Spring Clean Your Business. Prepare for the Busy Season with this Contact Center Audit Checklist.
Spring cleaning isn’t just for the home, or for your desktop and shared office spaces — it’s also a good time of the year to refresh your business operations after the clutter and distractions of winter, and make sure everything’s in tip-top condition to handle the challenges of the busy months ahead.
Whether you realize it or not, the contact center is the beating heart of today’s business. The efficiency with which you field customer inquiries, track conversion data or market to prospects via sales calls or emails has a direct effect on your ability to:
- Hit yearly operational goals and KPIs.
- Offer the best possible customer experience, thus ensuring satisfaction and loyalty.
- Bring new customers into the fold via enhanced sales efforts and upgraded growth projections.
- Monitor customer activity, and adjust accordingly to maintain continuous improvement.
With today’s business world moving into an increasingly (and aggressively) customer-forward approach, a fully optimized contact center is no longer a benefit — it’s a feature. No matter what industry you operate in, maintaining a proactive contact center strategy is absolutely essential to your long-term success.
But fret not: This same evolution into a customer experience-oriented business world also means that the guidelines for optimizing your contact center operations are more accessible than ever before. With that in mind, we’ve put together this quick contact center audit checklist to help you make sure you’re fully prepared for spring, summer, and beyond.
Contact Center Audit Checklist
Every business is different, and each industry has different priorities. So, the specific contact center audit checklist that works best for you will vary depending on a number of factors unique to your company’s mission, goals, geography and demographics. Even so, the six factors listed below can be more or less regarded as universal, holding great importance to pretty much everyone doing business today.
Is the technology you’re using to power your contact center up to date? Are you keeping up with software and security upgrades? If not, you’re jeopardizing your ability to keep up with today’s customers, many of whom certainly are making use of the latest and greatest tech. You’re also impeding the ability of your agents to quickly and satisfactorily fulfill every request that comes their way.
Are you actively managing and updating your contact center security policy? Are the agents you employ fully vetted, and is the hardware and software they use continuously updated with the latest patches? Is the data you transmit encrypted to thwart hackers and other outside parties? Are you complying with all of your industry’s security standards (a particularly important issue for those working in healthcare)?
Few things are more important to the people you interact with than maintaining the safety and security of the information they share with you. If you haven’t implemented basic security protocols to manage system vulnerability and protect data, then this consideration needs to move to the top of your list, STAT.
Agent Recruitment Check
Is your contact center fully staffed with qualified agents? Are you equipped to maintain those staffing levels throughout the year? And, more to the point, do you have a backup plan for any potential adverse events? In an era when the holiday shopping season grows more hectic each year, and the impact of natural disasters continues to escalate, preparing for shifts in utilization is a must.
For most businesses, the key way to achieving optimal agent recruitment is increasingly involving the use of on-demand networks of freelance professionals. This means giving your business access to a flexible and scalable network of agents who are geographically distributed enough to fill any gaps caused by regional or seasonal aberrations.
Data & Analytics Check
Is your contact center set up to track every important interaction — and actively use that data for continuous improvement? We’re not specifically talking about monitoring every call or recording the personal details of every customer; today’s customers are savvy enough to reject that kind of monitoring or constant fishing for information.
Rather, making the best use of data and analytics means putting in place a system that tracks existing activity in a way that can anticipate trends (like seasonal spikes in sales activity), so you can prepare for those events accordingly instead of racing to keep up, or worse, experiencing down-time during a moment of high customer activity.
Agent Empowerment Check
Part of having an effective data and analytics system in place is putting that info at the disposal of your contact center agents, so they can make the best possible use of it. When fielding calls, online requests, or any other type of inquiry, your agents should be able to determine at a glance where each is coming from. Is it from a long-time customer? A first-time prospect?
Responding to each inquiry with the appropriate messaging works to not only maximize customer engagement and satisfaction, but also to provide opportunities for more meaningful upselling. But it’s not possible without a system in place that tracks and integrates customer data and makes it readily available for your agents to use.
Automation Integration Check
With the rapidly expanding sophistication of today’s customer communications, contact centers have to field more inquiries across more channels than ever before, and do so in a way that’s faster, friendlier, and more efficient in than in the past, as well.
This can be accomplished by blending automated services like chatbots with the option for customers to instantly escalate their inquiries to a live agent, as needed. And if you don’t offer a satisfying blend of self-service and live assistance for your customers, they’re not likely to derive much satisfaction from their interactions with you.
Agent Education Check
The need for empowering your agents with as much information as possible at all times isn’t just limited to customer data. It also includes offering your team members the chance to continuously upgrade their knowledge of today’s best practices regarding technology, sales techniques, customer interfacing, and the myriad of other essential elements in successful customer care.
Failing to do so means putting your contact center operations in a stable as opposed to forward-moving position. And that means missing essential opportunities to make the most of each interaction that comes your way. Maintaining constant agent education is also the cornerstone of offering a great work culture and ensuring agent satisfaction with their jobs — a major keystone in the foundation of a successful contact center.
Need Help Spring Cleaning Your Contact Center Operations? We can help!
As important as each of these six points are, this contact center audit checklist is, of course, still just a cursory glance. To undergo a truly comprehensive and systemic audit that’s geared towards giving your business the power for future growth, we encourage you to download your complimentary contact center audit here.
And if achieving any of these goals seems beyond your grasp, it may be time to call in the experts. Don’t miss the opportunity to ensure that your contact center operations are truly refreshed and in the best possible condition to face the months ahead.
Contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation with a Working Solutions contact center specialist.Let's talk