Update: This article was last updated on 5th July 2019 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
Call centers are one of the industries that deal directly with customers, and thus the need for maintaining high standards of performance and efficiency is high. The demands and inquiries of the customers are constantly changing, and the call centers should be equipped to make sure that they can handle these transitions easily.
However, what may sound easy in theory is not always that easy to implement in reality. The fast-paced world of today is constantly updated with new technologies and ideas that more often than not radically change the way agents are supposed to interact with the clients.
Therefore, it is necessary to frequently check on the workings of the call center to ensure that the service provided by the call center is of the highest quality to ensure maximum customer satisfaction and optimum business productivity.
The competition too, is very high in this field, so the call centers need to be always on edge to make sure they do not fall behind. A proven way of ensuring that your call center is operating at the best possible standards is conducting a call center audit.
What is a Call Center Audit?
A call center audit is a detailed set of assessments and measurements that are designed to highlight the strengths while pointing out the weaknesses of the call center in question. A successful audit can be beneficial in knowing the areas which need to be worked upon so that the call center is always working at the best potential level.
All the key factors that directly or indirectly influence the working are assessed so that even the minutest of issues can be singled out to be worked upon further towards improvement.
5 Tips To Go About The Audit In Your Call Center?
Let us now look at the five tips that will help you go about the audit process in your call center:
1. Assign an Audit Alliance
Effective communication is vital to smoothen any process, and by assigning an audit alliance, you are giving one person the responsibility of managing all communications related to the audit process.
This person can be responsible for managing all the audit requests and sending them to the concerned department. You don’t necessarily need to hire a specialist for this. You can give this position to any floor manager, team supervisor or any other employee with excellent managerial and analytical skills.
2. Focus on the right issues
As discussed later in the blog, some key fields or issues are much more important than the others. It is essential that a call center audit focuses on those issues as they are the ones that will help you serve the actual purpose of the audit; which is to look beyond and recognize the business risks and vital issues from the very beginning.
3. Always be prepared
If you leave things for the last minute. You are bound to face some issues. Whereas if you are keeping a record of all the transactions, daily accounts, and all the other things, it can minimize your tension and stress significantly. Keeping your agents and employees informed of all the changing policies and dynamic statistics will also help in managing the audit process more smoothly.
4. Have intact guidelines
Having intact guidelines ensure that there is no partiality of favours for any situations or agents. These guidelines should be available to each employee and should be insisted upon to maintain a healthy and positive work environment.
5. Give it your best shot
This is kind of self-explanatory as every call center will try to show their best side. The way to do this might be different for different organizations. Some people save their best calls and appreciation mails to show as proof. Other people save their best agents for high end transactions. Furthermore, it is important to keep all your data ready and be proactive in making decisions to ace an audit.
Now that we have seen the tips, you need to focus on for conducting a successful audit. Let us look at some key fields that need to be assessed to gain useful insights from the audit.
Key Fields That Need To Be Assessed
A call center has many factors that influence its working, and most of them are very important. The following list will describe the main fields that need to be assessed when conducting an audit for the call center’s performance:
Inbound and Outbound calls
The most integral part of a call center is the calls that are made and received by the agents. It is of utmost importance that the key areas for proper auditing of the calls are identified and worked upon.
These key areas would include call classification, call cost/benefits analysis, call flow structure, evaluation of agent skills, evaluation of call effectiveness, and relationship building between the customer and the agent. Compare the results with the optimum results on the same metrics and find out the areas which need improvements.
Customer Experience Rating
While the quality of the call is most important, there occur many cases where a higher quality call fails to please a customer while one with a lower rating was more successful. This is because customers are human beings, not lab rats that give the same results every time.
Therefore, any auditing measures should ensure that the correct issues are checked: Was the customer’s goals met? Was there a positive emotional connection? Was the call efficient for the customer time wise? Was the relationship between the customer and the agent strengthened? These answers would help you in paving the way for increasing the customer satisfaction towards the call center.
Agents are what make or break a call center. A good agent can convince even the most biased of customers towards opting for their services and can get even the angriest of customers to calm down and take the conversation towards a positive direction. However, at the same time, bad agents can make seemingly sealed deals go down in no time.
This is why it is very important to make sure that the agents employed by the call centers are of the best quality. The chief areas of interest that auditing will deal with in regard to agent working include communication prowess, call flow management, call standards compliance, knowledge regarding the product or service, sales skills, customer interaction, and learning rate.
Call Centers work in real-time, and thus, the performance metrics are constantly updating. This is why having a proper estimate of how good your call center actually is, is very important. Proper and regular audits will not only enhance your productivity but also weed out all the negative aspects of the call center process that are hindering on working efficiency on the whole.