In a call centre, the optimal culture to have is that where the staff are proud of their work and are happy to deal with clients. When you have an unhappy environment, your call centre agents are not happy to be at work, and this has a knock-on effect with the way in which they deal with clients. It is difficult to see what the reason behind the culture in your work environment not being up to standard.

“Culture”- is a term that is used loosely, without understanding what it stands for.
An understanding about culture and what it stands for in your call centre, looking for the issues that cause negativity in your call centre.

Poor Culture = Poor Customer Service

When the culture in a call centre is negative, it has an impact on the level of service that is given, this then affects the company’s reputation. It will take you up to 6 months to realise that this has an impact on the company’s balance sheet. Call centres rely on numerical indicators to measure the level of customer service.

Don’t measure by numbers.

Measuring service levels by number and average resolution time on customer related issues can often lead to failure in call centres. You need to give your agents the right framework to do their job correctly. If clear guidelines are not set this can lead to a negative culture, resentment towards managers can develop. The longer you leave a negative culture to grow the longer it will take to ratify the problem.

Developing team leaders

It is difficult to coach call centre agents through a change of approach from managing by numbers to managing people as individuals and understanding what is important to customers. Company’s don’t do enough work on developing leaders who can lead to the level of service varying between team leaders. Train your agents. It is them who can pick up if a culture is negative.

Poor leadership

Poor culture doesn’t start immediately; it develops over time through poor leadership.
Team leaders need to be on the floor with their agents, available to communicate with the agents and management. A team leader must be able to take on the role of an agent, no matter how difficult it is for them. By immersing yourself in the culture of a call centre agent, your employers develop a sense of positive culture and their level of service goes up. The agents in the call centre feel understood when you are there with them.

Creating a positive culture

Be visible and available. Don’t stick to working in your office behind closed doors, let your agents know you are there to help.
Engage with your agents- when you want to make changes ask them for their opinion

It doesn’t cost money to improve your culture.

You can reward you’re your agents by giving them time off.
Make improvements to the environment they are working in – a nice lunch area makes a difference.
Keep the aircon maintained
Sit with your agents and make calls yourself.
Be consistent
Develop your agents and team leaders
Don’t be a control freak
Start a mentor program
Take an interest in your agents
Be fair

Culture varies from person to person. Strong leadership is the only way to achieve consistency of culture across a site.
Culture is tangible and fragile. It can take months to build and seconds to break.