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Written by: Laura Fitzgerald

Head of Brand and Digital Experience

A contact center’s profitability and effectiveness depend on the agents’ productivity. Historically, contact centers have been regarded as cost centers, there to support operations and help boost company sales. 

However, setting up a productive contact center isn’t an overnight endeavor. You need agents who feel motivated and fulfilled and ensure that they receive appropriate training. Above all, you need a series of operational processes to boost and measure productivity. 

Pindrop’s solutions are used by contact centers throughout North America, helping organizations improve security and productivity. This article will discuss tips on improving productivity in your organization’s contact center. 

5 Tips for Improving Contact Center Productivity

Here are five things companies can do to improve productivity in the contact center.

1. Try Not to Micromanage Call Center Agents

While it might seem effective to closely supervise and direct every action of the agents, this method, known as micromanagement, often yields negative results.

Instead of micromanaging, empowering agents by granting them more autonomy in their interactions and decision-making can lead to better outcomes. When agents feel trusted and are given the space to apply their training and judgment, we’ve seen that they tend to be more engaged, motivated, and committed to their work. 

This empowerment helps foster a sense of ownership over their tasks, encouraging them to take initiative and proactively solve customer issues. Another downside of micromanagement is the potential for increased stress and burnout among agents. 

Constant oversight can create a high-pressure environment, negatively affecting the agents’ ability to provide quality customer service. In contrast, a more relaxed and supportive approach can lead to a healthier work atmosphere, reducing stress levels and improving the overall quality of customer interactions.

2. Hire Qualified and Experienced Agents by Improving HR Processes

An often-overlooked yet critical aspect of enhancing productivity in contact centers is refining the Human Resources (HR) processes, particularly in recruiting and retaining qualified and experienced agents

The efficiency of a contact center is deeply rooted in the competence and expertise of its workforce, making the HR function pivotal in shaping this foundation.

The recruitment process should be meticulously designed to identify candidates who possess the essential skills and resonate with the company’s culture. 

This compatibility is crucial for ensuring that agents integrate seamlessly into the team and are more likely to commit long-term, reducing the frequency and costs associated with turnover. 

Advanced screening tools, including behavioral interviews and situational judgment tests, effectively evaluate potential hires’ holistic capabilities–assessing their technical proficiency and aptitude for customer engagement.

3. Invest in the Latest Technology

Enhancing productivity in contact centers crucially hinges on investing in the latest technology. Adopting advanced tools and platforms can streamline operations, elevate the customer experience, and boost agent efficiency.

For instance, we’ve seen many contact centers benefit from using Pindrop. Even though Pindrop primarily helps boost security, it creates a knock-on effect in improving productivity, as call center agents don’t spend as much time going through the same list of questions to authenticate callers. 

Pindrop revolutionizes caller authentication using unique voiceprint analysis, making it faster and more secure than traditional methods. This efficient authentication speeds up the process and enhances security, contributing to a smoother customer experience and increased trust.

However, that’s just one example. Using more comprehensive tools to track agent performance and KPIs, such as adding scorecards and analyzing individual performance, can improve productivity. It can help companies identify important areas of improvement, which isn’t possible if you’re still using a spreadsheet to track these.

4. Hold Regular Training Sessions

Regular and comprehensive training sessions are essential in maintaining and enhancing the productivity of contact center agents. 

In an industry where customer expectations and technology constantly evolve, ongoing training ensures that agents remain proficient and up-to-date with the latest trends, techniques, and tools.

An important area of focus in these training sessions is equipping agents with the knowledge and skills to identify and protect against fraud.

As contact centers often handle sensitive customer information, they can become targets for fraudulent activities. Training agents to recognize the signs of fraud and understand the latest scam tactics is critical.

Additionally, incorporating scenario-based training can be highly effective. These simulations can provide agents with practical experience in handling various situations, including challenging customer interactions and potential security breaches. 

This hands-on approach helps reinforce their learning and builds confidence in applying their skills in real-world scenarios.

5. Reward and Commend Agents

Implementing a system of rewards and recognition is a powerful strategy for boosting morale and productivity in contact centers. Countless studies have proven that recognizing and rewarding agents for their hard work, achievements, and progress can significantly enhance job satisfaction and motivation.

Customizing rewards to align with individual preferences and performance goals can make them even more effective. For instance, some agents might appreciate public recognition, while others prefer private commendation or tangible rewards. 

Regularly acknowledging achievements, both big and small, ensures that agents feel valued and appreciated for their contributions.

Moreover, incorporating peer-to-peer recognition in the reward system can further enhance its impact. Allowing agents to commend their colleagues for their hard work or assistance fosters a sense of teamwork and community within the department.

How is Productivity Measured in the Contact Center? 

Productivity in contact centers usually refers to the consumption of time and resources with respect to call resolutions or achieving a specific result, such as a sale.

Productivity is measured in contact centers using several key performance indicators (KPIs). 

These metrics help assess the agents’ efficiency and effectiveness, the quality of service provided to customers, and the overall operational health of the contact center. Remember that productivity metrics are different from other metrics that measure satisfaction, for instance. Some core KPIs used to measure productivity include:

Average Handle Time (AHT)

A fundamental metric in contact centers is the Average Handle Time. This measures the average duration of customer interaction, encompassing talk time, hold time, and the time spent on post-call tasks. As you can tell, AHT is a crucial indicator of agent efficiency.

First Call Resolution (FCR)

This KPI indicates the percentage of resolved calls without any need for follow-up. A high FCR rate is usually a sign of effective problem-solving skills and knowledge among agents, significantly contributing to customer satisfaction.

Call Abandonment Rate

The call abandonment rate shows the percentage of callers who hang up before reaching an agent. A high rate can indicate issues such as insufficient staffing, long wait times, or customer frustration, all of which require attention to improve overall service quality.

Response Time

This measures the percentage of calls answered within a certain timeframe. It’s a key indicator of how quickly a contact center responds to customer inquiries. Response time differs from FCR, as it is calculated on the average time it takes for an agent to respond to any call, not just the first one. 

Occupancy Rate

Occupancy rate measures the time agents spend actively engaged in calls or completing after-call work compared to their idle time. This metric is essential for evaluating the efficient utilization of resources within the contact center. An optimal occupancy rate ensures that agents are neither overworked nor underutilized.

Bottom Line

Productivity in the contact center space can be affected by many factors, with fraud being one of the leading challenges. Now, with the popularity of deepfakes and biometric spoofing, taking appropriate safety measures is critically important. 

Apart from that, a thoughtful approach to rewarding and commending agents is crucial in maintaining a motivated and committed workforce. This can help greatly improve productivity across the contact center. Want to learn more about how Pindrop’s solutions can help improve productivity in your call center? Schedule a call with one of our experts today