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.

We look at ways to achieve this balance.

1. Write simple letters

Complicated bills and standard letters are often a cause of confusion to customers, so make sure that the documents you send them are simple and clear so that they don’t have to call you for clarification.

2. Improve first-time resolution

First-time resolution rate is one of the most important Key Performance Indicators, and for good reasons. Being able to resolve a query first time means happy customers and agents free to help another customer quicker.

3. Provide online, automated communication channels

Self-service and automation are a sure way to reduce the number of calls. However, it is vital to get the balance right and ensure that getting to talk to a human being doesn’t involve navigating complex voice menus. Providing a customer area where people can amend their information themselves, ecommerce, the ability to pay invoices online, package tracking, FAQs etc… will reduce the need for customers to call you. And it really is a win-win situation as they greatly favour online services for everyday queries and tasks.

4. Encourage use of Apps

Don’t get us wrong, it’s not about commissioning any App. It has to be customer centric and genuinely make your customers’ life easier. If it is quicker for them to use an App than to call, they will.

5. Choose the right tools

To handle queries efficiently, agents will need access to resources during calls. However, too often, software to manage such information is programmed with processes in mind, not staff or customers. Finding what they need can take too long and reduce both the efficiency of staff and customer satisfaction.

Investing in technology that minimises the need to toggle screens and enables agents to navigate seamlessly between applications during calls is also invaluable.

If you are looking to outsource your contact centre services, contact CorporateConnect on 0800 230 000. We are the premier contact centre provider in New Zealand.