Call center managers often find themselves pulled in two directions – they have to boost productivity while simultaneously keeping overhead costs down.
If productivity does happen to be lagging, it falls on their shoulders to find creative ways to get things back on the right track. The problem is that call center productivity and efficiency are tied to many different factors, and it can be hard to know what needs to change.
Even when you do know what should change, there’s a gap between theory and practice… sometimes it’s not possible to intervene where you’d like to.
That being said, the right call center solution (or collection of solutions) can effectively tackle most problems faced by call centers. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can improve your call center with some assistance from the cloud.
In this post:
- Help your agents
- Keep your average handle time (AHT) down
- Decrease downtime
- Get your customers to the right place
- Offer great self-service options
- Introduce virtual queuing
6 Ways to improve your call center with the right cloud solution
1. Help your agents
Agents are humans, not machines, but they can certainly do with some help from a little tech. The right call center solution will help your agents work more efficiently without feeling drained or burnt out. Working smarter as opposed to harder helps improve job satisfaction for agents, which is key to reducing churn. And churn is certainly a problem! Contact centers have some of the worst employee turnover rates compared to nearly any other industry. The average turnover rate for contact center employees in the US averages 30-45% per year, which is more than double the average for all other industries.
Cloud solutions can give your agents a boost in numerous ways. Automated guidance can map out processes for your agents, which reduces their mental load. Whisper-in technology lets your agents know what a call will be about before they pick up, giving them a chance to prepare. Even something as simple as call recording can be an invaluable tool during agent training.
2. Keep your average handle time (AHT) down
AHT is the canary in the coal mine of all your call center metrics. If your AHT is too high, it’s going to affect a whole host of other KPIs. It’s a sign that things are not going as well as they should be. Agents might be spending too much time on after-call work, or calls are being routed inefficiently. To sum up the problem — an excessively high AHT is a workflow issue.
This is where your call solution can help. Customer data can be entered automatically, routine processes can be carried out by the software instead of manually by the agent, and it can even be used to follow up on leads. There are pretty much endless possible ways to automate your workflow processes.
Basically, it allows your agents to work more efficiently without negatively impacting the customer experience. In fact, customers benefit from workflow automation as well. 60% of failed First Contact Resolution attempts are a result of the agent’s inability to access the right data. If your customer data is automatically integrated into your workflow, your agents will have the information they need to resolve problems faster.
The result — customers spend less time on the phone and their problems get solved faster. It’s a win-win for everybody.
3. Decrease downtime
Service outages cause a ripple effect that continues even after you get your systems back up and running. And word travels fast these days! If your system goes down once, you’re probably going to hear about it on social media. Even if your agents are initially enjoying a break from calls, using an unreliable and glitchy system is going to eventually frustrate them. It undermines their ability to do their work properly and handling irate customers post-outage is no fun for anyone.
Downtime is also extremely costly for any business. The average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute, and depending on the industry, it can sometimes cost significantly more.
Since cloud solutions are distributed systems, there’s usually no single point of failure. This makes them more robust and reliable than in-house software. Oh, and cloud call center solutions don’t need constant maintenance from your team, so it saves you money as well. This all means your call center is less likely to experience downtime or interruptions to service.
4. Get your customers to the right place
Cloud solutions can get your customers closer to their end goal faster. With intelligent routing, customers get to the right agent much quicker, cutting down on wasted time and improving metrics such as AHT. How does it work? Using natural language processing techniques, calls get matched with the most suitably skilled agent available.
Alternatively, you can use modern dynamic automated routing to create personalized routing options based on different inputs. 80% of customers are more likely to do business with a brand that offers personalized service, so why not start with something as simple as call routing?
5. Offer great self-service options
When it comes to customer experience, there’s a lot of buzz over “empowering customers”. But it’s not just a meaningless buzzword — customers do really want to help themselves. 88% of customers expect brands to provide some form of a self-service option. Yes, if the issue is more complex, they will seek out a human agent, but chatbots and online services can easily meet their needs for more basic queries.
And one of the most obvious ways this can benefit your call center is by reducing your number of calls! Self-service gets your customers out of queues and cuts back on repetitive and routine calls that could be easily solved by smart AI.
6. Introduce virtual queuing
We’ve all been that customer who’s left waiting on hold before. It’s not a nice feeling, and we’re not alone in that thought. 70% of customers find it “extremely frustrating” to be left waiting on hold. But what’s the solution? Isn’t it just a fact of life at any call center? No! Virtual queuing is an alternative to the traditional answering model that can help boost your customer service.
With virtual queuing, customers can enter their phone number or email address and receive a text message or a call when an agent becomes available. No more waiting on hold! It moves your calls out of peaks and troughs, takes the pressure off agents, and reduces call abandonment rates and repeat calls.
Time is money and not just for your call center — for your customers too. Virtual queuing is the ultimate customer experience optimizer that ensures everyone can get on with their day.
Bottom line – this is what the right call center solutions can do for you
There are 100s of specific use cases that may or may not help you.
And there’s a software solution for each of them.
But you can’t keep on buying different products for different problems as they arise; it never ends.
That’s why the most important word in software is flexibility. The most valuable call center solutions offer flexible solutions to problems as they arise.
For babelforce, the answer has always been No-Code technology. Our platform is designed to make it easy for non-technical people to customize their workflows and key elements of their customer services without high costs or lengthy development cycles.
Whatever the problem, there’s a solution – and that solution is babelforce!