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Improving Call Center Operations Part 1: The Environment

With so much empha­sis placed on call met­rics ("the num­bers") these days, it's impor­tant to assess and opti­mize the envi­ron­ment in which rep­re­sen­ta­tives are sup­posed to achieve those num­bers.  Improv­ing the work envi­ron­ment can have a sub­stan­tial impact on call cen­ter oper­a­tions and the behav­ior that impacts metrics.

To under­stand the envi­ron­ment you're try­ing to improve, start by observ­ing.  Walk the floor, not­ing what you see.  Are reps cov­er­ing one ear while try­ing to lis­ten to callers?  Are some peo­ple bun­dled up under big jack­ets?  How close are they sit­ting to their mon­i­tors?  Are peo­ple yawn­ing, look­ing sleepy, or rub­bing their eyes?  The phys­i­cal envi­ron­ment has an impact on call cen­ter oper­a­tions and the per­for­mance of its representatives.

Pay par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to:

  • Noise: Are cubi­cle dividers high enough to min­i­mize noise dis­trac­tions from other reps? If the ceil­ings are low, is there an acoustic tile "drop ceil­ing," and is there car­pet to help absorb the sound?
  • Tem­per­a­ture: Phone reps tend to feel colder due to the lack of move­ment in their jobs. If your reps are bun­dled up while sit­ting at their desk mak­ing calls, raise the tem­per­a­ture in the rooms in which they work. Peo­ple who are cold will not be as focused on their work and will there­fore be less pro­duc­tive than peo­ple who are com­fort­able.
  • Light­ing: Is the light­ing ade­quate? Is there a com­bi­na­tion of both sun­light and arti­fi­cial light on the call cen­ter floor? Nat­ural light­ing, even when it's not sunny, makes for a more pleas­ant work­place, so keep win­dow blinds open as much as pos­si­ble.
  • Air qual­ity: The brain needs fresh oxy­gen to per­form at its best. Make sure there is ade­quate air exchange, and encour­age reps to get up, go out­side and get a lit­tle fresh air on their breaks.
  • Aes­thet­ics: Uti­lize wall space to add visual stim­u­la­tion to the room. Dis­play posters and prod­ucts branded with your company's logo, post pic­tures of employ­ees, cre­ate excit­ing posters for team announce­ments and dec­o­rate for birth­days and spe­cial events.

Opti­miz­ing the envi­ron­ment leads to smoother call cen­ter oper­a­tions and an oppor­tu­nity for rep­re­sen­ta­tives to do their best work.

Click here for an embed­d­a­ble doc­u­ment with more infor­ma­tion on tips to improve employee moti­va­tion by improv­ing an employee's work environment.

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