Customize Your Contact Center To The Way Your Team Works
Nowadays, customer support is far more complex and challenging than ever before. Technology has fostered higher expectations among customers, who not only expect to reach brands through a wider variety of channels, but also increasingly demand same-day resolution of issues.
In a recent Nielsen/Harris poll commissioned by online community provider Lithium, 79% of Millennials said they expected brands to respond 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 center 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. And 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 center staff is spending more time than necessary jumping between tasks or your callers are experiencing longer wait times, 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 center staff. With their feedback, you can implement changes that match the way they work. Below are a few ideas to get you thinking.
Step Up Call Routing
Call routing and grouping are mainstays of contact centers, but used strategically they can help resolve issues quickly with the least amount of agent intervention. For example, a business may have two call centers, 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 center, an agent can reach field personnel at critical moments, even if they’re sitting on an airport tarmac.
Mobility also creates a seamless – and more positive – customer experiences. For example, local support agent Jane is based in San Diego in a home office. But anyone calling the Wichita headquarters will know her only as extension 3452.
Integrate Customer Data
Call centers 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 center, you can deliver a significantly higher level of personalized attention to callers and increase the revenue opportunities for your team.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Seeking feedback from employees is a good first step toward tailoring the contact center to the way they work, 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, enabling them to align processes more closely with the way employees work. 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 center 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.
Learn more about ShoreTel’s contact center solutions here.