CallTalk Caramels: Revitalizing Your Call Center-Small Changes that Make Big Differences

August 7, 2014 – 8:08am

CallTalk is a monthly internet radio program featuring the most innovative managers and thought leaders in the customer contact field, interviewed by BenchmarkPortal CEO, Bruce Belfiore.  “Caramels” distills key moments from these interviews into practical, bite-sized nuggets to inform and assist you as a contact center professional.

Like any other work environment, call centers can either become a place of joy or the proverbial dungeon – that dreaded place to which we must go to serve out our time. The difference between the two are tied to many factors.  Some simple changes can lead to increases in performance and ROI while making the workplace enjoyable for the worker. Our experts suggested looking at facilities, food and environmental issues. Here are some of the suggestions they offered on how to make your center a joy and not a dungeon.

  1. Facilities, furnishings and food:
    1. Look at heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), which have a major impact on working conditions. Research showed that companies using “purpose built” facilities, in which the ceiling is lower and individual floor vents have been installed, can save up to 30% – 40% on heating and air conditioning costs while also improving perceptions of working conditions by agents.
    2. Consider the ergonomics of the workplace: Look at chairs in particular – make sure they are proper for the desks and are fully adjustable, providing fit and comfort.
    3. Break rooms or quiet rooms can pay dividends in helping agents refresh and recharge.
    4. Survey agents to ask them what improvements they would like to see in the center.
    5. Consider availability of food resources: a variety of catered meals from local restaurants, enhanced lunch facilities, hot meals, microwave ovens, etc.:
      1. 80% of people surveyed said they would eat lunch in the facility three or more times per week if hot meals were offered and reasonably priced
      2. 68% of those surveyed said they would eat breakfast in the facility if offered and reasonably priced
  2. Environmental issues are increasingly important to agents:
    1. Offer recycle bins: encourage recycling of paper waste, plastics and other recyclable items
    2. Electronic communications: avoid excessive paper waste through the use of email, electronic bulletin boards, etc.

Studies also showed that many agents are happiest when in an environment that they can control.  Thus “at home” agents become another viable option for consideration when trying to increase productivity, reduce facility costs, and develop agent loyalty.

Tip of the Week: The investments you make in your people (including their work environment) are your most important investments.

This CallTalk Caramel was compiled and edited by Bruce Belfiore and Kamál Webb.  It was drawn from a CallTalk episode with Dr. Bill Davis entitled “ Taking a Fresh Look at Your Center: Big and Small Changes That Can Make a Difference”.   To listen to the archived episode click play below:

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