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Queue time is one of the many metrics contact centre mangers optimize their staffing models around. Simply put, this metric measures the time the average customers spends waiting in queue for an employee to answer his query. This simple metric has many names within the multi-lingual contact centre industry; average wait time, average speed to answer and many more.
For a long time ACD stats used to be the only way to acquire reliable metrics, the contact centre industry simply had no other choice. Those stats and the metrics they produced used to be our only “compass” when it came to reading efficiency and effectives of customer service.
But as the customer service landscape is changing, so are the metrics, and new possibilities arise and take the scene by storm.
“Net Promoter Score” and “Customer Effort Score” are nothing new for leading brands and many business managers. Those two metrics are designed to measure customer lifetime value, focusing on long term values instead of short term cost optimization only.
The best part about introducing and implementing new metrics is the opportunity to correlate them against the old ones.
Are we optimizing towards the wrong metrics?
Customers can be perfectly happy and pleased with the customer experience even if they had to wait 15 minutes or more in queue, what matters is the outcome and the customer journey up until the very end.
But as with all metrics, there are flaws. Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score take a huge negative impact from just transferring a call to another agent – this kills the scores almost instantly.
So you can only imagine what happens when a customer query needs to be transferred to multiple agents.
Instead of the “out with the old, in with the new” approach, the contact centre industry needs to embrace the best of both worlds, instead of “hopping on a bandwagon” once again.
The multichannel approach despite its many upsides and customer centric features has left the contact centre industry in a mess, and managers and supervisors are in dire need of a solution that will help them streamline the management process – its name is workload management.
It provides the right facilities, at the right time while managing the workload but is not a work-flow driver, just a smart overlay that unifies and solidifies all the channels that are used by customer service to create the customer journey.
Having your work-flow systems like BPM and CRM unified with all communications channels (social media, email, fax, web forms and forums and many more) is a great asset it today customer service industry.
Aligning all the crucial parts of your business has never been easier!
Rostrvm Solutions’ latest survey of contact centres has found the culprit responsible for slow down within the industry – the “war” rages on, and staff productivity is the first to fall as contact centre employees fight a battle of attrition against the overwhelming forces of obsolete back-office management.
- 70% of call centres rely on back office teams to complete customer transactions
- Over 40% of back office activity isn’t measured
- 2 out of 3 call centres use 3 or more applications at the agent desktop
The report is available HERE
When operating a multi-lingual contact centre, customer service costs can add up fast, and over a short period of time they will quickly add up to A LOT.
If you are looking to improve your business’s bottom line, or provide better customer service, you need to implement these methods to reduce customer service costs without sacrificing the support part, and still providing exceptional customer experience.
Re-Evaluate your equipment, it could be costing you more money than you think. For example, automating your contact centre’s telephone system for the less used customer service functions could potentially save time and reduce cost on payroll and training. Cloud based technology, can also centralize your whole contact centre into one consolidated customer service center.
- Phone System: Find an appropriate calling system that will streamline the process. An automated attendant or system that reroutes calls to correct contact centre agents quickly can be a life saver, especially during customer service peaks
- Software: Is your CRM software integrated with your calling and scheduling systems? If not, make it your top priority.
- Storage: Most on site systems can be moved onto the cloud, especially if they take up valuble space and resources. Evaluate if doing so will help you save on utilities costs.
It’s not only about the technology, it’s about the people. Your contact centre is as strong as its core employees – the frontline grunts, contact centre agents.
Make sure that your teams can handle multiple communication channels, be it email, phone call, live web chat or social media. Assigning two people per campaign to each communication channel might seem a reasonable choice, but in the end it might cost you more.
Remember about attrition and turn-over rates, which despite the efforts of contact centre managers still plague the industry to this day. Train each representative, they need to provide exceptional customer service on each communication channel – versatility is essential.
Also in case of returning customers, if the same agent handles the quarry throughout all communication channels, it adds a new depth of personalization thus creating a compelling experience for the customer resulting in increased customer satisfaction.
Cutting customer service costs, is not about blindly “swingin’ the ole axe” and reducing budgets, it’s about making your business more efficient.
Upgrading software as well as hardware will lead to increase in employee efficiency, while embracing the multi-channel approach and centralizing all communication channels will lead to increase in customer satisfaction, both of which will in the long-term lead to better customer retention.
Evaluate budgets, look for ways to increase efficiency, and only then cut costs.