No one starts their day with the thought of spending 30 minutes to an hour on the phone, waiting to reach a support agent who can resolve their issues. However, the customer might not have such a haunting experience when the business they are reaching out to uses contact centre solutions. The line “let me put you on hold,” always leaves a negative impression on customers, who’re likely to feel helpless and undervalued on hearing this clichéd phrase.
This is especially true now when the world is hit by a pandemic, restricting us physically while also adding a mental strain. A Washington Post article reported that companies across the globe are struggling to accommodate calls while maintaining the health and safety of their employees. Some of them have resorted to establishing landing pages for frequently encountered issues, as well as policy revisions to avoid mundane conversations.
But are the firms really at fault or is the way we communicate just changing?
Perhaps it has something to do with today’s crisis? Let’s take a closer look at these pain points and figure out how to improve call centre metrics through big data and analytics.
We’ll also explore a couple of solutions that would complement your newly-learnt improvement strategies.
1. Measure your service level
Service level refers to the number of answered calls within an earmarked duration. In order to improve performance, you have to accurately calculate this metric for your organisation.
According to experts in the industry, 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds should be the standard to follow for all contact centres.
Here’s how it works: Let’s say your contact centre receives an overall volume of 100 calls per day. The 80% ceiling would require 80 calls to be attended to in 20 seconds.
Let’s assume your agents managed to tackle 65 of those calls within the time limit. The service level can then be found by dividing calls answered by the calls that were required to be answered, and taking the percentage out of that.
i.e., 65/80 * 100 = 81.25% service level
This KPI (key performance indicator) is quite important for agents and managers alike.
You could either measure it daily or weekly. Besides its role as a performance metric for agent evaluation, upper management can also keep track of managers’ work and the progress of different teams within the organisation.
Service level percentage is a good way to implement improvement strategies at the workplace. However, this won’t be enough on its own. You also need to establish a limited time frame to effectively compute service level, depending on your specific needs.
2. Enlist a cloud-hosted phone system
If you’re wondering how to actually bring up the performance of your business, you should definitely consider acquiring the latest cloud technology. You’ve probably encountered quite a few confusing VoIP terms while browsing for tools, but a powerful innovation you can definitely rely on is the cloud-hosted phone system.
Designed to be versatile and tailored to your business demands, a cloud-hosted phone system enables you to run virtual contact centres anywhere via the Internet. It drastically cuts costs and offers increased flexibility in your communication channels.
Moreover, the cloud can provide you with an appealing virtual number, which you can use to promote your business and give customers an easy (and free) way to stay in touch with you at all times.
Apart from improving the service level of contact centres, hosted cloud phones also guarantee call continuity with minimal downtime. You can even document queries within the call history, and enable alerts and voicemails so that you never miss a caller. These solutions also come with an online portal that acts as a gateway to personalise your phone system.
Here are a few call centre features to consider for enriching your business communications. The cloud is packed with benefits that can help you implement call centre improvement strategies.
3. Allot resources for call centre improvement strategies
Sure, you might already have ideas on how to improve your kiosk’s performance, but how can these ideas come to fruition if you’re not willing to spend time or money on them?
Time is easy. You just have to allot time for evaluating your organisation’s overall performance and devote daily efforts to improve call metrics. It all boils down to how you utilise the hours of each workday, but we’re hoping you use them well enough to appraise and enhance your service level.
As for finances, you need to set aside some budget for courses and training that can empower your team to develop the qualities necessary in successful support agents. Additionally, you can enlist a call centre software that can help boost your service level.
Investing in the latter isn’t very expensive. There are basic pricing packages that begin with £4.99 per user per month, which isn’t a hefty price if you want your strategies to bear fruit.
If your contact centre is bigger and more complex, you can also subscribe to upgraded packages with more benefits that can address your particular requirements.
4. Track your activity and results
Call centres operate with a popular phrase “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” To fully improve your services, you need to keep an eye on KPIs for all the agents and their projects.
Furthermore, you need to use these metrics thoroughly and regularly—be it every hour, week or month—to maintain top-notch performance levels, give customers the best experience, and maintain meaningful relationships with them.
Once you’ve grasped how to improve service levels in your centre, it’s time to turn towards other metrics such as efficiency indicators, call abandonment rates, quality indicators, media ROI determinants, and sales and customer service indicators.
Although you may have robust strategies for your support services in place already, don’t forget to read the reports and analyse the data you’re presented with. This could make or break your operations and can purposefully indicate if you’re soaring up or heading downwards.
Monitoring your performance on various aspects will solidify your plans for improving call centre metrics. However, don’t forget to enlist time, effort, and technology on your side as well.
It’s important to modernise your contact centre practices in order to become more efficient and ultimately, give your patrons the best customer service that they deserve.
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