Efficiently managing contact center solutions is the only way to achieve your goal of balancing low costs-per-call with delivering valuable customer experiences during every interaction. Call center efficiency refers to the ratio of how well agents support customers in relation to the total amount of energy they expend completing the tasks. Operating an efficient contact center directly contributes to minimizing your overhead costs. This results in higher customer satisfaction, which can generate an average of 300 percent more in sales from a single shopper.
Focus on these three areas when you are looking for ways to maximize the efficiency of your contact center solutions:
Create Streamlined, Guided Pathway
Customers want a quick way to solve their concerns. Being more efficient means eliminating all unnecessary steps that make a process more complicated, so call centers must implement an optimized IVR system that provides short press paths to answers. A well-designed interface allows customers convenience. They can check their balance, make a payment or talk to a live agent with just a few instructions. Although a complex system is more precise in sorting customers, frustrations grow with every selection. With 67 percent of customers hanging up aggravated because they couldn’t reach a rep, your success as a call center rests on your ability to develop a clear, intuitive IVR that accurately routes callers to the right problem solver.
Perfect the Right KPI: Handle Time
Contact centers are results-driven. Data is collected at several interaction points to determine how well agents are delivering services. When it comes to evaluating efficiency, the most important metric to focus on lowering is Average Handle Time. AHT is a combination of two things. The first is the customers’ total hold time. The second is the amount of time an agent spends in a call plus doing follow-up work. Processing calls quickly reduces the cost of each interaction and enables agents to manage a greater call volume. However, you must be careful not to sacrifice the quality of customer care in a quest to reduce handling time.
When a customer feels rushed, they do not feel valued. They will walk away from the interaction unsatisfied even if their concern is resolved. The strategy also has a tendency to backfire with repeat callers clogging queues and more calls escalating to management. This destroys your first-resolution rates. Simple IT improvements, such as IVR systems and speech analytics that accurately route callers to the correct agents, are often effective at reducing handling time. Streamlining workflow processes and automating repetitive tasks also frees up agents to help more customers. Finally, you must implement a comprehensive training program that provides agents with the knowledge they need to quickly solve common problems and handle tough customers.
Integrate Contact Channels
When customers are able to contact a company via a variety of channels, communication often slips through the cracks without the proper support system. A contact center cannot operate efficiently if teams work in isolated silos. They must deliver fast, accurate and quality service. In order to do this an agent must know exactly what a customer has experienced along their journey.
The only way to offer multichannel services efficiently is to have everything managed by a single contact center. Additionally, data from each channel must be synchronized into one CRM system. This allows a new agent to seamlessly pick up where the last one left off. Not only does this enhance the customer experience since personal information and problems do not need to be repeated, but it also reduces the time agents spend understanding the issue. Integrating various business tools into the CRM enhances efficiency. This includes call center software and inventory management.