Call Centre Operations
Call centre operations is a specialized management field with its own theories and terminology such as BPO. The fundamental dynamics of a randomly arriving call centre workload create forecasting, staffing, technology and facilities management challenges. A thorough understanding of these challenges is necessary to satisfy customers and to accomplish organisational objectives.
Tools for the right job
Two dominant – and highly visible – problems that hinder a call centre operation are (1) agent turnover and (2) suboptimal agent productivity. In most cases, the root causes of such challenges result from poor job fit or a lack of skills that are critical success factors for specific agent positions. Selection assessments and screening tools can help address this by providing vital information about applicants that directly relates to employee productivity and retention. These tools typically do so by measuring three different kinds of candidate data:
1. What can they do?
2. What have they done?
3. What do they want to do?
In regard to what applicants can do, assessments are designed to measure stable characteristics associated with job applicants’ personalities and natural abilities. For example, some jobs may be more suitable for individuals who are extroverted and less risk-averse, while others may require that an employee be highly detail-oriented and task-focused. The unique benefit to these types of assessments is that predictions can be made about future behavior in roles in which the applicant has no previous experience.
In regard to what applicants have done, assessments are designed to measure applicants’ previous experiences, past behavior, education or training, and accomplishments. Examples include resume scoring for education, relevant work history and skills training, in addition to the use of behaviorally-oriented interview questions that focus on how an applicant handled a specific situation in the past and job-specific knowledge or skills tests. These types of assessments are based on the principle that future performance is best predicted by past performance.
Finally, in regard to what applicants want to do, assessments are designed to measure differences in applicants’ motives, aspirations, preferences, and interests. These types of tools are less effective for predicting productivity but are well-suited to predicting job/culture fit, employee satisfaction, and retention. Realistic Job Previews also fall into this category, as candidates can take a ‘sneak peek’ into the actual organization and job and opt out of the selection process if something looks particularly undesirable to or ill-suited with their interests and expectations.
Although a wide body of evidence demonstrates how powerful and accurate well-designed assessments can be, there are, unfortunately, many poorly-crafted, inappropriately-applied assessments on the market. In addition to reviewing relevant job analysis reports and test validation manuals, test administrators need to confirm that assessments are effective within their organization by analytically evaluating the impact on performance outcomes. Because previous experience is less critical in most hourly jobs, a call centre selection system should typically focus more on screening for behaviors (“can do”) and motivation levels (“likes to do”) and less on cognitive abilities and technical skills (“has done”).
No single, “perfect” solution exists for every selection challenge, but a well-thought out, well-designed process that leverages selection science and incorporates multiple components can dramatically improve the quality of hiring decisions. As a result, organizations that choose to invest the time and resources into evolving their selection processes will see a significant improvement in productivity and retention, while reducing the burden on their hiring professionals.
We provide an independent professional technical service, fully managed to help your needs. We are an expert in call handling services whether purely customer service, virtual or online. Our staff whom are based in our UK site, are on hand to answer your call. We have proven track record in delivering a whole range of call handling. Through a pre-set of questions, we are able to establish your needs and nature of your call and handle this in line with your requirements.
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