您当前的位置是:  首页 > technology > Call Center > Operation management >
当前位置:首页 > technology > Call Center > Operation management > Call Center Operations: The Art of Balance

Call Center Operations: The Art of Balance

2018-04-09 09:30:20 Author: Liaojun Song Source: CAME experience cloud Academy of comments:0  Click:


Balance is an art and a kind of wisdom and realm. The operation of a call center is both a science and a balanced art.
--Inscription
Call Center Operations: The Art of Balance
Balance is all around us! Nature's ecological balance allows us to have fresh air, clean water and fertile land, providing a good ecological environment for humanity. The body's own balance between yin and yang, people maintain vitality of life, and always maintain a healthy state ... In the vast world, there is still a lot of things that we need to grasp a balance in achieving goals in balance to experience happiness.
Call center operations are both science and a balanced art. Today we do not discuss this part of the scientific attributes, do not quantitatively establish a traffic forecasting model, do not use big data to analyze customer behavior trajectories, do not use AI to identify and predict customer needs, today we focus on speaking about its attributes The part of art, especially the art of balance.
The road to balance is also the way to call center operations management.
Balance between efficiency and quality
Efficiency and quality are the most basic content of call center operations and the most important content. Higher efficiency and better quality are the eternal pursuits in operations.
Just as the basketball team in the NBA always pursues higher altitudes and faster speeds, it is almost impossible to realise the extremes of both in the real world. So you can't see a basketball team of 5 people like YAO (Yao Ming). The team with the height can win the championship. You can't see a basketball team. 5 people are all like AI (Allen Iverson). The team won the championship, and finally the winner must be a team with a perfect balance of height and speed.
Whether it is the KPI assessment of the call center as a whole, or the performance evaluation of the customer service representative, the efficiency indicators and the normal conditions of the quality indicators will have their position. It is the balance between team and individual in terms of efficiency and quality. The difference is in The requirements and weights for these two are different in different operating environments.
This difference is precisely the subtleties of operations, because different business environments, different busy and busy states, different team maturity levels, unused customer experience pursuits, and different time points impose different requirements on the two. The same is true, and the balance between the two in the process is the embodiment of operational skills.
Fast and good is our ultimate goal, but in real operations, it is more about how quickly we can maintain a good foundation. Quality is the basis of our service. In a sense, “efficiency is also a part of quality”, which is often referred to as “quantity is quality”.
Service level and service cost balance
Obtaining higher service levels at low service costs is also an important goal for call center operations.
However, the cruel reality is that high service costs (service inputs) may not always achieve high service levels, but low service levels (service inputs) certainly cannot provide high service levels. Because services require resources, these resources (people, technology, funds, etc.) are often costly.
In today's increasingly demanding consumer upgrade experience, in order to provide a higher level of service, but have to consider the pressure of cost resources, so there is a variety of operational balance.
If grouped according to customer value, priority will be given to providing limited service resources to groups with higher customer value so as to provide them with relatively higher service levels. For example, according to different operating hours, the limited service resources will be given priority to guarantee the so-called “big promotion” stage that can bring greater value gains to the company.
Today, the “smart customer service” in the customer service field is essentially an operating strategy that balances service level and service cost. Most call centers are constrained by rising labor costs. It is urgently necessary to replace or divert some of the original manually processed services through smart customer service. However, the service experience that smart customer service can currently provide is certainly unable to reach the level of artificial service experience. So what everybody does is to seek a balance between service costs and acceptable service experience.
Balance between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction
In the service team, we often see such a propaganda slogan: "Customers first, customers are the root, customers are God," and they always convey the importance of the customer to the team.
In many corporate culture systems, we often see or hear such concepts: "Only satisfied employees have satisfied customers", "People-oriented", and "Employees are the most important asset of the company."
There is no direct conflict between the customer and the employee, but when there is a direct conflict between the two, the managers are somewhat "splitting", especially the manager's ability to balance. It does not happen that the call center is a work area where customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction conflict often occur.
Call center scheduling is a focus of conflict between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. In order to improve the customer's perception of connection, there will be many arrangements in the shift that make the employees uncomfortable, what to do in two shifts, emergency shifts, evening shifts, holiday overtime, etc. The purpose is only one: the maximum degree of coupling traffic The demand provides a better connection experience. How to make employees "willing to accept" and balance employee experience and customer experience is a test for the wisdom of operations managers.
If the “time” variable can be added between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction, many problems are actually uniform. If we consider the variable factor of time, customer satisfaction must be given priority. Only customer satisfaction brings value to the enterprise, and the fundamental basis for employee satisfaction will exist. However, as most of the employees consider only “in the moment”, only in the enterprise "Employees who work in an entrepreneurial mindset" will consider the "future."
In a call center centered on an "employee relationship," customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction require long-term considerations of how to balance.
