Customers want (among other things) to be understood, respected, and to have their problems solved. If a customer is not satisfied with the service delivered, they may try the next option – calling your competitors.
bebexs revolutionises your Call centre
Your agent’s attitude towards the job will change, and they will continuously improve their call handling skills and become better. Your Call centre will provide the best customer service and have more satisfied customers.
Each call is an opportunity to improve customer engagement and satisfaction, helping to reinforce the brand image and credibility of the organisation.
But in our case, the opposite was happening. After years of steady expansion, the quality of service we were providing over the telephone started declining, and it was affecting our profits.
Our call centre is an international company with two offices, one in the United Kingdom and one abroad. We always have had good feedback from our customers. In fact, we were still getting good feedback, just not as often as we did in the past. Sales were not growing as fast as they used to. And as the MD, I felt that the quality of the service we provided to our customers had gradually declined.
As an organisation, I now realise that we had got complacent. Inconsistent call handling skills were ruining our credibility and losing previously loyal customers.
They were not consistently getting this from our service; their problems were not solved by our call agents no matter how hard they tried.
Clients’ complaints pointed out that:
Unsatisfied clients were calling multiples times, and their issues were still not solved. The next step they were taking was calling our competitors.
All of this ruined our credibility in the eyes of the clients. Even the most loyal of them started doubting whether they should continue working with us or not.
Most of our customers were repeat callers. They liked our service, but occasionally one of our Agents would not do their job correctly, and we would fall below our usual high standard.
You are only as good as your last call, and we have lost customers over one call. Customers who we have given excellent service to for years.
Since people on average let twenty people know about negative experiences and let only five people know about their positive experiences, we knew we had to make a change.
When we could find the time, my managers and I listened to calls. These calls were neither brilliant nor terrible. Finding a problem call was like looking for your friend at a football match. And when we did discover a problem call, Agents always seemed to reply with the "Do you know how hard I work?" We had some good agents, but we had a lot of poor agents who thought they were good agents. We targeted the Agents we identified as poor performers and tried to get them to improve the way they were handling phone calls. Then they would leave!
Then we would carefully recruit replacements. At first, they would be enthusiastic and keen to impress, and after putting in a lot of effort to train them, we would put them on the phones. Initially, the new starters were excellent, but then they started picking up bad habits. Soon they were no better than the Agents they had replaced.
We were employing outstanding people, using our best performers to train them, and in the end, most of them ended up just like the Agents we had pushed out. And our customer satisfaction rates kept on falling.
We didn't have a problem; we had lots of individual problems. Each Call agent had bad habits and was missing (or had forgotten) part of their training. To try and ensure better service to the customers, I decided to put strict rules in place controlling average handling times and toilet breaks. We increased the number of calls we listened to, carefully evaluating them and entering the details into a spreadsheet. After two weeks of diligently evaluating calls, somebody managed to overwrite the spreadsheet, and we lost all the data!
So, we wrote a program to record the details into a database. Once again our Managers and supervisors got to work evaluating calls. We found many great calls, but they also discovered lots and lots of problems.
Unfortunately not in the direction we needed. Our problems got worse, not better! Agents were presented with lists of issues to resolve and felt bombarded. We lost some of our better agents. The atmosphere in the offices was terrible. Agents felt undervalued and openly rejected feedback.
It was my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, so to celebrate this amazing achievement we had a family get-together. It was a good night. I had a few beers, and my lovely wife a glass or two of wine, and we enjoyed talking to family and friends and reminiscing and dancing to our favorite old songs
In the morning the inevitable happened.
"Dad, you're a terrible dancer!" "What, how can you say that? I'm a great dancer; those were some of my best moves!" "No, Dad, you embarrassed yourself" (kids are never kind). Of course, I wasn't having any of it I knew the kids were trying to wind me up and I wasn't going to fall for it. I was never John Travolta, but I was sure that my dancing was OK.
"Dad!", "What!", "We filmed you!" (more laughter). I should never have bought the cheeky little G**s mobile phones. The evidence was undeniable: there I was, Dad dancing, and of course, they were right. I was terrible, wooden and out of sync.
I had a restless night thinking about my problems at work, and the fact that although I had thought I was a good dancer, I was, in fact, a terrible dancer. Both were churning over in my mind.
Like some of my best ideas, it just appeared in my head at two in the morning.
I hadn't accepted the fact that my dancing wasn't perfect until I viewed the video myself. So, I got to thinking: if we get Call Agents to listen to their calls, they will realize they are not perfect and accept that their call handling skills need improving. And, because the Agents would have discovered the problem themselves, they might be more receptive to fixing it.
I knew I finally had the answer, so I got up and wrote myself a note then went back to bed and slept like a baby.
