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How to Increase Agent Productivity in the Call Center

Call center managers are constantly looking for new ways to motivate their employees and boost their productivity levels.  However, with such high employee turnover and low morale in many contact centers, it’s not always easy to keep agents’ productivity high.

While there may not be a fail-safe way to maintain agent productivity and high morale, here are some of our top suggestions that could work for your call center.

Tips for Improving Call Center Agent Productivity

Schedule frequent short breaks.

Allow your agents to take short breaks when their stress levels get too high.  Providing agents with the opportunity to take small breaks throughout the day will not only allow them to reenergize, but could also save the call center a poor customer service report if the already frustrated agent takes another phone call.

Have monthly contests.

At the end of the day, your agents require more motivation than a paycheck.  And a little healthy competition can be a great motivator – especially if it provides agents with the opportunity to be rewarded for going above and beyond standard expectations.

Monthly contests for best practices can serve as a wonderful motivational tool in the call center.  For example, you could incentivize agents to strive for higher first call resolution rates by offering the contest winner a bonus, or even extra time off.  These contests can also strengthen morale in the call center, which is never a bad thing.

Utilize internal communication.

Both agents and customers find it very frustrating when the company makes changes without the agents being aware.  Poor internal communication causes productivity to slow down, but thankfully, it is an easy fix.  By communicating internally any time a change is happening, agents will be able to handle calls more quickly and effectively.

Use the information provided by IVR.

Interactive Voice Response is a great way to speed up calls and collect pertinent information from customers.  However, when the information provided is not used by the agents, customers get frustrated and end up spending more time on the phone.  By collecting the information with IVR and then actually using it, agents don’t have to waste their own time (or the customer’s time, for that matter) collecting that information again.

Implement schedule adherence strategies.

In recent years, average talk time and average calls handled per hour were the top key performance indicators used to measure call center agent productivity. But, let’s face it: your agents can’t really control the number of calls they receive per hour, or how much time a phone call requires from a customer perspective.

However, your agents can control the amount of time they are available versus the time that they’re on a call or completing after-call work, which is exactly what schedule adherence measures.  This call center KPI can give you a good overview of an agent’s productivity levels within their given schedule.

Use virtual call center features to your advantage.

Critical virtual call center features, such as real time reporting, live call monitoring, and call recording, can be extremely helpful in tracking the productivity of your call center and your individual agents.  For best results, call center managers can use these tools to benchmark and track performance standards, and then analyze their agents’ productivity for improvement after they’ve been trained on better practices.

By increasing agent productivity, call centers can save a lot of money and boost call center satisfaction.  Ensuring that agents have the tools they need and the best conditions possible will enable them to do their jobs more efficiently.

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