Collaboration is a major element of success in today’s biggest and best companies. Many people mistakenly believe that there is no place for collaboration between agents in large companies like contact centers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Businesses like call centers and BPO organizations can see big benefits from agent collaboration.
Why Agent Collaboration is Vital to Your Center’s Success
In an industry like the call center where we typically think of agents as being separated and working entirely independently, why is collaboration so important? The benefits of having your agents work together and giving them easier access to one another to do so might surprise you. Some of the most important perks include:
- Agents who can collaborate can provide a better customer experience. Your consumers deserve answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. When they are working with agents who are able to collaborate, that is exactly what they will receive. Empower your agents to provide a better customer experience through collaboration.
- Agents who work easily and well together are easier to train. When your agents can answer one another’s questions, it makes the path to becoming a proficient and profitable call center agent easier. It also makes adjusting to the new work environment quicker and more pleasant for your new hires, as they feel a sense of community with their peers right away.
- Agents who are more collaborative enjoy the benefits of increased socialization. How often do your agents have the chance to talk to each other? If your answer is “only on breaks”, then you’re approaching the business all wrong. Your agents can see major productivity benefits from being able to collaborate because collaboration is a type of socialization. Even though they’re talking about something work-related, those small interactions add up to far better mental and emotional health - something that can help to prevent agent turnover and boost performance.
- Collaborating agents are typically happier, more efficient, and more productive. Increased focus, better mental and emotional health, improved morale, and enhanced job satisfaction are all benefits of letting your employees collaborate more.
How to Foster a More Collaborative Work Environment in Your Facility
If you want to enjoy the benefits of agent collaboration in your center, you need to set up your work environment to allow for it. One of the reasons many contact center managers struggle to see the merit in collaboration between agents is because the large, busy environment of the typical call center can make it difficult. That doesn’t mean your center can’t make it happen, though!
To foster collaboration in your call center, you must first cultivate a collaborative environment. As we’ve previously mentioned here, it can be difficult to do this in an industry and a setting that seems to be built in contradiction to collaboration. However, it is entirely possible to give your agents more opportunities to collaborate - possible and very beneficial to your business!
Begin by encouraging your agents to collaborate whenever possible. While it may not seem like there are many opportunities for collaboration available to your agents, you would likely be surprised by how often they can answer one another’s questions or assist one another when given the chance. This doesn’t just make them better at their job - it gives your management team more time to focus on their own!
Empower your agents to take collaboration into their own hands. When they don’t feel that they have to seek permission from management to collaborate with other agents, they will do so more frequently - and with greater results. Just be sure that management members supervise effectively since all agent efforts should be reviewed as part of your quality control procedures. As long as you have given your agents proper guidance, they should be more than prepared to collaborate independently.
Working in pairs and teams requires the presence of a leader within these groups. Fostering leadership skills in your agents is important, as is setting leaders apart so that they can continue to lead by example even after projects wrap. Designating specific staff members as subject experts can help other agents find their way to these members in times of trouble and empower skilled agents to create their own leadership style - all of which will benefit their resulting output in a big way.
Be sure that your agents are always being as transparent as possible, both with one another and with your consumers. This doesn’t just help to make your call center a more collaboration-friendly environment. It helps to make consumers more satisfied with the service they are receiving and gives them information and insight that can help drive metrics like your Net Promoter Score through the roof!
How do you do this? Just be honest. When your agents need to consult with one another, tell them to let the consumer know that this is what they are doing. It gives the consumer more motivation to be patient during a brief hold and also lets them know that your agent care enough about their question or concern to proactively seek out the answer for them. Both of these things will foster respect and satisfaction - as well as loyalty - in your consumers.
Lastly, be sure that your agents have the tools they need to collaborate effectively. When they are separated by not just physical barriers but by the shortcomings of their technology as well, it can be difficult to deliver top-notch service to consumers. Solve this problem by investing in software that delivers great collaborative potential.
To get the tools and techniques you need to enable agent collaboration in your facility, contact the industry experts at ChaseData today. We have the software solutions to help make agent collaboration easier and assist you in integrating it into your facility’s daily operations. To learn more, give us a call today!