January is traditionally the time to set new goals for the year ahead, whether that’s going to the gym more often, eating less, or finding new and more efficient ways of working.
As always, high on the list of new-year priorities for many call centre managers is how they can keep productivity levels up, while balancing the crucial factors that help them deliver a great customer experience.
Based on what we’ve learned from the organisations we work with, here are some suggestions.
1) Make better use of time
Make the most of time talking to potential customers, not getting that dreaded answer machine beep. Recent technology developments now make answer machine detection a far more exact science than the hit-or-miss cadence solutions with which most contact centres are familiar.
With much higher accuracy rates (99.9%), new algorithm-based technology can enable an uplift in staff productivity of over 10 per cent, since agents reach fewer answering machines and have more valuable conversations with customers. The call connection delay and false positives can be avoided with the right technology.
2) Look at the bigger picture
Keeping your management and teams up to date with real-time information on the status of all calls can help you quickly detect and resolve issues around queuing and identify peak periods.
Using real-time information displayed on wallboards not only gives higher visibility of performance, but also ensures you can respond to call traffic issues more quickly. We continue to be surprised by how many organisations do not have a holistic view of their entire contact centre.
3) Act in real time
The traditional way to review campaign performance was to do it after the event, whether daily, weekly, monthly or upon completion. The downside of this method is that issues often come too late to change the options available.
This is why more organisations are looking at remotely managed real-time campaign monitoring teams, where a third party is looking at issues such as long inbound call waiting times. They can then recommend immediate changes or feature enablement to handle peak periods. This dynamic approach to support is far more achievable in cloud-based contact centre environments where visibility and changes to routing can be made very quickly if needed.
4) Flexibility is key
Consider intelligent and dynamic call routing, whereby calls are automatically routed to the most appropriately skilled agent, or deferred until the right advisor is available via a queue break-out.
This ensures that inexperienced staff avoid having to deal with challenging calls where time spent on the resolution is greater than if the right person took the call in the first place.
5) On the money
It’s a situation many call centres that take over-the-phone payments will identify with: the need to adhere to PCI DSS guidelines, without creating an interruption in the customer engagement. Similarly, there is the risk that a call might be dropped and a transaction not completed.
However, recent advances in PCI technology now allow agents to stay on a call, without the risk of exposure to the customer’s confidential financial information, and with less risk of a call being dropped. The result is greater security for the customer and increased productivity for the contact centre.