How to Improve Call Center Customer Service and Metrics
In 2020, the sudden surge in digital visitors and changes in digital behaviors forced many brands to re-evaluate their call center and contact center strategies. Many companies started looking at how to improve call center customer service and metrics, especially given that there were fewer in-person options available due to the pandemic.
Call Centers vs. Contact Centers
While you can read about the difference between call and contact centers in our blog, it might be helpful to think of contact centers as the evolution of call centers.
Many of today’s call centers are in fact contact centers, since more agents than ever before are engaging in omnichannel communication experiences over the phone, chat boxes, SMS, email, social media, and elsewhere.
While call centers and phone calls will always be a part of the customer journey for many brands, the omnichannel experiences offered by contact centers can boost agent productivity and help to improve call center customer service and metrics.
In general, call centers need to find ways to 1) reduce the number of inbound calls 2) keep metrics such as average handle time, average after-call time, and abandonment rate low 3) and keep metrics such as first call resolution rate high. Learn more about call and contact center analytics here.
Tips for how to improve call center customer service and metrics
People reach out to call centers or contact centers when they are bumping into friction accomplishing more complex tasks like rescheduling flights, creating an online retail banking account, changing a subscription, or retrieving a lost password. This means that many customers are already frustrated when they reach out to the call center.
To keep customers happy, contact centers and call centers should aim to reduce resolution time and escalations, which in turn increases customer satisfaction. The sooner the problem is solved, the happier the customer. And today’s customers would rather accomplish as much as possible using websites or mobile apps, not by calling over the phone.
But to enable call center and contact center teams, organizations need to equip their agents and users with the proper tools and training. Here’s a look at 12 tips for how to improve call center customer service and metrics.
- Use real-time metrics. Call center and contact center agents need to understand what’s happening on a company’s website, especially when customers reach out about a problem that is impacting large user segments. Seeing metrics such as conversion rates and bounce rates can help agents understand what’s occurring across the board with the company’s website, mobile app, kiosks, or other channels.
- Add features like pop-up chat windows. If people are experiencing friction on your website, or if people are failing to convert in a workflow, platforms like Quantum Metric can detect frustration, activate a live chat, and open a case. Triggering a chat window to resolve the issues puts agents in touch right away with customers, which can reduce call center volume. This is especially important for industries like financial services and retail banking, where one click can be worth thousands of dollars.
- Quantify customer feedback for continuous improvement. IT, product, and UX teams need to get insights from the call center or contact center ASAP, especially if multiple customers are experiencing the same problem. Quantum Metric, for instance, enables teams to rapidly prioritize each backlog item, as well as enhance digital customer experiences based on real-time and quantitative customer insights.
- Watch user session replays. If a user is experiencing a problem, call and contact center agents can use session replay tools to understand what the customer experienced, including glitches, technical errors, confusing copy, and clumsy designs. With Quantum Metric, organizations can access the “See more like this” feature and discover how one type of error is impacting larger user segments.
- Identify and prioritize low hanging fruit. Call center and contact center agents are busy, which means that they want to spend their time working on complex situations, such as a lost package (in retail) or a home mortgage application (in banking). Quantum Metric can help teams identify conversion-blocking elements on the websites. The platform can also help to surface UX opportunities, technical errors, and other performance deficiencies that may be causing users to phone into the call center or send unnecessary emails.
- Pinpoint problems with anomaly detection and quantification. Anomaly detection technology can alert call and contact center agents about a potential problem on the website before it impacts more users, such as a surge in shopping cart abandonment rate. By being able to identify the problem before it negatively affects more customers, call centers and contact centers can alert IT, product, and engineering of the problem.
- Drive digital self-service. Many customers reach out to call or contact center agents because they can’t easily find information on a website, not because they are experiencing a problem. Making websites searchable or adding user-friendly resource guides (including blog posts) make it much easier for users to find the information that they need.
- Focus on simplifying workflows. It’s important to reduce unnecessary steps in forms, which can lead to unnecessary errors. If there is a problem, however, customers should be able to get in touch with the right agent sooner rather than later. Optimizing the UX is key for driving conversions.
- Set clear objectives for metrics. Each call center and contact center metric should be tied to business decisions and measure things like revenue, costs, and conversion rates.
- Revise and adapt call center scripts. For agents on the phone, companies should identify calls that lead to shorter resolution times and share those insights across the organization to drive conversion rates.
- Incorporate cross-channel analytics in your strategy. Understanding how customers interact with different channels is crucial to generating behavioral insights. A problem with the mobile app, for instance, might not impact the website, and vice versa. On the other hand, customer segments interact with channels differently. Boomers are more interested in calling in to address a problem, whereas Gen Z customers prefer to address problems on their mobile devices.
- Breakdown data silos. For years, many call centers were outsourced to third-party vendors, which led to misalignment between the company and call center agents. With platforms like Quantum Metric, call center departments can access the same customer data as teams such as engineering, product, marketing, and customer success.
With so many inbound requests–including customer queries, complaints, and support questions–maintaining customer relationships has never been more challenging. By equipping call center and contact center agents with tools such as Quantum Metric, however, companies can help customers address problems and pain points faster.
A positive interaction over the phone, SMS, social media, or chatbot helps agents cultivate brand loyalty, whereas a misstep can prompt customers to leave your brand behind for another.
Learn more about how to improve contact center outcomes with Quantum Metric’s Salesforce Service Cloud Integration.