These days, every company needs to compete on customer experience.
Despite a sometimes poor reputation, call centers have long been (and continue to be) an essential part of this equation.
Operating a truly effective call center requires a thorough understanding of the customer journey — from start to finish. This means analyzing the numerous touchpoints consumers have with your brand, and these often exist across many channels. It’s essential to maximize your engagement at each one.
Cloud-based call center software has become a non-negotiable tool for companies looking to maintain an excellent customer experience, while also lowering the costs of managing multiple technologies. Implementing these types of platforms inevitably boosts the productivity of sales and support agents.
Use these three cloud-based call center best practices to create more impactful results for your business.
1) Strike the right balance between technology and the human voice
Innovative technology can lead to increased productivity and operational efficiency. However, when deciding which communication channels to use in your cloud-based call center, you need to consider these factors:
- Your brand
- Your product
- The type of experience your clients expect
Ask yourself: Are your customers tech-savvy? Are your customers talking on chat, solving their own issues with links to reference materials? Do they prefer texting to phone calls? Would a screen sharing tool make sense?
For example, communication channels, like chatbots and automated systems, sometimes lack the human element that eases frustration when resolving urgent issues. However, using this type of omnichannel strategy helps cut down on minor customer service queries.
These types of systems are crucial if a lot of your support tickets are quick fixes, like password issues or finding readily available information. By enabling bots, you can weed out recurring questions and build a better experience for your customers, so they don’t need to wait for an agent to get answers.
That said, these systems are not always perfect. If you send customers a handful of articles that don’t solve their issue, they will likely become frustrated and give up on any path to self-resolution. Consider automated options when coordinating your tech stack, but always have an option for person-to-person interactions.
But even with all these various tools, nothing beats the option to talk to a human when you’re frustrated or need help fast. Cloud-based phone systems leverage technology to enhance the human component of the customer service experience and make it easy for call agents to interact in the customer’s preferred way.
Phone systems and other communication platforms that integrate with CRMs, help desks, and other marketing software make it possible for call agents to provide a better experience because they can see comprehensive information about customers, directly on the screen in front of them. This saves time, keeps your business organized, and prevents the customer from having to give their entire “backstory” with every interaction.
2) Prioritize call center agent performance
The success of your call center operation depends on how agents interact with customers. In order to ensure call center agents perform to their maximum potential, it is important for companies to prioritize evaluating and improving workflows. This should include:
- Regular training with a focus on the customer experience
- Establishing KPIs so you can set benchmarks for call center agent performance
- Leveraging analytics to measure those KPIs
- Creating a centralized knowledge base that’s accessible during calls
While agent performance is at the heart of a good customer experience, how you process a phone call and set up a “call journey” can influence your customers’ moods by the time they speak to an agent.
Are they on hold for a long period of time? How complex is your welcome message/interactive voice response (IVR)? Is your workflow too difficult to get help? What can you do to make the experience better?
Configuring your cloud-based phone software to automatically analyze call results and reveal trends will help you train your agents and measure performance. Training, script analysis, and situational role-play exercises are critical when ramping up your team. In addition, you’ll want to track SLAs and CSAT surveys for each interaction. Work with your agents each week/month on call reviews to make sure your operation is as streamlined as possible.
3) Leverage distributed teams
Call centers have traditionally been set up using a geographically distributed model to allow for 24/7 coverage. The recent shift to remote work setups allowed cloud call centers to remain operational without missing a beat. As COVID has taught us, remote and distributed teams allow for greater flexibility in scheduling and location — especially when it comes to meeting customer’s needs on a global scale. Using distributed teams gives companies the benefit of being able to scale call center operations up or down depending on demand. You’ll also be able to better manage seasonal ebbs and flows in ticket volume.
Today’s customers rightfully expect to speak with qualified representatives who can help them as quickly as possible. A cloud-based call center — with the right omnichannel experience and the right amount of automation — will help you create the great customer experience you need to stay competitive. Integrating your call center solution with all of your tools is critical in today’s service or sales environments. It streamlines your processes, creates an enviable customer experience, and shortens time-to-resolution.