Call centers play an important part in customer service teams. At Cirion, we believe a contact center has functions that go beyond answering the phone, responding to emails or chats, holding videoconferences, or developing service bots. They must be strategically related to the customer experience (combined with the Customer Journey) and perfectly orchestrated.
Over the years, consumers have been accessing different channels to provide reviews, compare products and get in touch with companies and their customer service teams, whether through print media, physical stores or, more recently (and accentuated by the 2019-2022 pandemic), websites and apps. However, when it comes to services or “the last resort available to gain or regain a customer’s loyalty”, the only channel that hasn’t lost popularity or relevance is the telephone.
This is not to say that a multichannel customer service with an ominichannel strategy isn’t important (more on this later), but I underscore the importance of call centers for complex services (ex.: collections and sales), critical moments (emergencies and urgencies), and customer retention (customers dissatisfied with a bad service or product).
A voice tool tends to make customer support more satisfactory, providing the user with a customized, dynamic, and inclusive service. Voice services also offer a more humanized and empathetic experience by allowing real-time reactions and the possibility to analyze and make exceptions, improving the quality of customer responses and solutions.
Call centers are a critical component of customer service teams and their performance can be routinely analyzed. Therefore, customer service managers must monitor their teams’ efficiency closely and seek the necessary information to improve customer experience.
The most common KPIs for this type of channel are:
- First-call resolution,
- Customer satisfaction,
- Average handle time,
- Service level,
- Abandonment rate
- Availability for calls, and
- Contact quality.
Today, according to statistics from the world’s leading consultancies, 45% to 55% consider that the telephone is still the most used channel in call centers, followed by chat, email, social networks, and video, in that order. Specifically, in Latin America we are closer to 55% and there is naturally some variation according to age. However, when things get complicated or become urgent, no matter through which channel the conversation started, we always end up on the phone and asking to speak to an attendant.
That said, if your company offers an omnichannel service, the call center will be part of that strategy and you’ll know for sure that the customer will be well cared for, regardless of the channel they choose or if other digital channels fail or aren’t enough to meet the user’s expectations.
In general, you just have to apply telephony and call center best practices: keep employees motivated (“gamification” can be an excellent tool) and trained to provide the customer with the best support and the highest level of customized information, with cordiality and availability. Training and feedback, from both the staff and the customer, help maintain service excellence.
Technology reaches the cloud
Since “democratization”, which implied taking Contact Center systems to the cloud, everything has become more accessible, agile and cost-effective. In times of innovation, companies are recommended to invest in good technologies to improve and ensure maximum employee productivity, as employees’ wages represent 65% to 75% of a call center’s cost. In this sense, nothing will be as profitable as a tool that reduces conversation time, improves FCR (First contact resolution), or reduces the abandonment rate, thus obtaining increased productivity per employee.
A complete ecosystem, such as Cirion Technologies’ Cloud Contact Center platform, guarantees “end-to-end” the Total Experience project proposed for your business.
Voice and Collaboration Product Specialist