1 Best Practices Call Center Wallboards July 2014 The purpose of Call Center Best Practices is for managers to be able to improve the call center productivity and efficiencies. Productivity and efficiency improvements begin with the agents. By following best practices for each application the call center improvements will happen. The best practices will help you run an effective inbound, outbound or blended call center. The contact center (call center) often has its budget cut back, expenses reduced, expansion minimized and hiring needs to be fully justified. As a manager you are under constant pressure to increase revenue through more sales, fewer product returns and improved margins. You also are asked to reduce costs, labor sizes and eliminate waste. So best practices, when applied to call center applications, helps justify software purchases within the call center. Wallboards best practices can improve productivity and revenue if they are used properly. There are many ways to engage a wallboard (LCD Screen) in a call center today. In this Best Practices Paper (BP) we will cover all of the top methods of BP in the call center. Every call center has challenges or problems with agents, policies, practices, procedures, communications, training, knowledge etc. It is up to the manager to identify the problems and
2 put in place applications that will reduce or eliminate the problems. Although not a best practice, it is suggested that supervisors identify, explain in detail the problems and challenges they are having with their group(s). All of this should be done by themselves and then shared with each other. If this is not down group supervisors/managers will hide or not acknowledge some of their problems. Wallboards are used to communicate to agents, supervisors, mobile managers, senior executives and visitors. The first consideration is who will be looking at the wallboards? The audience should determine the content that is displayed on the wallboards. The content that is displayed on the wallboard can help reduce some of the challenges the contact center faces daily. Status notifications and alerts: Calls/ s/chats/tickets waiting, longest wait time, Abandon rates, service level and other internal data. The KPI s that are displayed should be one that are potentially causing the problems. These metrics that are listed are the top KPI s that are displayed on contact center wallboards. Product and services information updates, reminders, introductions. Brand awareness is lacking with many new or inexperienced agents. The wallboard is an option that offers the opportunity to display product and services information. Weather and traffic information Call centers that are affected by the weather need to display weather information. Traffic could be part of the business or help agents consider after hours work. Video, Live television, training DVD s. Contact centers that have a need to show live content should do this in the call center. If the agents have to leave the call center for this content productivity will diminish. Run live video in the call center as long as the audience is not offended. Messages: General messages, agent specific positive messages, business communications and product/services information can be easily shared with the contact center. PowerPoint Presentations: PPT s are used in meetings, as part of training and for general communications to the audience. Being able to reuse them in the call center is a way to remind the agents about the content of the PPT. Web Pages and RSS feeds: Instead of rewriting internet content it can be displayed on the wallboard. This can be a time savor as well as a provider of good information. There are many options to the content that can be displayed on the wallboard. The object is to understand the challenges the contact center is having today and determine what information will help reduce those problems. At times the problem is nothing more than a lack of information. Wallboards can solve the problem by providing that information to the contact center. Who is the wallboard audience and will they be affected by the content on the wallboard? The content on the wallboard should be for the group that can and will see the wallboard. Displaying data for another group or for the manager will waste valuable time on the wallboard. However, your call center may also have customers, vendors, senior management, other departments coming through the call center and the wallboard content may not be appropriate. Agent specific data or messages should not be shown if the content is negative. Any message on the wallboard to an agent should be positive. If you are displaying agent data such as performance information try to display only the top performers and not
3 the entire group. The low performing agents can be upset by the content that is displayed and this will affect that agents performance for the day. If an external audience will see the wallboards, be careful about the content that is displayed. Welcome them if they are a customer. Confidential information should not be displayed when the wrong audience can see it. Can the agents actually see the wallboard from their desk? Is the font large enough for them to see the data? Will changing the font enable others to see data they should not see? If the agent cannot see the wallboard and the problem is KPI performance how will the wallboard help resolve the problem? By knowing the audience that can visibly see the wallboard you are able to determine the content that should be displayed. You will also know what content that should not be displayed. If the content is negative try not to display all of the information because it will affect performance and morale. Businesses have goals and targets they wish to achieve and surpass. Wallboards can be used to display these goals, targets and compare them against the actual numbers as well. The purpose for displaying the goals and targets is to remind agents what they should be working towards. Too often agents forget some of the other goals that are critical to the call center. The goals may also be business related that has nothing to do with the agents performance but is about the business. These goals might affect the agent s performance through their morale. Display the group level goals and targets and compare them against actual statistics for real time and historic. Showing the comparison helps the agents understand the need to remain active throughout the day and at the right time. Display trends of actual versus goals. Trends inform everyone of how the status can change during the day, week, month and year. Use this information to keep the agents aware of the business trends. Keep in mind the confidential nature of some of this information and the audience that will see the data. Do any of the goals and targets contradict best practices or company policies? o Example: Total talk time should not exceed 65 70% per day. As a manager you are aware of the goals for the call center. You know the targets for all of the metrics, groups, agents, etc. However the agents are not aware of these things and need the reminder of what they should be trying to achieve on a daily basis. By displaying the goals, targets and actual status agents are aware of what they need to accomplish. Also take into consideration about how your goals and targets can change throughout the year, holiday seasons for example. The design layout of the wallboard needs careful considerations. What looks nice on a desktop monitor may not work on a wallboard. What data should appear as text or as a gauge? How much data can be displayed? How long should the data appear on the screen before switching over to other content? How long can my messages be? There are so many questions about content and what are the best practices for each metric. Too many KPI s on the wallboard is confusing and not visible. A spreadsheet on our desktop is easy to review because we have time to look through the data. We are not confused by the large amounts of data because we can take our time. The agents do not have that luxury because they must see the KPI s they are responsible for.
