1. Identify the issues
See whether you are receiving complaints about your current systems – both from external service users and your internal team.
Start documenting these complaints and gather data on how many calls might be getting missed.
Look at internal processes and determine if it is the software or the processes that are the issue.
2. Test your processes
Research internal processes and test out different ways of receiving inbound calls to see how you can become more efficient.
This can unearth new problems that you can feed back into creating solutions.
Identify where your current system is successful and where you need to make an improvement.
3. Present solutions to senior leadership
Propose the changes you want to be made and bring your leadership onboard to start scaling up the project.
4. Train your staff
Be clear with the staff about the changes being made and offer training.
Make the training clear for the staff and make a presentation with visual aids.
Run a webinar for the staff and record the session for those who cannot attend and for people to refer back to.
Make sure line managers are comfortable, and signpost team leaders who staff can go to if they encounter problems.
5. Understand user needs
Use prior research on common themes of inbound calls to develop new strategies.
Try not to give lots of options, especially if your users are likely to be calling in a crisis.
Once you have established the possible re-directs that users can choose from, then create an internal rota within your team outlining who answers when.
Use prior research on common themes of inbound calls and develop options familiar to users.
Don't use internal team names if a user wouldn't recognise those.
6. Monitor the system
Access automated reports on how many calls are being answered.
Check-in with managers about how the new system is working for their teams.
Have a formal three-to-six month review after implementing changes, or when you might need to re-think the system due to any changes in work style (e.g. going back to the office).
Many thanks to Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association for contributing this recipe.
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