Four ways to improve your call centre processes

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In my recent blog What separates Which’s best and worst brands? I described three ways in which call centres can improve their satisfaction scores by creating an emotional connection with their customers. Which’s poll proves this is incredibly important as companies that succeed in creating this connection take up the top positions on the list.

While creating an emotional connection with your customers is imperative in my view, it may be futile if your call centre processes let you down. It doesn’t matter if your agents are great at showing empathy if your customers wait ages to speak to someone, and then get transferred between agents to handle their enquiry.

Here are my top tips for improving your call centre processes that will help get your satisfaction scores up:

  1. Identify and remove repeating sources of dissatisfaction
    Happy customers are created by experiences that exceed their expectations. To ensure this happens you need information on how well your agents are performing. With little or no automation of the processes involved, this is an incredibly hard task. Interaction Analytics can provide contact centres the information they need to ensure that every interaction exceeds customer expectations. This is because it automatically analyses 100% of customer interactions (including calls, chat, email, SMS etc.) and provides vital information that can help to uncover some of the common causes of dissatisfaction – such as long waiting times or repeat calls (see the top five contact centre behaviours that annoy customers and cause them to churn at the bottom of this article). 

    Companies can use this insight to minimise or eliminate these causes of dissatisfaction, and do so very quickly. For example, if customers use multiple channels for the same issue, it’s important that you analyse all interactions across all channels in one system. You can use Interaction Analytics to create a variety of ‘categories’ to see if your processes don’t put the customer first. For example, a ‘repeat yourself’ tag would identify both the frequency of, and the channels involved in, repeat explanations. Armed with this insight you could remove a major source of annoyance. This will ultimately raise the quality of service provided to customers and creates happy customers.

  2. Give your agents real-time guidance to rescue the call before it goes wrong
    The reality is that many call centre agents will have to deal with customers who arrive in a negative frame of mind. In fact, The CallMiner Index report identified that over a third of customers (36%) say they arrive annoyed; one in six (16%) arrive angry and the same number arrive ready for an argument!

    Managing a call in a way that converts an unhappy customer into a happy one is therefore incredibly valuable. Interaction analytics can identify from the tone and the words used by a customer if they are in a negative state of mind. The system can then provide the agent on the call an automatic alert on how best to handle the call to rescue the situation. Add to this real-time access to all the information required to resolve customer queries, and you will increase the likelihood that the customer will leave the call feeling satisfied with the outcome. Just this one change could deliver increased customer satisfaction scores very quickly.
     

  3. Help your agents resolve problems on the first call by connecting them to back-office experts
    Callers get fed up very quickly with ineffective processes such failing to resolve their issue on the first call. So, why not do something very innovative that could significantly improve your resolution rates – connect back-office experts to frontline agents in real-time. In this way the agent can hand over complex problems to back-office teams to handle. They can provide the expert insight needed to meet customer needs – first time and every time. Now that’s a customer centric way to run a contact centre! 
     
  4. Use AI to Predict NPS, C-SAT and CES scores from every interaction
    It makes sense to also improve the processes involved in collecting and analysing your customer satisfaction data. Interaction Analytics allows companies to connect CSAT scores across all channels with the relevant customer interactions for targeted root cause analysis. This enables to see what was behind the score and therefore identify the various triggers for good, bad and indifferent scores. As a result, you can identify sources of low satisfaction rates and therefore make changes that will significantly increase the customer experience and with it the relevant satisfaction scores.

    But the benefits don’t stop there! AI can be used to accurately predict a customer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (C-SAT), or Customer Effort Score (CES). This means that with access to the huge volume of data that contact centres are already collecting, Interaction Analytics can also predict customers reactions to agent actions and guide them in real-time to the best course of action. This kind of proactive customer service will improve customer satisfaction even further.

So that’s my final four. Do you agree? Or if you’d like to discuss improving your customer service why not get a conversation going by commenting on this blog.

The CallMiner Index report identified that the top five contact centre behaviours that annoy customers and cause them to churn were: Long wait times (42%), having to repeat yourself from one contact channel/ agent to the next (35%), calls that are cancelled/ drop out after holding (27%), failure to resolve your issue on the first call (24%) and long messages before being routed to the right person (23%).

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