Balance between results and processes
The call center is an organization that speaks with results, and it is easy to understand from its tight KPI assessment system. In the day-to-day management of a call center, almost all the work can be quantified, and throughout the "digital management", so the call center is a team with a deep-rooted goal management philosophy.
The advantage of this is that the call center team has a strong sense of purpose and precise management. However, being subject to the defects of the KPI assessment, it is easy to cause the team to be quick and profitable in the process of achieving the goal, to value short-term interests, and to sacrifice “long-term beneficial actions” that are beneficial to the long-term development of the organization, which is what we call “process”.
Although it is possible to achieve the outcome goals, it is also crucial that all roads lead to Rome through what kind of process is achieved. Just like the performance appraisal of employees, it is very different whether you achieve goals by strengthening self-improvement, increasing job professionalism and concentration, or mistakenly making mistakes, opportunistic actions, or even short-term goals at the expense of the long-term.
This difference requires that the call center managers not only pay attention to the results, but also pay more attention to the process. To really focus on those management processes that can “strengthen internal strength and consolidate work routines” for the team: personnel promotion, service culture communication, system optimization, customer insight, and innovation capabilities.
The performance appraisal itself is a management behavior that needs to pay attention to the results as well as the process. In addition to achieving KPI results, communication, coaching, and feedback during the assessment process are truly helpful to the performance improvement of managers.
A really good call center must be a team with a perfect balance of results and processes.
The balance between now and the future
Call center operations, like many other areas of operations, have an interesting rule: Your operating status today is determined by past operational actions, and your operational actions today determine the outcome of your future operations.
When your call center is now leaving a large number of people, not because of what you are doing wrong now, but your operational actions in the past three months or six months have brought about today's "departure tide", and now you are The various firefighting measures taken will not immediately work, and whether or not the actual effect of the firefighting measures will be tested by the results of the operation in the next two or three months.
The dimension of operation and time has a wonderful connection. All operations are done on the time axis.
The operation of the call center must first consider the advance of time. What the first quarter did was actually to deal with the things that would happen in the second quarter. The things that were done at leisure were actually preparing for tomorrow's "big promotion". “Building a roof on a sunny day” is about understanding the role of time in operations.
Secondly, the call center operations should balance current and long-term objectives. It is necessary to solve the current problems in the current period. At the same time, we must also consider forward-looking operational preparations in advance. We must not only focus on current small targets, but also do not use excessive force. Fierce and even deformed actions at the expense of future basic capabilities for sustainable development.
Simple and complex balance
The efficiency of call center operations requires a simple and efficient side, but it also requires a complex side.
Anything that can be felt by a customer-facing experience customer, we always ask for the simplicity of the "weapons" (such as business processes, operating systems, approval authority, etc.) that employees use to support their employees to work.
For the customer, whether it is an external customer or an internal customer (employee), we should try our best to simplify our thinking, reduce the customer's cost, reduce the customer's choice cost, and enhance his experience and processing efficiency.
But the operation of the call center also needs a complicated side. For example, to gain insights into customer needs, we need to understand as much as possible all the needs of our customers, and consider as many possible issues and scenarios as possible, and present them to our internal and external customers in a relatively simple manner. The logic process must be complicated.
The employees' affairs are no small matter, and they need a complex side to the day-to-day management and service of employees. Call centers are generally large teams. In the day-to-day management and motivation of employees, we need a lot of activities that are slightly more complicated and full of “ceremonial feelings”, such as awards for excellent pacesetters and teams, regular staff communication meetings, and irregular business competitions. Mobilization of major projects, etc., may be "complicated and cumbersome" in some organizations, but they are indispensable in day-to-day management of call centers.
The balance of efficiency and quality, the balance between service level and service cost, the balance between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction, the balance between results and processes, the balance between present and future, and the balance between simplicity and complexity constitute the six of the call center operations management. Great balance.
An excellent and healthy call center must be able to grasp these balances for sustainable development. Excellent call center managers must improve and enhance their management capabilities in such balanced practices.
The road to balance is also the way to call center operations management.
About the Author:
Liao Junsong Customer Service Director of Vipshop has served as the head of the customer service team at China Mobile and Vipshop. He has long been working in the field of service management, Internet e-commerce and other service management areas, focusing on services and management, customer experience, customer management, and customer service operations. . At the same time, it is also the originator and operator of the “Kapok Southland” media in the customer service field. The
 

[Disclaimer] This article only represents the author's own opinion and has nothing to do with the CTI Forum. The CTI Forum maintains its neutrality in the presentation of statements and opinions, and does not provide any express or implied warranty for the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the contents contained therein. Readers are for reference only, and please bear full responsibility for yourself.

Topics