How Should I Document Processes In My Call Center So Reps Use My Guides?
Tell me if this sounds familiar...
You were hired/promoted to be a call center supervisor or manager and handed a bunch of spreadsheets or PDFs with your protocols and procedures on them. You didn't create them, but you're now responsible for keeping them up to date.
Or maybe you're in this boat...
You were hired/promoted to be a call center supervisor or manager and had NOTHING to work with. Nobody had documented anything before you got there. So you opened up Visio, Word, or Excel and started documenting processes and procedures hoping that you could use them to train your reps.
You. Are. Awesome.
First off, I want to tell you that you are awesome! Doing your job is not easy and documenting processes and procedures is not the most fun thing to do in the world, especially if you are taking over a department where there were no procedures before (or the procedures were kind of a mess).
You are doing the work that needs to be done! And I know you care about doing a good job.
You want to make the guides great...but what does that look like?
When we talk with directors, managers, and supervisors about the current state of their procedures and processes, they aren't thrilled with what they've got. But they're also not entirely sure how to make them better, either. If that's you, then we made you this video to explain four simple types of guides that you can create. We also created a worksheet to help you plan what type of guides to create.
Why worry about creating better guides for call center reps?
This is not just about aesthetics.
When your guides are easier to use, your call center reps no longer need to memorize so much information because they can actually reference your guides DURING interactions with customers and resolve the call.
That's a very big deal!
If your reps can reference your guides during calls instead of memorizing everything, that means they can begin handling calls sooner. That means you spend less time training reps (saving you time and money), you spend less time fixing mistakes (and QA scores go up), and you can cross train reps more easily. And if you're the supervisor fielding questions from your reps, then it means less time answering the same question over and over again!
Those all sound like really big deals! And that's why you want to invest in making your guides look nice/easier to use.
The four types of guides to create
The main thing to keep in mind is that when you create a guide, it needs to serve a specific purpose. Here are some things to consider.
Help reps know what to do with 1) call flows and 2) checklists
When a caller asks a question or makes a request, your reps will need to do something or say something. And it needs to be the right thing.
For these situations, you should create a call flow or a checklist. You would include prompts for what to say, what to ask, and what to do.
When to create a call flow
Create a call flow if your reps need to handle situations that include a lot of variables – things like, "if this is the situation, then do that." Think of these like an interactive guide that updates and provides tailored information based on what the caller is experiencing.
A simple example we can all relate to might be rescheduling a doctor's appointment: if the appointment is being rescheduled with less than 24-hour notice, then there is a fee. If it is being rescheduled with more than 24-hour notice, then there is not a fee. A more complex example would include those times when a caller is seeing an error code and your reps need to troubleshoot what's going wrong.
These types of guides can be a little more complex to create.
When to create a checklist
A checklist is for those straight-forward procedures that don't vary. An example would be setting up a new customer in the CRM. Go through the checklist of what needs to be done every time.
These are generally pretty simple to create.
Help reps know how to do it with a 3) how-to
These types of guides explain how to perform tasks in a system. You could take a series of screenshots that walk a rep through how to:
- adjust a balance due
- merge two contact records
- update insurance
These guides are usually pretty short and simple to create.
Help reps know the right information with 4) notes
These types of guides don't explain what to do or how to do it – they're just informational. Notes could include phone numbers, transfer numbers, escalation information, price lists, insurance carriers, etc.
These types of guides are easy to create, but they can often become quite unwieldily so you have to be careful with your formatting.
What should you do next?
Now that you know the four different guides that you can create, the question is, "What type of guide should I create?"
We created a worksheet to help you plan that out: Guide Planning Worksheet.
Also, if you have questions about how all of these guides work together and how your reps would actually use them, check out this video where I show you what it would look like for your reps to use these different resources: How can I improve QA and CSAT scores with better guides?