Thank you for calling. Please hold. This may be the single deadliest phrase muttered into phones in offices across America. Happy Customer Service for call centers can add some much-needed stress relief for busy, phone-reliant offices. Combine that tech advantage with some call floor strategy and you’ve got a recipe to avoid the customer-repelling phrase: “Sorry for the hold, how can I help you?”
Not convinced tragic customer interactions will scuttle your bottom line?
Forbes reports that customers switch brands and business relationships to the tune of 62 billion dollars each year – all due to a shortfall in “positive, emotional experiences that drive customer loyalty.” Wait, sorry, that was the old report. The latest one puts it at 75 billion dollars in lost revenue. Don’t join the herd! Read on to find ways to relieve your frazzled call floor and improve your outreach in both sales and service.
Make Better Use of Employees
The foundation of memorable and positive customer experiences is laid by every interaction a customer has at every stage of the journey. If they call with a sales question or have a service need, the guy or gal answering the line had better know their business.
When you’ve got dozens of employees, it may be tempting to simply assign a batch of them as the “service and sales” department. It can often seem like a necessity. However, the impact of someone answering who is a “jack of all trades – master of none” can come in the form of long calls, frustrating waits and panicked call agents scrambling for answers.
Try assigning roles to all of those agents – and divide calls accordingly. VoIP for call centers has advanced enough to let the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system tag and route incoming calls for Sales, Service, and any other roles you might invent: Retention, Promotions, etc.
That’s not the end of the role-assignment journey, however. Maintain these role assignments for several months – and then start a switch-and-shadow program. This will bring your call floor back to the ideal version of the “handle any call” setup many businesses initially implement. It will be important to keep all agents from all roles near one another to give answers and tips to each other as they learn and grow to master all of the calls you place and take.
Make Better Use of Outreach
Let’s fast-forward to six months from now. You’ve got your teams mastering each call role, but you’re still scrambling to catch up with prospects and outreach – and you definitely can’t afford to hire more agents.
This can quickly become the reality for loosely structured lead management. Integrating your call floor strategy with a customer relationship management (CRM) system creates several immediate wins – both for your agent’s time and your customers’ experience with your business:
- A CRM will track contact data, purchase timing, service call frequency and more.
- Integrating the CRM with your call center floor means they only place calls at the right time.
- Service requests which require outreach and multiple contacts can be quickly followed-up upon.
- Unnecessary, repeated outbound calls to the same customers can be avoided, reducing pointless work and eliminating frustrating customer experiences.
Overall, Happy Customer Service for call centers and offices of all sizes will benefit from properly managed call volumes and customer contact.
Improve Service without Lifting a Finger
More efficient contact isn’t the only solution for creating order and (amazing) interaction experiences. While a CRM will keep you in the know from a customer experience standpoint, a solid dashboard for reporting and analyzing overall contact data will take your insight and planning to a comfy, cozy place.
Remember how you couldn’t make a case for hiring? Well, if you have the data to back up your claims, the profitability of investing in a new agent (or 10) can’t be ignored.
VoIP like 4Voice delivers the business intelligence you’ll need to track critical data like:
- Inbound and outbound volumes – daily, weekly, monthly – you name it
- Call volumes for specific inbound numbers, useful in monitoring marketing campaigns
- Calls made by extension
- Detailed call records
- Optional call recording
- Agent and group performance: answers, abandons, service levels and more
- Any dashboard you can think of – you need the data, we’ve got it