When we speak of customer care and the whole call center business, we usually have a clear cut image of what the customer care reps are expected to do. They are expected to communicate with customers and come to their rescue as and when they are needed to. But the question remains, is it really all that simple? Let’s give you a detailed tour of all that the customer care business entails. A huge team of agents working together towards the same goal, a wide customer base – with issues and problems both common and unheard of, the elaborate process of obtaining the best call center software for small business and the Herculean task of managing operations: that is what call center business is all about.
There are so many things that could go wrong, and you can’t even blame anyone for it! Your agents may not be performing up to the mark, or your software could be malfunctioning, or your customers aren’t getting what they require. Each of these is a major obstacle in your path to success – and it is up to you how to deal with it.
Sometimes, even getting your hands on the best call center software wouldn’t be enough if you didn’t have a strong and efficient team of agents working on it. Similarly, none of this would work if you weren’t making the most of it to fulfil your customer’s expectations. Yes, the harsh truth is customers come to you with unrealistic expectations and expect you to meet them.
So do you just wash your hands off the matter? Or do you strive to succeed and do the best you possibly can? Of course, the latter! You have already invested in the latest and most modernised call center management software. Now it would be time to actually put your resources to use. When it comes to customer care and call centers, there are two prime aspects that must be taken into account.
Customer satisfaction and agent efficiency. Both are directly related to the kind of software technology you use. If you are using the best software in the market, that automatically enhances your agent productivity and also impacts the customer satisfaction levels. In the article below, we show you how to make judicious use of your software technology.
1. The key to customer satisfaction is running a business that is transparent and open. Do not try to hide from your customers; instead, keep them in the loop about all that you do. Maintaining open lines of communication will help you in the long run and if using a top-of-the-line call center software solutions not only helps you to maintain customer history but also to easily refer to it during subsequent conversations.
2. Efficient call center software solutions would enable you to deliver consistent performances. A consistency in the kind of services you provide would always help you score brownie points with customers. If you manage to deliver an excellent performance at one point, but at another point, you disappoint customers with subpar performance, that puts a black mark on your solutions.
3. It is important to train your employees to handle customers. In your team, you would be having certain employees who have been entrusted with the task of communicating with customers directly. These employees need to be trained to perform the task to the best of their capability. They also need to be trained to handle the software in question.
4. Customers yearn for a personalised experience. No customer wants to be taken for granted. They want to be treated in a way that makes them feel special and wanted. The best cloud call center software solutions would enable you to provide a customised experience for each individual customer. That is sure to set your customer satisfaction levels soaring.
5. The best versions of call center software would allow you to analyse and study customer emotions and feelings. What is going through your customer’s mind when you’re speaking to them? This is something you need to take into account. The kind of software you use should be able to pick up little hints from the voices of the customers and analyse it accordingly.
6. Pay due importance to customer feedback. When you ask your customers for feedback, it is taken for granted that you would be acting on it. Don’t let your customers down. If you’re receiving negative feedback from your customers, then there has to be a reason for it. You need to take that into account and start working on it immediately.
7. Don’t ignore the point of view of the customer. If we are talking of customer satisfaction levels, then the point of view of the customer is of the utmost importance. Listen to them. Communicate with them. Hear what they have to say. And finally work on it. if your customers are complaining, then you’re at fault. If your customers are singing your praises, it means you’re doing something right!
8. Your customer service team should be balanced properly. A team that works on the principles of loyalty, team effort and collaboration always leads the way. Unless you have perfect harmony within the team, you’re not going to help customers any time soon. This is something you need to keep in mind.
9. Take into account the entire customer experience. Do not just focus your attention on one aspect of customer experience like the call. Everything needs to be taken into consideration. The agents’ behaviour, the holding time, the solutions provided, the time taken to wrap up the call – these are equally important.
10. Employees are of the utmost importance when it comes to customer experience. After all, the customer care reps are the ones who would actually speak to your customers or handle the software technology. Hiring top notch agents would work to your advantage. Thus recruitment of talent is one sphere in which you mustn’t compromise.
11. To increase agent productivity, you must have clear cut processes for providing the common solutions. Your agents shouldn’t be confused as to the next step when the moment of truth arrives. They should know exactly what to do and how to do it. That would reduce the time spent on one customer and would enable the agents to complete more work in lesser periods of time.
12. Encourage your agents to take part in improvement training. Every day, new inventions are cropping up in the field of call centers. Brand new software and technology are taking the market by storm. Your agents need to stay up to date with that. They need to be trained adequately so as to provide customers with the best possible solutions.
13. Skill based routing of calls is a technology that is rapidly garnering force across call centers. According to this call center software solutions, the calls of various customers are routed to agents based on their skills and expertise. That significantly reduces the number of call transfers and enhances the productivity of the agents as a whole.
14. Most of the call center software that you use allows you to record and monitor calls. When you’re choosing software, make sure you spend time making a thorough call center software comparison. That would help you make the right decision. You should be able to record all calls so that they can later be used for future reference. That also helps with training programs.
15. Inter agent chat is another technology that has proven to be really helpful. You need to encourage your agents to communicate with each other. Every individual has something to offer and your agents would benefit from such interaction as well.
