One of the keys to providing better customer service is to keep your Call Center Agents up to date.
The best way to do this is run daily team huddles and monthly team meetings. Here are five tips that will help you make your meeting time more effective:
1) How is a call center team huddle different from a formal meeting?
A team huddle is usually an informal 10-15 minute long meeting held just before a shift takes the floor. They are typically held daily. Or, several times a day for call centers with multiple shifts. They usually take place on the call center floor. They are meant to give urgent information to Agents such as that day’s hot issues, equipment problems, etc.
In comparison, a formal team meeting occurs once or twice a month. They take place in a regular meeting room and involve a set, pre-announced agenda. The topics include upcoming product or policy changes, and refresher training.
2) What is the recommended location for a team huddle?
You can hold a team huddle in a breakout room or meeting room (if you have the space.) However most call centres hold their team huddles in an open space on the call center floor. Since a huddle is very brief – just 10-15 minutes long – there’s no point in booking a dedicated meeting room for it. Just make sure the noise from your huddle does not disturb any nearby Agents who are on a call.
3) How often should you do a team huddle? What time of day should it be held?
Informal huddles are usually done daily. The best time for a huddle is just before the start of a particular shift. For example, all the people who start their shift at 9:00 AM meet at 8:45 AM. During the huddle, the Team Manager outlines any urgent issues, gives updates about the day’s potential challenges, and asks for any feedback or questions from the Agents.
4) Who should provide the topics for a team huddle: Managers or Agents?
Usually Managers provide the topics for a team huddle. A huddle is meant to rapidly update Agents who are starting their shift, on urgent issues for the day. So normally the Manager sets the agenda.
5) Those are great tips on how to run a team huddle. Now, what are some techniques for effective call center meetings?
There are a number of activities you can do during a formal team meeting. Because team meetings are longer than huddles, you can build in more interactivity. So, you can ask your Agents to provide feedback. Or, do a skills building exercise. Or, an interactive team building exercise to build rapport.
Another common technique is to focus on a specific product or service, and ask your Agents to share their best ideas for how to sell that product or service. If you are in a service environment, you can ask your Agents to share their best practices for how to deal with a particular service issues.
By allowing your Agents to share, they can learn from each other and build their skill level. This will lead to better call quality scores and improved customer satisfaction.
About the Author
Mike Aoki is the President of Reflective Keynotes Inc., a Toronto, Canada based training company. His call center, sales and presentation skills workshops help people improve their over-the-phone and face-to-face communication skills.
I think agent should also be provided with a chance to select the topic for team huddle once in a while. And the reason is, agents are more aware with the customers than managers so there might be a thing or two that they would like to talk about to get something done better or an individual may have feeling some uneasiness towards a matter. So I think we should let agents decide the topic as well.