Maximizing CSR Productivity With Checks & Balances

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An extra five minutes at break time. Ten minutes late returning from lunch. It doesn’t seem like 15 minutes is a big deal. But when you’re paying customer service representatives (CSRs) to man a call center by the minute, those extra minutes add up quickly. Every minute CSRs are not on the phones is a minute lost, but paid for. Imagine 900 CSRs taking an extra 15 minutes a day. That’s 225 hours of paid time not worked. Every day.

How do contact centers ensure CSRs are working when they are supposed to be working? For smaller contact centers, monitoring time is an easier feat. For large call centers like Centrinex, keeping tabs on nearly 1,000 CSRs takes having managers and processes in place. It also requires a serious focus on establishing expectations and a system of checks and balances.

Here’s how Centrinex monitors your CSRs

Our call center executives and managers set clear expectations from the start. Should a CSR habitually arrive late to work, return late from lunch or breaks or take extra time away from the phones, the issue is addressed immediately. Otherwise, it appears that we’re giving our permission to take extra time throughout the day.

With nearly 1,000 CSRs on the call center floor, it’s impossible to keep tabs on everyone’s schedule. Rather than managers wondering where a CSR is at any given moment, we post schedules at each station for each person. Rather than ask another CSR where someone is, we can look at the schedule and know for certain.

Centrinex partners with a third-party that conducts regular spot checks. This company analyzes our CSR time reports using a workforce management solution. Any time discrepancies or abnormal trends are reported and immediately discussed with the CSR.

Our CSRs are always logged into our phone system or our clients’ websites. The system and sites allow for tracking time down to the second. Reports are run and time spent on various tasks is assessed. This not only helps us train our CSRs on productivity, but also provides a granular view of how much time is spent on specific activities.

Effectively monitoring time boils down to having solid checks and balances in place, then quickly addressing any issues that surface. Centrinex protects our clients’ spend by spending our time and resources on tracking where CSRs are and what they’re doing.

It’s a fine line between being overly watchful, which can make CSRs feel as though they’re not trusted and providing a comfortable work environment where CSRs want to stay. Given our low turnover rate, we’ve mastered how to make CSRs accountable in a fair way.