Call Center Practices

CSRs are the first contact customers have with service companies, and their ability to gather information, empathize with clients and book calls can make or break a business. Spend time training and nurturing those important voices.


Call Center Analytics

Angie Snow’s Top 4 Ways to Find, Hire, Retain and Set Goals for CSRs

Angie Snow knows that hiring the right CSRs and then measuring their performance is critical to the success of your company. 

Before Snow became director of customer and product training for ServiceTitan, she spent 14 years running and growing Western Heating & Air in Orem, Utah.

She holds a masters degree in education and was a teacher before she became a coach in the trades. 

Here are Snow’s four main points to consider when staffing your company with front-line CSRs who will make positive contributions to your fiscal goals.

1. Learn how to hire great CSRs.

First, make sure you have a good job description in place, Snow says. She points to three things that should be noted in the description.

“First, there should be personality characteristics you’re looking for,” she says. Characteristics are things that can’t be taught, like honesty, friendliness or being organized.”

Snow emphasizes that you can’t teach somebody to have a good attitude, be dependable or pay attention to details.

Second, she says your job description should list the skills you want to see in your CSRs.

“There’s a tendency to worry more about ‘who’ we are going to hire than focusing on the ‘what’ we need,” Show says. “So, get the ‘what’ defined.”

Finally, the job posting should outline the responsibilities of the CSR position.

“Make it unique to your company,” Snow says. “Yes, you can borrow a job description, or see what other companies are doing. That helps you get ideas. But don’t ever copy and paste one and start using that. Why? Your company is unique, and so are the needs of your company.”

Employers should be sure to cast a wide net with the job posting. “Get it out there on Indeed, Facebook, LinkedIn and a lot of different platforms,” she says. “And, don’t forget to look for candidates in your day-to-day experiences.”

Snow says her manager once hired a CSR who used to be her teller at the bank. The woman delivered great customer service for the bank, and characteristics definitely carried over to the home services industry. 

2. Make onboarding a pleasant experience. 

When you bring a new CSR onto the team, it should be a successful transition for the person.

“If it’s a great experience they’ll want to stay on your team,” Snow says. “If it’s a miserable experience, you’ve got the risk of attrition. Heaven knows, you don’t want them to leave and you have to go through the entire process again.”

ServiceTitan Boot Camps for new CSR hires are coming soon, Snow says, and Academy lessons are also helpful. 

“ServiceTitan has some great workshops,” she says. “And there’s the Academy with a lot of videos. You can determine if there’s a specific learning path you want them to go on.”

Another excellent way to teach new CSRs the standard you want is by letting them listen to recorded phone calls that exhibit the upsides and the downsides of customer service.

“Have a database of good and bad calls,” Snow says. “Let them hear the difference and coach them on what you want them to do. After that, do role-playing.”

Crucial to the onboarding process is having your company’s own playbook that includes standard operating procedures. Having a playbook keeps every new employee on the same page.

“All of your great customer skill tips should be included in the playbook, along with customer service skills and some guidance on them,” Snow says.

3.  Establish your key call center metrics.

Snow says to start setting goals for the call center by understanding what the overall fiscal goals are for the company. 

“Let’s say the company’s monthly revenue goal is $100,000,” she says. “You determine what percentages come from particular business units. And you know what the average ticket is. Do the math, and see how many calls your CSRs have to book.”

Remember that not every CSR will have a 100-percent booking rate. So, you’ll need to set a higher goal of calls so CSRs can meet the booked rate, Snow says.

When you figure out the monthly numbers, break it down so CSRs can see what they need to do on a weekly basis, and even on a daily basis. That’s something that’s easier to measure and be aware of, she says.

Pro tip: Snow says the telephone isn’t the only tool CSRs have to book jobs. Her team recently found success using online chat features.

“We were texting customers, ‘Hey we haven’t been out for a while,’ and messages like that,” she says.

Snow says they were booking about 20 percent of those texts—which helped them keep the dispatch board full. 

4. Set goals to improve performance.

Having goals for the team and posting them on a bulletin board is a good practice, Snow says. 

“It’s a good visual reminder and can serve as a motivator,” she says. 

“Make outbound calls and outbound chats part of your regular process,” she says. “Email expectations to the CSRs. Have monthly and weekly team meetings with them to go over expectations. You can never over-communicate with your team.”

Snow says goal-setting can and should be fun.

“Find out what motivates your team,” she says. “Have a weekly competition and give out a fun reward.”

Snow points to the example of one company that wrapped gifts and put them under a tree at Christmas. Whenever a CSR accomplished a goal, they got to go to the tree and pick out a gift.

Get creative, she says.

How ServiceTitan Can Help

ServiceTitan is an invaluable tool for helping improve CSR performance, Snow says. Here are three tips for getting the most out of the platform:

1. Inspect what you expect. Managers can go into the “Call Center Performance” part of a report (under the Operations section). There, it lists how many calls were taken and how many inbound calls were booked.

2. Create custom reports. If the “Call Center Report” data isn’t exactly what you need, customer reports can be built based on whatever data you have and may need. You could ask questions such as: What job types are we doing? Customizable reports can be created with whatever KPIs are the most important to you. You decide how to format the report in (email, Excel version, etc.) and who gets the report (individual CSRs or the whole team).

3. Track staffing needs. ServiceTitan Phones Pro, an integrated cloud-based phone solution, offers CSR metrics such as Heatmaps and Concurrent Calls. These features let you see when you might need to staff up with more CSRs to answer surges in calls.

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