COVID-19: Call center agents at home?
Dec 25 2020

Inbound call center: better customer experience

While most client-oriented businesses have call centers, there is no universal formula that could be applied to each inbound use case. A winning approach starts with getting your performance metrics under control, but it does not end there. In the constant race to answer calls faster and resolve most of them successfully, you may be lacking resources for regularly coaching agents and correctly interpreting call content.

Introducing the right workflow automation tools can help by providing the time and resources for deeper insights into the context of your calls. In this post, we will break down the different components of an incoming call and explore how you can utilize call center software to improve them.

IVR

The first thing an inbound caller usually hears is a pre-recorded announcement. Then they continue to go through an interactive voice response menu (IVR) with a DTMF tones input. At this call stage, you can get creative and test out different hypotheses to find out what works best for your clients. For example, can you identify most frequently asked questions to include them in the greeting, or divide customer requests into different groups? Building the logic of the menu is basically pointing customers in the right direction for help. If you notice a lot of pre-queue abandons, try rethinking the structure of the IVR to make sure your customers can easily navigate it.

Call queue monitoring

After going through the menu, most callers are assigned to one of the queues you create. Being on hold for too long is one of the most frustrating client experiences, so streamlining this call stage is crucial. With the aid of real-time monitoring, you can continuously keep track of the average speed of answer for individual queues and the total volume of calls. Setting thresholds to monitor in-queue abandons, peak hold and waiting times may also turn out to be useful. Managers can identify the percentage of agents already handling a call and those currently available to take one, and reassign them between queues to direct resources where needed.

Call distribution

IVR systems often come with related features of automatic call distribution, with these four routing strategies being primarily used:

  • Ring-all (the first agent to pick up a call gets to help the customer);
  • Linear (the system routes calls to the first agent available in the pre-set list);
  • Circular (the first agent takes the call that comes in first, the second agent picks up the second call, and so on until the circle is complete);
  • Least recent (the agent that had been idle the longest gets assigned the next call).

Your set of rules for call assignment can also depend on custom conditions, repeat callers, and even the time of day. Consider introducing priority routing for VIP clients to be connected to chosen agents without having to wait in a queue. Some software additionally offers skill-based routing, which means matching calls to the most suitable agents, depending on the caller’s identity or choices made in the IVR.

The call itself  and tools that aid both agents and customers

When the client is out of the queue and is finally being connected to a call center representative, great software will be helping both the caller and the agent at the same time. For instance, the feature of CRM integration allows accessing client information directly from the call center interface. The ability to transfer calls with context will also eliminate the need for customers to repeat themselves and prevent agent confusion when they are not yet familiar with the individual situation.

Supervisor capabilities make assistance during each call simple – agents may “raise a hand” and ask for help, and a supervisor will “whisper”, join the call, or intercept it. Tracking agent performance in real time and quickly attending to all issues produces higher first call resolution rates and makes clients happier.

With every contact, you are sending a message to your customers about how dedicated you are to helping them. Here at Voiso, we want you to convey the right message – with real-time dashboards, multiple widgets for queue monitoring, built-in CRM integration support, skill-based routing, and all the necessary agent and supervisor capabilities.

Let software do the heavy lifting in your inbound call center. Reach out to one of our experts to give Voiso a try.