Nine call center initiatives to consider
Read how top call center initiatives can boost team morale and foster a sense of achievement among your call center agents, improve call center effici...
The Team at CallMiner
May 17, 2018
A significant goal for your call center is how to improve first call resolution (FCR) rates and reduce call-backs from customers. First call resolution is arguably one of the most important key performance indicators (KPI’s) because it shows how effective your agents are during conversations with customers. It also measures how satisfied customers are with the service they received. When you can solve a customer’s problem on the first call, they are likely to become a loyal and repeat customer to your business.
Research shows that 30% of the average contact center’s calls are repeat calls for an issue that wasn’t resolved the first time. When time is spent re-handling calls, your overall efficiency and productivity decrease which impacts your overall customer satisfaction rates. The reason for low first call resolution rates varies among call centers, but a common trend is that agents are not properly equipped with the right language to uncover the root cause of the call. So how can you boost call center efficiency and productivity, and not only reduce customer call-backs, but also increase customer satisfaction?
1. On the Call
Some businesses utilize scripts for their call center agents. Scripts are a valuable tool because they outline what an agent should be saying to customers, but they are sometimes too rigid to see the benefits.
Make sure your agents have training on asking open-ended questions that require more than a one-word response. Questions should begin with words like What, When, and Why and avoid words like Do and Did. Agents should also set expectations during their conversations by keeping the customer informed of what they are doing to solve the problem and how long it will take to fix. Lastly, agents should confirm customers are satisfied with the outcome of the call and make sure they don’t have any additional questions or needs before finalizing it.
2. Review Existing Data
If you currently struggle with a high number of callbacks and you track call data, set aside time to review and analyze. What are the main reasons for call-backs? Are there specific trends in regards to product or service type, sales agent, or type of business? When you identify common trends, you can create a better solution to minimize future calls for the same reason.
3. Implement Speech Analytics
Speech analytics lets you identify keywords you want to be notified of or search for in conversations. Phrases such as, “last time I called,” “I called yesterday,” or “the last agent,” tell you that a customer has already called recently and possibly about the same issue. When these words are used in conversations, call center speech analytics software flags them, making it easy for you to find and review the call in detail.
4. Create a Knowledge Center
A knowledge center is a central location either in the cloud or your server where agents can search for, access, and add policies and procedures. Training for call center agents isn’t a one-time activity, at least it shouldn’t be. When agents undergo continuous training or have access to a hub of information like a knowledge center, they have a better chance of resolving customer problems on the first call.
A knowledge center gives agents a way to self-train and teach other agents on the team. The easier it is for them to access this information, the less stress they will feel, allowing them to help customers properly instead of rushing them off the phone before an issue is resolved.
5. Utilize an IVR system
Interactive voice response (IVR) is an automated telephone system that guides callers to the appropriate representative. It uses a series of questions about the reason for their call before connecting them to an agent. When used appropriately, the system assures callers that want to discuss billing reach the billing department and those that want to return a product reach the returns department.
The key to an effective IVR is to ask the right questions and keep it simple, so callers don’t get frustrated with the process. It is also important to review your IVR every few months to make sure it works properly. Speech analytics can also be used to uncover additional routing criteria based on trends and root cause analysis.
6. Monitor Call Outcomes
Tracking call outcomes or call disposition is another way to better understand customer call-backs. Tag customer conversations in your contact center with descriptions of how the call ended. If you use interaction analytics software, you can automatically tag outcomes such as satisfied, resolved, need to call back, unhappy customer, or unresolved, depending on your business and call types.
Tracking first call resolution rates gives you an up-close look at how well your contact center is performing. If you are struggling with improving it, give these six tactics a try. Many businesses find success when they utilize full-service customer interactions analytics software. This software automatically converts customer conversations into a searchable database that can be used to identify root cause of the call and the right language to use to resolve issues on the first interaction.
Learn more about identifying root cause, reducing call back and improving first call resolution in our webinar replays.
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