Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Challenges of Call Center Operations

Be it for research, making sales, or providing after-sales service, companies heavily rely on their call centers. Call center managers face daily challenges in balancing targets provided by management with the basic operations involved in running their call centers. A few of these challenges are described below.

1. Agent Attrition Rates

A number of surveys have revealed that call centers have the worst attrition rates. An annual agent turnover rate of more than 25% is witnessed across the industry. The primary reasons that employees decide to quit are:

  • More attractive opportunities elsewhere
  • Low salaries
  • Inconvenient work hours
  • Redundant work
  • Fewer career advancement opportunities
Call center operations suffer due to high agent turnover. Managers have to constantly train new staff only to find them gone in a year.

2. High Cost of Operations

Call centers are full of computers and technological gadgets that need proper maintenance. Furthermore, a call center that decides to purchase a workforce management system (WFM) must pay more than $50,000.

3. Cultural Complexities

When call centers are outsourced, managers face cultural complexities in their operations. Calls to and from foreign countries often meet cultural barriers that pose significant challenges in call center operations.

Solutions for Effective Call Center Operations

Since a single challenge may have multiple solutions, the implementation of the best solutions for operational problems is essential. Four specific call center operations solutions are discussed below.

1. Creating an Intranet

Call center operations can be more effective if an intranet is put to use. Agents should be encouraged to use the intranet, which may offer a help desk, recreational activities information, messages from management, company newsletters, and details on the company’s latest developments. This can help staff members remain connected with management.

2. Conducting Research

Every call center has its unique problems. Though time consuming, research on the requirements of your staff and customers will ensure optimal performance. A survey of staff and customers can be conducted, or you can analyze call logs or statistics to gather information on problems customers are running into.

3. Staff Training

A vital part of call center operations is training staff members. Agents should be aware of the full range of information available to them. Proper trainers provide the instructions needed to prepare an agent for success.

4. Examining Key Statistics

There are certain indicators that show the level of performance in a call center. Call center operations can be run more smoothly if the manager leverages on statistics pertaining to factors such as call volume, cost per call, percentage of successful calls, average time per call, and customer satisfaction.


Managing call center operations requires high-level troubleshooting and management skills as well as patience and the capacity to work under pressure. By studying the challenges faced by their call centers and applying the right solutions, managers can run call center operations more effectively.

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