What’s driving your contact center demand?

It’s a simple question, and no harm to remind ourselves. Most callers look to clarify something. Maybe they just received a notice around revised terms for an insurance policy. Questions typically relate to these three things: payments, charges or queries around a specific product or service. For all these categories, clarity of communications is key. And conversely, complex communications drive increased calls, and increased costs.

How do you currently keep call center costs down?

Some of these strategies will sound familiar:

  • reduce talk time
  • implement live chat to spread demand
  • hire more staff
  • invest in training

While these are effective tactics, most represent additional spending. And many ignore the root problem, why did the person have to call in the first place?

Let’s ask that question; why do people call in the first place?

People call because they need answers. Let’s take a banking example. A bank sends out information on loan restructuring. The customer is busy with deadlines, school drop-offs, meetings and more. She doesn’t have time to learn banking jargon. The letter references lots of jargon (APR, APY) and several legalistic terms. She picks up the phone to your support term to clarify the offer.

And, she’s also not the only one. Hundreds of customers received the same letter. All looking for similar clarifications.

How can Plain Language help?

Communicating in plain language results in less customer confusion. This leads to fewer questions, and a reduced workload for your call center.

What results can you expect?

Jack Nelson, former Executive Vice President of Operations for CVS Caremark says fixing upstream issues results in a 10-30% drop in call center demand. One of these is clear customer communication (more on this here).

We worked with a large insurance provider on just 11 correspondence letters, leading to:

  • Reduced Call Centre traffic by 19%,
  • Reduced re-submissions by 23% and,
  • $325k annualized savings for that cost center.

Are there additional benefits?

Outside of savings to your cost center, you can expect improved customer and employee experience (CX and EX).

In a tight labor market, it’s never been more important to hold on to your talented employees. A lower volume of calls means more time for your employees to focus on delivering exceptional service. It also means that the calls that do come in will be less repetitive, more interesting and impact positively on staff morale. The result is more satisfied staff, as well as delighted customers. The CX holy grail.

What role can technology play in creating clearer communications?

Here’s the reality. Non-writers often write these letters or update notices. Think of your legal, product, support, operations, finance and other teams.

Technology can really help here. The best solutions provide two vital elements:

  1. An easy way or individual writers to score for readable, accessible content
  2. Dashboards to show content clarity across all teams and channels

When it comes to the first point, choose a solution that flags:

  • Complex words,
  • Long, run-on sentences,
  • Passive voice,
  • Grade level required to read the text, and
  • Industry jargon and non-compliant language.

And, you should measure the impact of this.

So, you need dashboards that show quality improvement using the data gathered from your writers. These dashboards should answer key questions like ‘is all our content written in plain English?’ ‘which departments are scoring for plain language?’ ‘are we improving, and by how much?’.

Plain language technology is here to help. It’ll drive better customer experience and deliver measurable results to your bottom line!