Ever had to wait for several minutes before a customer care representative finally answered the call? Or disappointed by the delayed response to an urgent email query? It must have been frustrating for sure. Whether a company manages its contact centers itself or plans to outsource email support services, it needs to make sure that high call volumes and emails are efficiently catered to improve customer experience which can lead to higher customer satisfaction.
Tips to Reduce Contact Center Call Volume
The bitter truth is that long waiting times tend to aggravate customers. No matter how soothing the waiting time music is or how well-operated the automated messages are, longer hold times can be damaging to an otherwise successful business. Not only customers, but employees who work at these call centers also feel challenged to cope with increased call volumes. The endless phone ringing, long call queues, impatient customers, and anxious staff members all together are enough to make employees feel overburdened and demotivated which increases the risk of errors.
How to deal with this issue then? Let’s have a look at these top tips to help better manage call volume at contact centers.
1: Identify the Factors Leading To Increased Calls
The first and foremost step to take is to determine what underlying factors are contributing to the increased call load. It is only smart for companies to get to the root cause of the issue before spending on expensive solutions. Once they are identified, they can take the necessary measures to divert the calls to other channels.
Numerous reasons could be contributing to increased call volumes that include:
- Confused customers who can’t figure out how to use the product or service,
- Unaware customers who don’t know about other contact channels to get support,
- Insufficient staff to answer customer issues
- Lack of proper training to deal with high call volumes
- Recurring issues in a product
To solve these issues beforehand, it is essential to analyze call data to identify common trends and queries of customers. There are two advantages of this; first, companies can try to resolve these issues internally to completely resolve the issue before the customer reports it, secondly, contact center personnel can be better trained to answer these questions appropriately so customers won’t have to call repeatedly with the same concerns.
2: Divert Traffic to Other Channels
Sometimes, customers are unaware of other mediums where they can communicate with the company, they simply lack trust in those mediums or they might be too scared of wasting their time on other channels. For companies to lower call volumes to contact centers, handle them appropriately, and reduce call abandonment rates, they need to provide customers with other options to connect with the company. The company must make the customers aware of all contact channels and prove their efficiency to them so customers don’t hesitate to adopt them when they need to reach out.
For instance, when a company sends an order confirmation email to a customer that email should ideally include a clear link that leads to the live chat option or if a customer visits the website, an automatic chatbot pop-up can compel customers to initiate a chat there, or the company can direct the caller to a FAQ page on the website to reduce call time. In simpler words, all efforts must be exerted to spread the customer query volume evenly over all available communication channels.
3: Appropriate Training & Omnichannel Support
Another win-win strategy is to drive customers to other channels as a method to reduce call loads. For this purpose, the contact center team needs to be adequately equipped and trained. If a business wishes to drive customers away from phone calls, they need to make it easy for them to reach out to other channels too. Companies must promise the customers an outstanding customer experience through all other channels, and advertise them to ensure a superior Omni channel experience.
Moreover, all communication channels need to be deeply integrated to provide a seamless customer experience. There is a need to ensure customers’ trust in other channels so they are comfortable in switching without any fear. Proper training of agents is mandatory along all communication mediums so that responses are synchronized and not scattered. This way call rates can be lowered by transferring the load to other channels.
4: Introduce Self-Service Features
Introducing accessible options such as FAQ sections on websites and instruction manuals, video tutorials, customer support documents, articles, customer support forums, and other such digital content can assist customers in reaching solutions on their own without the need to contact customer care centers. This can reduce call center load and the costs associated with it.
5: Provide Call-Back Option to Customers On-Hold
Call waiting times can be annoying for customers as they directly affect customer satisfaction. This can hurt business growth by having an impact on customer lifetime value and sales. Timely customer issue resolution is one of the top-most factors that leads to return sales and an improved customer image and reputation as the customer feels important. Offering a call-back option to customers so they don’t have to wait in long queues can turn out to be fruitful for companies as it gives customers increased authority over an otherwise stressful experience.
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