There Are A Hundred Things You Can Do To Improve Your Contact Center.
But if you start out with a hundred targets, you’ll miss all of them! So let’s focus up and look at a handful of things you can ace in the next year.
Here Are 5 Contact Center Best Practices To Adopt Today.
- Ask for customer and staff feedback
- Make life simpler for agents
- Target your churn rate
- Eliminate customer pain points
- Increase your self-service provision
Ask for customer and staff feedback
Here’s something most contact centers do… poorly.
There’s no point sending out surveys you don’t study. In fact, even if you read every comment, it’s useless unless you can act on them.
The ACAF model is a structured approach to getting (and using) feedback.
- Ask – request feedback from your customers or staff
- Categorize – group that feedback based on your own criteria
- Act – ensure that actions are taken based on what you learn
- Follow up – go back to respondents so they see that you listened
This is a ready-made process for receiving feedback that improves your contact center and your customer relationships.
Make life simpler for agents
most contact centers have lousy staff retention rates.
There are a lot of factors, ranging from over-management, to long hours and low pay.
But here’s one way to get happier agents: use automation to make their life simpler.
The key processes to target are research and data entry. With Computer Telephony Integration, it’s pretty simple to identify callers based on their phone number alone. You can match that number to their profile in your call center CRM.
With the same tech, you can automate large parts of after-call work too.
Agents are recruited to be good with people – not good at data entry. Automating this where possible allows them to spend time fostering relationships, instead of doing manual research.
(Plus, your AHT will probably drop!)
Target your churn rate
What’s the biggest contribution a contact center can make to a businesses’ bottom line?
Reducing customer churn.
Churn is a hidden expense, but a big one. In fact, increasing customer retention 2% has the same impact as cutting costs by 10%.
The trick is to improve retention cheaply – and that’s where customer retention automation comes in.
First, think about why customers leave. Often it’s something simple, like the end of an annual contract. Sometimes it can be a negative experience they had with your product.
Now for the big secret of customer retention… a lot of customers will stay if you just ask them to.
Simple as that. Did you make a mistake? Apologise. Are they up for renewal? Tell them you value them.
But whether you’re making calls, or sending texts or emails – automate it!
Eliminate Customer Pain Points
Let’s stay with retention for a moment. Every business has processes which have changed over time. Sometimes for the better. Sometimes for the worse.
Your job is to figure out where the ‘worse’ are – and get rid of them.
The telecoms giant AT&T have a great example. They noticed that many new customers called in to complain about their first bill. It was a little complicated, and led people to believe that they’d been overcharged.
AT&T’s response was simple: they created a video explaining the first bill, and sent it out to every new customer.
The result was a 10% drop in calls to the contact center, and far fewer unhappy customers.
So what are your pain points, and what are you going to do about them?
Increase your self-service provision
Here’s the big one for most contact centers – self-service.
There are a lot of ways to approach this, from webchat to SMS to social media. They all have their pros and cons, but we’re going to focus on just one; IVR.
IVR is very useful for contact centers, but none too popular with customers.
However, the introduction of conversational IVR services is steadily changing that.
Conversational IVR is kind of like Amazon’s Alexa, and it uses the same kind of technology. Users talk, the IVR listens, and it responds dynamically.
Now that a generation of consumers are accustomed to voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Cortana, this is an increasingly viable way of handling customer contacts.
It works for customers, and it’s also a great way to reduce costs. Delta Air Lines, for example, save around $5million per year because customers can solve their own issues.
It makes you wonder: how much could you save with that same tech… and what could you do with the extra money?
babelforce is a global cloud communications platform focused on No-Code integration and automation. It allows non-technical people to build even the most complex integrated processes for customer-facing teams, particularly in the call center.