Nowadays, customer support is far more complex and challenging than ever before. Technology has fostered higher expectations amongst customers, who not only expect to reach you through a wider variety of channels, but also increasingly demand same-day resolution of issues.
In a recent Nielsen/Harris poll, 79% of Millennials said they expected response back within a day to their online questions. Expectations of Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers weren’t much lower: 71% and 73% respectively.
These expectations have complicated the contact centre workflow to an incredible degree. Without the right tools and technology in place, agents lose precious time – and customer goodwill -- as they switch between traditional phones and desktop computers to resolve issues.
Furthermore, as businesses expand geographically, agents may find it even more difficult to answer questions if subject matter experts are based in other cities, work from home or are simply on the road.
If your contact centre staff is spending more time than necessary jumping between tasks or your callers are experiencing longer wait times, you can use today’s technologies to increase efficiency and meet customer expectations.
How can you identify areas for improvement?
A good way to start is by interviewing your contact centre staff. With their feedback, you can implement changes that match the way they work with the expectations of your customers.
Below are a few ideas to get you thinking.
Integrate Call Routing
Call routing and grouping are mainstays of contact centres, but used strategically these can help resolve issues quickly with the least amount of agent intervention. For example, a business may have two call centres, each offering different levels of service. When a call comes in, the system automatically deciphers where to send the call.
VIP customers may get connected immediately with personalized white-glove service, while others are directed to self-service. Agents spend less time on routine calls and more time using their expertise to solve complex problems for key clients.
Remote and traveling staff rely on their smartphones to connect with the home office as well as clients wherever they’re located. By enabling mobility for your contact centre, you can ensure that an agent can reach field personnel at critical moments, even if they’re sitting on an airport tarmac.
Mobility also creates seamless – and more positive – customer experiences.
For example, local support agent Jane is based in Ottawa in a home office. But anyone calling the Toronto headquarters will know her only as extension 3452.
Integrate Customer Data
Call centres present a significant opportunity for driving new revenue. But without customer data integrated into the phone system, employees lack the information they need to identify and close opportunities.
By tightly integrating CRM applications into your contact centre, you can deliver a significantly higher level of personalized attention to callers and increase the revenue opportunities for your team.
We cannot improve what we do not measure. Seeking feedback from employees is a good first step toward tailoring your contact centre to the way your employees work and respond to customers, but activity data is vital for continued improvement.
With sophisticated reporting tools, customer service managers can identify the source of bottlenecks and breakdowns more easily, thereby enabling them to align processes more closely with the demands of your customers.
For example, reporting data may indicate that agent time can be reduced if calls are divided and routed according to specific information, such as area codes.
Depending on your contact centre solution, rolling out these capabilities could be quite simple. If you’re still relying on a traditional package that doesn’t take advantage of the latest tools and technologies, it might be time to explore new options.
High Tech has partnered with many best of breed telecommunications manufacturers, UC and Call Centre providers — both on site and cloud — and we would be happy to perform discovery and analysis services to you on a consultation contract, after which we can present you with options.