Happy employees are productive employees -- that’s why continually improving your contact center for your agents is critical. In fact, a well-designed contact center can increase productivity by up to 20%.
To help you make your call center a more ideal (and productive) environment, we've put together these helpful tips.
Contact centers are noisy by nature. That doesn’t change the fact that noise is a major distraction — you should do everything possible to keep your center as quiet as possible. There are a number of ways to reduce background noise, including installing acoustic ceiling tiles, using a white-noise system (ideally an adjustable one), installing internal communication systems (so people don’t shout from one cubicle to another), creating a designated conversation space, restricting the use of mobile phones, adding cubicle padding, and turning up each agent's voice feedback volume.
While contact centers are generally designed for the maximum number of agents, this can cause personal space issues. It can be hard to make agents feel comfortable at their desks due to “real estate” constraints, which is why added spaces like break rooms, lobbies, and kitchens are vital. We once saw a meditation room, which was quite effective. Make the shared spaces feel personal by adding plants (for that connection to nature), comfortable furniture, and refreshments.
Lighting can make a significant difference. Poor lighting can strain your agents' eyes, cause headaches and fatigue, and can even create irritability. A good lighting concept, conversely, can invigorate users, stimulate calmness and reduce overall body fatigue. So, take advantage of natural light wherever possible, pick softer bulbs, use lighting that adjusts with the time of day, use ambient lighting, and use task lighting in areas that are especially dark.
It's hard to focus on selling or customer concerns if you're fussing around with your chair trying to get comfortable. It's even harder to focus if your back is hurting. So, invest in comfier chairs for your agents. And yes, it is an investment, as they aren't cheap—but productivity gains will eventually pay for them in the long run.
If you haven't checked the success and safety of your agents' ergonomics recently, now is a great time to do it. Are their eyes between 24-36 inches from their computer screen? Is the monitor at or under eye level? Can their feet rest firmly on the floor? Are their chairs ever-so-slightly reclined?
A cluttered desk can lead to a cluttered mind, so encourage your employees to declutter their workspace. But don’t go overboard and ask them to keep their desks bare -- there will be items they need to use regularly, or that simply mean something to them (like a framed picture of a loved one).
Changing a paint tone from a bold one to a more relaxing one, like a faded blue, can have a calming effect on your agents. This is because office color affects not only our emotions, but also our physical comfort.
Bad scents are a definite distraction, but a subtle scent can increase focus and cause positive emotions. For example, cinnamon increases focus, and pine and lavender increase levels of alertness.
Ask your employees how the room temperature is working for them. If it’s too cold, it can be easy to lose focus on the task at hand. If it’s too warm, your agents could get sleepy. The ideal temperature for productivity is between 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
For more tips on how to improve your contact center, stay tuned to our blog! And if you're ready to upgrade your contact center in terms of software improvements - which can make the biggest difference of all! - check out our selection of enterprise-class software.