call centerWhile call center operations may seem pretty straightforward, there is always room for improvement. In fact, did you know a mere 2% increase in customer retention has the same financial impact on a company as a 10% reduction in cost? Well, it’s true!

Making call centers more efficient and effective in converting sales revenue can also have a positive impact on customer retention, customer satisfaction, and cross-selling or up-selling company offerings. Let’s discuss how your call center could be doing more for your company.

Focus on the Experience

The modern consumer is able to access company information and offerings through digital channels at a moment’s notice. The short attention span of the average customer, coupled with a sea of competitors in all industries, makes every interaction with your brand a high priority. Because phone calls are considered the most valuable source of high-quality leads, call centers must provide an optimal customer experience consistently and efficiently:

When interacting with a call center agent, customers often provide insight into their needs, preferences and wants. Enabling agents to jot down notes during interactions with consumers and store them in a CRM will help build a stronger profile and enhance each customer experience moving forward. The more information at the fingertips of sales and support teams, the easier it will be to resolve issues, customize service, and close sales.

DIY

While chatting to a friend or coworker now and again may be a good way to break up the day, consumers sometimes prefer to navigate automated solutions to resolve an issue with a product or service:

  • By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a person (Gartner)
  • 55% of consumers prefer automated self-service options (Convergys)
  • 59% of calls require identity verification, but only 3% are handled through automated processes (ContactBabel)

As more consumers demonstrate a preference for self-service, call centers should implement solutions to accommodate these demands. A hosted interactive voice response (IVR) solution allows a company to intercept inbound calls, determine the needs of the caller and route them appropriately to sales, marketing or support agents. Furthermore, IVR systems offer automated prompts that enable callers to navigate to specific information or a resolution on their own through automated processes.

Keep It Mobile

With the rise in mobile device use and increased reliance on cloud-based marketing solutions, many call centers have increased their efficiency by enabling a more mobile workforce. Agents can receive calls and handle customer experiences remotely, without losing access to data, information, or communication resources.

  • An estimated 2 million Americans work from home, up 61% from 2005 (Forrester)
  • 80% of call centers utilize home agents in some capacity (Customer Contact Strategies)
  • The number of home-based customer service agents nationwide is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 36.4% over the next few years (Ovum)
  • By 2016, 63 million Americans will telecommute (Global Workplace Analytics)

With voice-based marketing automation solutions, companies can monitor agents in disparate locations, while managing inbound traffic based on agent activity and customer demands. An agent panel can be used to monitor worker performance to better distribute calls and improve the customer experience. By supplying the resources to support a more mobile workforce, companies can reduce costs on overhead and enjoy hiring agents from a larger pool of applicants.

Ping Me

Last, but certainly not least, the modern call center must provide its agents with resources to interact quickly and efficiently with an internal message system.

When call centers integrate Zendesk technology, teams can take care of more customers in a shorter period of time, while increasing efficiency by viewing the most important call data front and center. And Zendesk understands the importance of strong service. According to its own statistics:

  • Currently 6,314 live websites use Zendesk and report an 86% customer satisfaction rating
  • Customer service success can be measured by monitoring:
    • Number of tickets received
    • First response time
    • Percentage of tickets resolved

Zendesk allows users to follow the progression of a customer experience throughout the support cycle, and integrates the information into CRM systems. Because the solution records phone calls and captures key information from the caller, more customized solutions and interactions can be offered to boost satisfaction.

If you want to compare your call center performance to those of other businesses, check out our “Hold Times, Hang Ups, and Talks Times” benchmarking analysis.