The Challenges of Discrete Operations
There are many reasons an organization might have multiple contact centers. A common example is to have one team handle orders and another handle technical support. The belief is that sales agents won’t have the expertise to handle technical problems, while it is a waste to have highly-paid technical support specialists taking orders.
Each center might handle different lines of business. An insurance company could have separate teams handling medical, homeowners and auto policies. Finally, certain services might differ significantly by area so the company finds it can offer better assistance to clients by having regional contact centers rather than a centralized operation fielding all calls. However even if it makes sense to have separated contact centers, organizations can still use call center analysis to allow each team to support the others.
Benefits of Cross Training
Cross training agents gives the organization flexibility to handle fluctuating caller traffic. Call center analysis can automatically rerouted calls from overburdened centers to agents who are currently underutilized. Using the technical support example above, it might seem inefficient to have a higher-paid technical support specialist fielding order calls, but it is even less efficient to have the specialist playing computer solitaire because of a temporary drop in service requests.
Cross training motivates employees. Contact center jobs can become tedious, and many agents enjoy the break from routine duties to handle other kinds of calls from time to time. It’s a way to stretch mental legs and break the monotony. Agents may discover they prefer other kinds of calls and transfer to a contact center more suited to their skills and interests.
Of course it’s not a matter of simply pushing a button and letting call center analysis software start rerouting calls throughout the network. Employees need to be trained on their backup roles. Agents will probably need documentation to lead them through their new duties. A dedicated technical support agent might be able to handle customer problems on the fly, while a backup agent would need to follow a script.
When possible, warn agents of upcoming changes in call volume. If the company is about to launch a new product, all agents may be required to assist in the initial flood of order calls. A natural disaster could trigger a spike of calls to the regional contact center for an insurance company. Agents prepared for the increase in volume will react to the changes more quickly and smoothly.
Even the most insular communication structure benefits from call center analysis. The ability to shift resources means faster response, happier customers, and less stressed employees.
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