents: Ensure your agents don't suffer from unfriendly treatment or unreasonable complaints.
Your agents and managers can always improve. Help them escape the day-to-day with regular training on how to better their techniques. These training sessions might show them the latest and greatest product updates or teach them tricks for handling conflict and satisfying customers.
Ask your customers for feedback and what they'd like improved. While you can use quantitative data to gather some insights, provide a place for your customers to submit open-ended feedback too. This might help you discover successes or failures that might not fit into a typical checkbox survey.
Look at Zappos. It has created an infectious culture around customer service. Everything it does, from hiring to onboarding to training, focuses on teamwork, positive energy, and customer-first mindsets. Zappos is the type of place that celebrates (not punishes) an employee chatting on the phone with a customer for over 10 hours. Yes, seriously.
Build a similar culture with your contact center team. Get your agents excited about working, and reward them for showing up and putting their best foot forward.
The best contact centers need the best technology, and we have just the thing: Twilio Flex. Flex is a flexible cloud-based contact center platform that lets you build a contact center tailored to the way you (and your customers) work.
It supports email, voice, SMS, chat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger from a single platform, letting you create intelligent routing and engagement workflows. Plus, developers can integrate Flex with their favorite applications and take advantage of APIs to pull information from various sources.
See for yourself. Sign up for a free Twilio account to access 5K active user hours—plenty enough to test the platform and see if it's the right fit for your business.
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