16. The ratio of agents to supervisor should be appropriate. If you have too many agents under one supervisor, that reduces productivity levels because the supervisor wouldn’t be able to pay adequate attention to each individual customer. The number of agents assigned to each supervisor should be decided based on the supervisor’s seniority and experience.
17. Speak to your agents. Listen to them. Maintain open lines of communication with your agents. If you feel your agents are going wrong somewhere, correct them but also give them a chance to explain themselves. Don’t deny your agents a voice; remember, the call center business isn’t a one way street.
18. To improve the efficiency levels of your agents, you need to set targets for them. The targets could be weekly, monthly or even annually. In such cases, this serves as a kind of motivation for your agents. It gives them just the boost they need to pull up their socks and keep working hard. It also gives them an idea of what is expected of them and helps them to work towards it.
19. The best cloud contact center software comes with IVR technology. It recognises the needs of the customer and even matches the customer to the right agent based on it. That would not only increase the efficiency of your agent but would also improve the satisfaction rates of your customers. That way, your customers would be getting just what they need and your agents wouldn’t have to deal with more than they are capable of.
20. Your operation strategies should be flexible. The whole point of having a customer care business is to allow it to grow and expand in the future, isn’t it? That is why you need to keep the bigger picture in mind when it comes to devising strategies. The strategies you come up with need to be flexible and scalable so that they can adjust to your growing business needs.
21. At your call center, you must be using a number of performance metrics. These metrics would help you analyse the performance of your agents and would also enable you to work on them, if the need arises. If you haven’t updated them in a while, now would be the time to do so. You need to work on your performance metrics in such a manner that it gives you exactly what you need and works to your benefit.
22. Do not fail to take into account the agent desktop. If you don’t, it could result in a complicated working environment, take up all of your agent’s time, increase call handling time and even add to the frustration of the already furious customer. If the above mentioned scenarios are something you want to avoid, then you must make it a point to enhance the agent desktop.
23. Unified communications or UC is one of the leading trends in customer care at the point. Basically, this entails using one single interface to handle all customer problems. That means, you reduce the hassle of using multiple interfaces and you also automatically reduce waiting time. Answering the questions of customers and providing solutions becomes infinite times easier.
24. Take the help of external helpers. Sometimes, getting an objective point of view to analyse your operations comes in handy. The external helper could point out where you’re going wrong or where you need to improve.
25. Build healthy relationships with your agents and inculcate a sense of brotherhood amidst your agents. That builds a sense of team effort and enables your agents to function as part of a team and not individually. This has proven to be extremely helpful when it comes to call center operations.
26. You need to encourage looking up best practices. It might so happen that a particular agent at your call center could be using a practice that gets you fabulous results. In that case, the other agents and employees too should be following that example. That automatically increases the productivity levels of your call center.
27. Make sure you get your hands on the best possible software technology for your business. We understand that you’re bound by a budget and cannot exceed it. But this is one aspect you cannot compromise on. Remember, your entire operations revolve entirely around the kind of software you use. This, and the people in charge of handling the software at your call center would be determining your success as a whole.
The case study
Simply using the right call center software for your customer care isn’t enough. You will need to come up with effective ways of using it to your advantage. We know that simply going through these tips won’t be enough for you.
That is why we have provided you with a detailed case study which shows how call center software can revolutionise the entire operations at your business. The brand name of Casio must be familiar to most of you. One of the most popular brands in the world, Casio has a wide customer base that spreads across numerous countries.
It is thus very important to have a well developed customer care system that looks to every single need of individual customers. Why do you think customers flock to Casio? Is it simply because of their products? Of course, the quality of products is one of the major reasons. However, the quality of their service plays an even bigger role in scoring more customers than other companies in the same field.
• Casio receives over thousands of calls daily from a large number of customers on issues ranging from simple queries to grave problems.
• Casio is committed to providing complete support for quality and thus wanted call center solutions that allowed them to make that accessible.
• They wanted to equip the customer care reps with information on customers, product model, root cause and call solutions.
• However, the software technology they used previously came with a reporting problem that made it impossible to function efficiently and seamlessly.
• It also lacked an integrated knowledge based software. As mentioned above, Casio was looking for a software technology that would equip the customer care reps with all available information. However, the present software didn’t support that.
• Casio was thus looking for a call center software that would improve consistency of the services they’ve provided, put knowledge at their fingertips, train new agents in a quicker fashion and make online forums and FAQs easily accessible to both customers and agents.
• The only way to score brownie points with customers was to give them complete access to all information and maintain transparency.
• Casio wanted to automate the business processes that were paper based and wanted to maintain a smooth flow of information and solutions.
On defining the requirements of the company, Casio came up with four vendors for software. They analysed the software specifications and compared them as well. The parameters taken into account were cost, reporting, ease of handling, functionality, flexibility and so on and so forth. Based on that, Casio settled on the software which seemed to meet their requirements. Casio is now able to provide a detailed, more efficient and customised service to their customers. Not just the customers, even the agents are pleased with the solution that has been implemented and that has led to a marked increase in productivity levels.
Not just Casio, you too could benefit from the call center software you use. So what are you waiting for?