I'm not sure if I'm finally succumbing to old age, but if I hadn't written that note, I wouldn't have remembered that Eureka moment. Monday morning I was in early converting our system. Now every Agent would receive a percentage of their calls to evaluate themselves, the Supervisors and Managers would evaluate a percentage of those self-evaluations for calibration purposes. I was confident that finally, I had cracked the problem.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. Something was missing.The Agents were not objective; they just kept on giving themselves high marks (usually 100%) even if the call was terrible.
I might dance like a donkey, but I have other talents. I'm as stubborn as a mule! I never know when to give in. Sometimes it is an affliction because I carry on trying to make lost causes work. However, this time my inability to quit came up trumps. We kept on changing things and eventually we stumbled on the "Not so secret sauce". It was obvious really, but like most obvious things it took us ages to figure out.
It is a natural instinct to defend ourselves when attacked, and unfortunately, when one person gives another person feedback, the recipient can easily interpret that as an attack and then start defending themselves. If perceived as an attack, the response to this can be denying there is a problem, ignoring the attacker or launching a (hopefully verbal) counter attack.
When Call agents objectively listen to and evaluate their calls, if they find an issue, they don't get defensive. It is this looking at the call and their actions and seeing the real picture without being defensive that is the key to progress. Paying attention to the call without any defensive responses makes them analyse their call handling skills in detail, and it motivates them to make the changes needed to improve those skills.
Call agents finally realise what they are doing wrong and start being less defensive. This realisation leads to them changing their habits and seeking ways to improve their call handling skills. Agents realize that they are improving and become happier and because they are happier than they were they continue seeking to improve. That is the revolving circle each Contact center needs.
I've just described above how I did it, so it is feasible to build your own system. This option will take a lot of time, effort and money. Once finished you will also need to have a software engineer available to maintain it.
Creating bebexs has taken a lot of time, effort and money. So, of course, we are going to charge you for it, but it will cost you only a fraction of its development cost.
bebexs enables you to quickly set up an effective quality assurance system in a Contact center. bebexs encourages Agents to recognise areas of their call handling that need improving and to seek to improve them. The bebexs call evaluation software is cloud-based and delivered as a service, avoiding a large upfront investment and painful hardware and software implementation.
Quality assurance (QA) is a call centre quality monitoring practice Contact centers follow to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance, and ensure that the services it delivers meet the standards set by the management. QA practices themselves should also be continuously monitored and optimized.
In addition to achieving and maintaining regulatory compliance and checking your agents consistently, meet the standards set by management. A well designed QA system will improve the service your team provides and increase the efficiency of your Contact center.
bebexs allows you to create bespoke evaluation forms; easily tailor the questionnaires to align with your vision for your call centre and the rules you would like your Agents to follow.
Call evaluation is the assessment of a call against previously set criteria. Usually done by answering questions about the call, i.e. Did the Agent greet the caller correctly? Questions should be answered objectively and without personal bias.
Call scoring is a way of converting the answers on an evaluation form into a score. This score is then used to measure an Agent's performance against a uniform standard.
Regular evaluation of calls enables the easy identification of any Call handling skills that need improving.
An Agent should themselves be spotting what they need to work on and improve, and because the Agent themselves are identifying the problem, they should be more receptive to further training and coaching.
It is easier to manage what you measure, once you identify and rectify Call handling issues. Your Agents will politely solve customers problems faster. The better the customer service, the more satisfied the customers shall be, the number of their complaints will go down, and their recommendations shall go up.
bebexs allows to use the evaluation scorecards straight after the call has been made.
The evaluator clicks one button, the phone immediately rings, and the call recording played into the phone. At the same time, bebexs displays the questionnaire on your screen.
Why wait for a yearly or quarterly appraisal to tackle a problem? The ability to evaluate calls straight after the call has ended, enables you to rectify and stop agents repeating mistakes immediately.
Apologies to Roy Castle, I couldn't resist. One of the key aspects of the bebexs system is that the majority of the evaluations are self-evaluations done by the individual Agents. So each day a percentage of an Agents calls are automatically assigned to themselves to evaluate. At the same time, their supervisor also gets a percentage of these calls for calibration purposes. Further, the Supervisor's Manager receives a percentage of Supervisors’ assessments to calibrate and a percentage of the Manager's assessments goes to their Boss and on it goes up to the top.
bebexs call evaluation system enables an MD to easily compare their evaluations with any other evaluation of the same call. This comparison is a powerful way to leverage the MD's time. Nobody wants yet another meeting but imagine a Calibration meeting where you discuss scoring differences. Suddenly everybody is tapping to the same beat and evaluating calls the same way as the MD. Uniformity and consistency in assessments lead to consistency in the quality of the call handling skills.
Once Agents see the benefit of self-evaluation and the discussion is only over calibration, and the comparison of evaluations, the Call agents attitude towards the job will change. They shall:
The road we took wasn’t easy or cheap at all, but we’ve made it! Now we are offering bebexs to you for a fraction of the cost and with the whole experience on how to use it best. Take the chance and make your customers happy by improving your call agents’ performance.