Now that you have your phone support team in place, it's time to determine how they are performing. Are they meeting the mark? What mark? Hopefully you create a QA Guideline along with the Work Instruction. Remember: What's to be expected of each phone agent? You will use this as your benchmark.
In addition to your call quality standards, you may consider including things like: average hold-times, call lengths, and customer feedback. Some of this data should be easy to collect from your phone system. Others you might need to get inventive with. For example, customer feedback. Perhaps you can ask the customer to participate in a survey at the end of the call. You should always collect random samples of call recordings, to ensure the agent is handling calls properly. Make sure you comply with any legal requirements before recording calls.
Use each criteria to create a performance formulae. Assign each criteria a weighted value based on your company values, when writing your formula. For example, hold-times will obviously have less value than the call quality and following the QA guidelines. The formula won't be perfect overnight, so you may need to perfect that over time.
It's very important that you make your performance data available to your phone team. They should know how to generate their call stats (eg: hold-times & call lengths), listen to their own call recordings, and possibly compare with their team mates. Generating weekly and monthly reports allows them to gain a snapshot of their performance.
As your team grows, you will want to automate as much of this as you can. For example, call stats can be generated automatically with a little development. Even so, the stats should be routinely looked at for call trends, etc. This might help you determine what shifts you need more staff on the phones. Other things like listening to the call samples will always be a manual process. The person(s) listening to the calls should be well aware of the team's work, expectations, and must be involved with the QA system and formula.
Everything Phone System
As I mentioned, you can get a lot of the stats from your phone system (hopefully.) We've had great success with our own custom Asterisk solution. We have it setup using the Realtime engine, which allows for CDR data to be saved to a database. Then we wrote some software to generate 'pretty' stats and graphs. Call recording is also very easy with Asterisk. With some custom dial plans, we have implemented several cool features including the customer survey, and a caller callback module (An Idea I got from Tmobile's Tech Support) Feel free to contact a sales representative, if you need any help with Asterisk or Trixbox.
So I hope this article proves useful when you launch your phone support team, or improve your existing team. But what if you don't have a phone support team? Or you are working with an outsourced phone support team? Bobcares offers Level1 Phone Support from its offices in the US and Germany. So next week, We’ll focus on how to effectively manage an outsourced phone support team.
About the author:
Robert Broyles is Team Leader at the Bobcares Phone Support Center, Phoenix, AZ. While he is not busy managing the team and Phone support, Robert loves to tweak Asterisk systems.
Co-Authored by Sankar.H