Tom MerriottQuestion:

My call count is good, but my call-center staff has trouble converting those calls into service trips. How do I change that?


Here’s a simple four-step plan that can help you start to improve your call-center conversion:

Step 1: Listen to your call center, and, if possible, record your call-center staff during real calls. This allows you to identify weaknesses, based on the skill set of each individual call-center employee.

Step 2: After listening to your call-center staff, figure out what exactly you want each of them to improve. Maybe it’s the initial “hello,” or maybe it’s the closing to book the call. Identify specific items for them to work on.

Step 3: Write an improvement plan for each individual based on his or her needs. Or better yet — have each employee write his or her own plan on how to improve.

Step 4: Practice, practice, practice. Anyone who is great at what he or she does makes time to try and improve. Very few people like to practice, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Allow your call-center employees time to practice and role play, or consider sending them to call center training.

Tom Merriott is a call-center excellence coach at Nexstar and brings years of call-center and management experience from plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractors. To learn more about business coaching and call-center training, visit If you have a question you’d like answered, email

Publication date: 9/9/2013 

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