For large organisations and companies, handling calls is a sizeable part of their budget and call centres are often scrutinised to find areas where savings can be realised.
A common strategy is to reduce staff, but this also usually has the unwelcome effect to lower the quality of the customer service you can provide. The trick is therefore to reduce telephone demand effectively so that you need fewer agents without compromising on service. Continue reading
Google are doing it. So are Deloitte, Cisco and Microsoft.
What is ‘it’? They use gamification to improve staff motivation and performance. We know that working in a contact centre can be demanding and that it is essential to keep your agents fresh. Gamifying in business is about using game principles to turn repetitive tasks into challenges with meaningful rewards. Doesn’t it sound like the ideal solution to galvanise your agents? Continue reading
As soon as a business starts having a significant number of customers getting in touch with them comes the question of how to prioritise those contacts. A perpetually engaged line will put off clients, as will having to wait an unreasonable amount of time for an agent to become available for your chat service or to answer emails. It becomes therefore essential to consider call routing quite early on. Continue reading
Contact centres are often perceived by businesses as ‘cost centres’, and they are often under pressure to be ever more ‘productive’ or, in other words, be less expensive to run. This is why Cloud technology has been met with such enthusiasm by call centres –and other industries– as it reduces set-up costs. However, savings are only one of the aspects in which the Cloud is beneficial, especially for small and medium businesses. Continue reading
In the first part, we reviewed some technologies that enable more productive contact centre services, like speech analytics, automatic call distributors and predictive diallers. We look at other clever applications that make a real difference in the day-to-day management of a call centre. Continue reading
Emails, phone calls, social media, Instant Messaging, chat and video chat: the communication channels customers use to contact companies are numerous, and so are the technologies accompanying them. Constantly changing, they can be hard to keep track of while running a busy operation. Continue reading
A decade or so ago was the scene of a great exodus, that of call centres being relocated off shore. Driven by the need to control costs, it provided companies with cheaper labour, although it was sometimes to the detriment of quality. However, there have recently been cases of high-profile corporations, such as British Telecoms, one of the biggest players in telephony in the UK, deciding to bring their contact centres home after customer complaints. Continue reading
Self-service AIs are becoming increasingly sophisticated and able to handle more complex queries. This is good news for customers and contact centres as the formers can access simple information without having to wait for an operator to be available, while the latters can re-allocate the freed-up agents to other parts of the contact centre that need human input. Continue reading
Delivering outstanding customer support in the digital age can be quite a challenge. Online services have led us to expect instantaneous resolution 24 hours a day, 7 days a week across a wide range of communication channels; our willingness to wait has greatly diminished and we still want to be able to talk to another human being when we need to. Continue reading