4 Select the right gauge for the KPI. It has to be easy to understand immediately or it loses its value to the audience. There are real time gauges and historical gauges. What looks nice in the software does not always provide the right view to the agent. The length of time a screen of data needs to appear is a minimum of 15 seconds. Less than that will not work. The average read time of a wallboard screen is 15 seconds. If the screen changes very quickly agents will not see the critical KPI s. Messages should be short and concise. Do not worry about proper grammar get your point across to the audience. Try to be positive as often as possible. Negative messages changes performance, morale and customer satisfaction. Thresholds should be easy to understand, colors, messages and sounds need to be appropriate for the audience. Be careful about using industry benchmark thresholds. Your call center can be completely different from the industry averages. The group thresholds can vary from the industry thresholds. Have multiple levels of thresholds and a combination of KPI s to create a threshold alert. While designing your wallboard layout keep in mind your challenges, goals and audience. The layout should address each of these with the plan to improve productivity and efficiencies. There are many things to consider with the design layout: visibility distance, color blindness, how sounds affect people, time to read the content, spreadsheet confusion, KPI and gauges match up. Running video or live television is important for some however the hardware and cabling installation needs to be taken into consideration. If these are critical to the call center success then separate cabling should be utilized to ensure security and network bandwidth. Wallboard visibility means several things to the installation, content and wallboard ROI. The wallboards will need to be mounted to a wall or hung from a ceiling. One may be better than the other but how practical is it to the budget, building structure, agent s visibility and performance. A one inch (2.54 centimeter) character can be seen from 16 feet away. If the agents are farther away the characters need to be larger. How much content needs to be displayed and still be seen by the agents. If the agent cannot read the wallboard the wallboard does not have an ROI. Color blind agents may not be able to see the data or thresholds. Angles at which the agents are from the wallboard will affect their ability to read the content. Brightness is usually set at 100% for each new wallboard you buy. Drop the brightness level to 60% for the first 6 months and you will increase the life of the wallboard. Contact Spectrum for many more wallboard hardware notes. Contrast to help the agents see the data. Corporate colors may not work the best on the LCD Screen. Graphs and Charts used for the wrong purposes or with the wrong data Product and services are part of your business and agents need reminders of this. Managers often forget that agents are busy and do not have on going access to information about the products and services the business offers. Businesses will make changes and neglect to notify the agent who now has to handle the communications with the customer. Customer service representatives who are handling trouble tickets need to be aware of changes or reminders of services that are offered.
5 Agents often forget about some of the products and services offered by the business and miss opportunities when working with a customer. Product and services information should be displayed and updated during seasonal business changes. Images of products, marketing notifications, and services when appropriate should be added content. Include messages about the products and services or as notifications to business changes. If your business offers products and services then the agents should be reminded on a regular basis. Do not wait until you see customer satisfaction dropping before you begin to display your business to the agents. General communications to the contact center is a daily procedure for the business. You miss chances to keep everyone aware of the business, contact center, products, services, customers, vendors, weather, traffic, news, trends, and many other topics. The communications will vary by the industry that your business is in. However the idea is to use the wallboard as an opportunity to communicate with all agents. Every business has policies and procedures and if any of these change a reminder to the agents is a valuable way continue to improve overall agent productivity. Be aware of the audience so confidential information is not displayed. Often company lunches, gatherings, parties, holidays and events are an opportunity to improve contact center morale. Alert agents of these so they do not miss the chance to enjoy the work atmosphere. Acknowledge customers, vendors and any others that visit the call center. Weather, news, traffic, major events help everyone be more productive because they do not need to go to these sites to find this information. This makes agents more productive since they are not wasting after call work time on personal work. General communications is needed in every business. The same software used to provide information to the call center can be used to provide information around other locations in the business. The lobbies, main hallways, cafeterias, break rooms, etc. will all benefit by having ongoing general information being provided to the business. Agent personal communications varies slightly from the general communications on the wallboard. Personal content is targeted at specific agents, groups or the entire call center but agents only. These communications are met to improve productivity, morale and help agents focus on the work at hand in the contact center. Personal message to the agent(s) that are positive and increase overall attitude within the contact center. Top performing statistics to show the daily, weekly, monthly, etc. status of the call center. This information should remain positive to improve agents attitude within the call center. Negative messages have been proven to reduce productivity, increase turnover, extend the status of agents in non-productive (non-working) states.
6 At times sport related content is important to display to agents. During major sporting events agent sick days increase. Help reduce these sick days by including sporting content on the wallboard. Business, culture, locations and industries will alter the personal content that is displayed on the wallboard. Just remember to use the wallboard to your advantage and provide agent information to increase productivity and performance. Best practices vary for everyone so if some of the above information does not seem to fit your business then ignore it and work with the information that helps your contact center. The goal for best practices is to help the business improve productivity and reduce costs. If you choose not to follow best practices you are not taking advantage of the wallboard hardware and software. There are also hardware best practices to consider when beginning the wallboard installation process. Briefly these include: location, size, controllers, type of wallboard, hardware settings, cabling, network connections and signal management. Contact Spectrum for details regarding best practices for wallboard hardware. Spectrum is a leading provider of Unified Contact Center Reporting. Contact Spectrum today to discuss best practices. For more examples of reporting visit our website and the products page. Follow Spectrum Corporation: SlideShare LinkedIn Blog Dan Boehm VP Sales and Marketing Spectrum
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