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Call Center Optimization

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You may have noticed that customers often complain about having unpleasant experiences with customer service from the call center. They often hesitate to call and ask for help. It is their last resort and they try to avoid it at any cost.  Customer demands have grown with advancing technology. They want faster resolution of their issues and not spend time being on hold. Also with the fast paced life, all customers want is to be the top priority. Outdated technologies can no longer meet the demands of customers.

  • Call centers design strategies to improve their customer satisfaction. The department strengthens the working of the call center to meet the needs and demands of the customers. This process of strategizing to improve customer experience is called Call Center Workforce Optimization. 
  • Call center optimization undertakes:
    • Integrating advanced technologies and software 
    • Reporting employee performance
    • Analyzing customer interaction
    • Business process
  • Call center optimization intends to develop workforce quality and empower agents. This contributes to agent productivity and leads to improved CX. 
  • To successfully improve the customer experience, call centers need to modernize the management and meet the expectations of the customers. Most companies focus on delivering quality and efficient service in a cost-effective way.
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10 Tips to Optimize your Call Center

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A call center should take a good look at all the components in its organization to develop the strategies to improve their service.  Here is a list of a few tips to help improve your company’s customer service. 

Benchmarking

Benchmark reports are always a good way to observe the current condition of the company. Analyzing the current overall performance report of your company and comparing it with industry-standard can give you an idea of where you are falling behind. 

You should 

    • Figure out what are the pain points in a customer’s journey 
    • Prevent the issues from happening in the future by implementing necessary measures

The call center industry is growing rapidly and there have been many changes over the past few years. Conducting a benchmark analysis can give you insight into what you are missing and what changes you should bring to your call center. 

Customer service data

While it is essential to gather customer service data, it is also important to know how to analyze the data. The management must be well informed to analyze and critically evaluate the performance reports for further improvement in the call center workforce. 

This performance data will help the management in developing strategies to achieve the desired aim. Also, the management must gather reports of different departments in the call center to create an extensive plan to fulfill sales goals or customer expectations. 

Call Center Standards

Call Center Standards are guidelines that all employees must follow when they interact with the customers/clients

Every call center requires a standard to ensure how an agent deals with a customer. In case of the absence of such standards, the agent may behave however they like with the customers. 

However, having too many rules may limit the agents and make the interaction robotic. It may affect the agent’s performance. Also, a monotonous behavior from an agent may not be appreciated by the caller.

    • To design call center standards you should think about improving the quality of interaction, information, behavior, and approach of the agent, and the appearance of the brand.
    • Establishing guidelines should be done meticulously and so brainstorming and looking for reference is a good way to start.

Improve Call Experience

It is important to maintain the quality of a call for successful lead conversion. Customers don’t want to spend time on hold; they have other engagements as well. So if the customers get frustrated with the call service, it may lead to a drop in sales. 

You need to 

    • Ensure that a customer does not stay on hold for an unacceptable amount of time. The call route should be kept short. 
    • Prioritize important calls. The agents should have the ability to scrutinize the important callers in order to provide the customers better service.

Customer’s Persona

Knowing your target audience can give you a better understanding of what they expect from you. Create a customer persona from the insight you have gathered on them to understand why they chose you instead of your competitors.

Understanding how they perceive your service can show you how and what you can improve. 

Agent Productivity

Accurately predicting the number of agents required can save maximum revenue. By predicting the increase and decrease in call volume, the call center can hire agents based on that. As a result, you can cut down on agent turnover.

The company can save money since they won’t have to pay agents who did not have to work due to less call volume. Also, during peak times, the call center can hire additional number of agents to help serve the customers better

By predicting the volume of calls and the number of agents required, a call center can optimize the workforce and achieve maximum revenue.

Training Agents

Training agents to match the skills required to bring sales and provide excellent customer service is a plus point in optimizing call centers. In order to achieve lead conversion and maximum sales, the agents require training in many fields like up-selling and cross-selling.

Moreover, the agents should also be trained in communication and approach methods to deal with customers. Agents must be trained every day about different processes and skills. 

The best way to train is to have the top-performing agents showcase their skills and share their knowledge with the underperformers or new agents. Also, having them experience various situations and assisting them in tricky ones can also improve their work experience.

Use advanced technology

If you are still using a spreadsheet to look for the contact details of your customer you cannot go far in this technological world. All successful companies have switched to using software to streamline the workforce. 

Many contact center platforms provide right tools which are compatible and integrate together to perform without hindrance.

    • Using Omnichannel software gives you and your customer access to multiple communication channels. 95% of customers use multiple channels to interact with the contact center agents. Giving customers multiple options eases the interaction between customer and agent and makes it as fast as possible.
    • Using CRM ensures that you have all the information by collecting them from all communication channels. CRM gathers the entire history of interaction with a customer to help the agent resolve any issues promplty and accurately.
    • The call center software should be equipped with the necessary tools and features. The software is programmed to help take off excess work from agents and provide a smooth flow of work all across the call center.

Using software that can integrate together and work in unison,it can also empower the agents. 

According to Forrester, 42% of agents are incapable of resolving customer issues because of multiple applications, archaic interfaces, and disconnected systems. 

Leveraging AI

Artificial Intelligence is capable of self-learning and performing complex tasks with accuracy in no time. Call centers are implementing AI with their software to assist their agents and provide quality service to the customers/clients.

As per Hubspot’s report, 40% of the customers don’t mind who resolves their issue. 

    • The call centers use Behavioral routing software to match the calls with the right and skilled agent. The software operates by taking personality and behavioral traits under consideration. 
    • Speech analytics can help the supervisors and managers monitor more calls in less time. Identifying when customers become stressed or frustrated will help the managers and agents understand the reason as well. This will allow them to improve and adapt the agent’s behavior and approach to satisfy the customers.
    • Chatbots are also an AI tool that interacts with the user and helps them resolve their issues. Chatbots learn more about the users with each interaction and save the data into the system.

Employee Engagement

Rewarding employees who go the extra mile to ensure quality service and successful sales should not be a one-time thing. It is important to make your employees feel valued. 

The agents have to deal with agitated customers and patiently walk the customer through the entire process. If the employees are unhappy they may harm productivity by taking frequent breaks. It may even lead to employee turnover. 

So, celebrating their achievement and rewarding them should be a natural process inside the office. Happy employees will lead to happy customers and maximum revenue. 

A call center needs a reliable, helpful and skilful customer support team along with tools and technology to keep their customers satisfied. The more you improve your customer service the more customers will come for your company. As a result, it will contribute to more revenue and better reputation for your company. 

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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