Working in customer service has always been challenging, especially when your job is to answer calls all day. Unlike in a physical store, you can’t hide, you can’t look busy, and you can’t stop getting bombarded with the same questions. No wonder turnover is very high in call centers. However, the problem is not just the nature of the job.
Agent satisfaction is at the bottom of a call center’s priorities. Managers are preoccupied with juggling service delivery with staffing costs. They can hire more employees to reduce wait time, but increasing labor costs outweigh profits. But then again, if they cut back on call center costs, it increases wait time and decreases customer satisfaction.
The Inevitable Outcome
As a result, agents are stuck in monotonous, repetitive roles. According to ICMI, 74% of customer service leaders admit that they don’t empower their agents to deliver customer service with the right tools. Additionally, the repercussions of the COVID pandemic have led to higher call volumes and workforce shortages.
The Quality Assurance and Training Connection reported that 31% of survey respondents lost more employees after transitioning to work from home. Young workers are joining the gig economy, which offers less stressful and flexible jobs.
As an operations manager, you might ask:
Why should I invest in a workforce that will only stick around for a short time?
Because 89% of companies with leading customer experiences have better financial performance over competing brands.
Contact center automation can address all these problems and help agents, managers, and operations work more efficiently without substantial upfront costs.
How Do I Implement the Right Call Center Automation Strategy?
While it looks exciting on paper, call center automation is more nuanced than installing out-of-the-box software. The type of solution you choose will significantly impact your inbound and outbound operations.
Here are essential considerations for your call center automation decision process:
- Best-in-Breed vs. Best-in-Class
Best-in-breed solutions solve a specific problem. Best-in-class are a suite of solutions or all-in-one platforms.
Evaluate your business requirements and assess your automation experience. It’s more practical to procure technology and build your toolset as you grow. Employees and workflow processes need time to transition.
- Customer Feedback
People still prefer human interaction when it comes to customer service, especially when it comes to critical issues. For example, checking an account balance doesn’t need agent assistance, but a bounced check would warrant an explanation. Call centers need to consider which processes they should and should not automate.
- Process Optimization
Purchasing decisions regarding technology are thankfully not limited to IT staff anymore. Ideally, technology adoption by end-users is as vital as the buy-in from senior management. However, the reality is that the further up the ladder you go, the more the focus is placed on cost-efficiency.
You should focus your contact center automation on processes that enable agents and team leaders to do their job efficiently:
- Workflows – simplify calling operations such as predictive dialing.
- Interactions – facilitate smoother customer interactions such as inbound routing.
- Forecasting – automate data-gathering such as analytics.
What Are the Call Center Automation Solutions That I Should Convince My CEO To Approve?
Call center automation sounds intimidating, especially if you’re migrating from on-premise systems. The good news is that cloud-based solutions are low-cost and scalable. Some vendors also offer pay-per-usage, perfect for small businesses starting their journey in automation.
- Cloud-Based PBX
A cloud-based PBX automates all the necessary processes you need to deliver a modern contact center experience. Managers can fine-tune inbound and outbound operations to establish an efficient call center. Capabilities include lead-agent matching, queue management, and real-time monitoring. The right tools and processes are in place to harness your agents’ skills.
- Softphone – A software version of a business phone allows your agents to dial and receive calls anywhere with an internet connection.
- DID Numbers – Expand your local presence using a virtual number to help increase the answer rate.
- VPN Gateway – Go incognito across multiple countries and devices.
- CRM Integrations – An integration provides context for sales and customer support.
You can configure IVR in numerous ways to create a customized call flow. Route inbound calls to the proper agent or team, deliver basic information and make general announcements. Routing inbound calls allows agents to focus on tasks that require troubleshooting.
- Predictive Dialer
Every sales agent knows that the only way they can meet their quota is if they can connect with as many leads as possible. Predictive dialing, along with CRM integration, makes prospecting easier. Predictive dialers don’t guarantee conversions, but they ensure that agents focus on qualifying leads and selling.
Generating high-quality leads remains one of the biggest challenges. The COVID pandemic has limited in-person networking. Companies can buy a lead list, but it can be risky and costly. Call centers can validate these mobile phone numbers using CommPeak’s LookUp to remove fraudulent and dead-end leads.
Customer service has a significant impact on a company’s reputation. Some agents overpromise, transfer irate callers to another department, or give fake reference numbers to meet KPIs. Converting speech to text makes checking call recordings for consistency and compliance easier.
- SMS Marketing
According to SMS comparison, the CTR (click-through rate) of offers via SMS is 9.18% higher than any other digital channel. Managers can use SMS marketing to generate more qualified leads for their sales agents. They can also use TextPeak to customize and analyze SMS campaigns.
Seventy-Five Percent of Contact Centers Are Now Cloud-Based. Don’t Get Left Behind!
Increase agent productivity and customer engagement with cost-efficient, scalable, and user-friendly cloud-based solutions. Say goodbye to bulky on-premise communications systems. Upgrade your operations without expensive IT infrastructure. Start your contact center automation with CommPeak.
Sign-up for a free trial or contact us.