7 Strategies to Upgrade Call-Center Performance, Part 1 of 2
The rise of electronic communications between businesses and customers over the past decade-plus, albeit a productive one, has resulted in at least one negative side effect: Call-center customer service has suffered. With that in mind, a recent whitepaper from the multichannel customer service and knowledge management software provider eGain, 7 Innovations to Reinvent Phone-Based Customer Service, offers seven fresh approaches to optimizing performance in the call center.
This week, in the first part of this two-part series, we’ll present the first four of these strategies. Then check back next week for the rest.
1. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The benefits of implementing VoIP technology in your call center include the following, according to the whitepaper:
* cost savings from combining the phone and data infrastructure;
* the ability to leverage VoIP infrastructure and the ease of implementing virtual call centers across multiple sites and remote agents, including at-home and outsourced;
* improved infrastructure and agent use;
* ease of management; and
* an improved customer service experience.
2. End-to-end call process automation. With integrated call tracking, knowledge base and workflows, call-center reps can resolve customer inquiries and initiate follow-up fulfillment tasks, including escalations to subject matter experts, with service levels attached to them, the whitepaper says.
Once useful, call-logging systems have become outdated. They’re now disconnected data and process silos that don’t integrate with call resolution or case management systems; knowledge bases; service fulfillment work flows; and nonphone interaction channels such as e-mail, chat, SMS and Web self-service. This results in an increase in call handle time and repeat calls, increased escalations and call transfers, poor customer service experiences, noncompliance with interaction regulations and best practices, failure to deliver on promised service levels, and ultimately reduced customer loyalty.
3. Customer Interaction Hub (CIH). Provide your call-center reps a 360-degree view of customer interactions through nonphone channels, the whitepaper advises. Such integration with nonphone channels gives a complete view of customer interaction across all channels, allowing phone agents to start where customers left off in their previous interactions for optimal customer experiences and contact center efficiencies.