Proactive customer service is necessary in today’s world to keep the customers happy and satisfied. It has been seen that companies with a more proactive contact center are able to draw in more customers over time due to the benefits and advantages they offer. Customers expect businesses to be proactive and focused on understanding their needs and making the overall process easier and effortless for them.
However, in reality, there are some problems that a contact center may face, which hampers the efforts of being proactive.
Let’s take a look at some common problems that any call center can face:
1. Training the new agents is an important task for any call center or contact center to be proactive. However, quite often, we see that there are delays in training, which prevents the agents from interacting with the customers. Agents are often found waiting on IT to skill them.
2. There might be some problems or a natural disaster which leads to the cancellation of a team-building or training exercise which had been planned for months.
3. Training gets rescheduled due to large call volumes.
These are just some instances that any call center may face, and most of it is out of control. But they greatly affect the customer service and change of plans are often required to meet the customer demands.
These problems or issues faced by the contact center impacts both the agents as well as the customers.
The agents miss out on valuable training, coaching, and important team-building exercises. Besides, they also have to deal with the task of taking more calls due to the absence of colleagues and increased call volume. These factors burnout the agent’s productivity, resulting in delivering subpar customer service.
The customers also suffer due to this as they need to wait for a longer time and even then get a subpar experience with less knowledgeable and rushed agents. It can do the business a lot of harm if not dealt with in time.
There will always be some or other vulnerabilities that may affect the efficiency of a contact center. However, there are some methods that a contact center can implement to make them more proactive and deliver satisfactory results.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that can help a contact center become proactive:
1.Switching to a cloud-based platform:
Cloud-based solutions are the answer to most of the problems companies face today. There are several benefits for a contact center to switch to a cloud-based solution from a premise-based solution. The need for server maintenance is reduced greatly, which reduces the dependence on IT guys. Switching to a cloud-based solution reduces the waiting time where IT guys would update the agents and their skills or make updates to the IVR. Another major benefit that a cloud-based operation provides is easy access to the contact center data from anywhere. It allows agents to easily access the data and deliver solutions accordingly. Proactive contact centers use these metrics to optimize customer inquiry handling and understand the staffing needs to meet them. Doing this in an on-premise environment, where the data can be accessed only from the office or gated by IT, can become a real challenge and reduce efficiency. It is, therefore, a great move to shift to a cloud-based system due to the ease and convenience it offers.
2.Taking Workforce management seriously:
Workforce management is a great way to predict the staff required to handle the work in a call center or contact center. Workforce management helps you to understand the needs of customers and predict their demands. This helps in hiring and scheduling agents accordingly based on the forecasted customer interaction patterns. Proper workforce management helps the contact centers to deal with staffing and scheduling as per expected demands based on data. While building a schedule, it is important to consider historical data along with projected customer growth and anticipate future events. For proper workforce management, the breaks, training, other activities, where the agents work should also be considered and taken into account. Proper workforce management increases the productivity of agents as they work according to a planned schedule without being stressed too much. Efficient workforce management, therefore, makes the customers happy and satisfied as they receive more timely support from well-trained, prepared, more efficient, and less stressed agents. This enhances their overall customer experience as the call center becomes more proactive.
3.Allowing agents to work from home and other places:
Work from home programs are gaining a lot of popularity these days. However, there remain some stigmas about people working from home, especially in the call center circle. There remain questions about whether they will work properly or things like that. This risk can be easily mitigated with proper planning and implementation, along with the right use of technology. There are many advantages of allowing call center agents to work from home if implemented properly.
Allowing the agents to work from home increases agent retention and reduces absenteeism as it is convenient enough to work from home. It saves agents and workers a lot of time, which is normally spent on commuting. There also remains a great backup option in case agents are unable to travel to the office or in times like these where almost the entire world is under lockdown due to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. There are many ways that a company can keep control over agents and make sure they are working even when at home. One to one as well as team messaging allows continued collaboration throughout the work hours. Companies can also monitor the agents through live video and audio and the reports which reflect the performance of the agents.
4.Using speech analytics to actively maintain a professional approach:
The use of the latest voice recording and speech analytics technology helps in tracking customer interactions and ensure that a professional approach is maintained at all times. It also provides feedback to agents and can be used for training purposes as well. This helps in improving the overall quality of the call center with better delivery of speech and services.
These are just a few ways by which a contact center can be made proactive to deal with customers better and enhance their experience. Although implementing these could take some time, contact centers should consider doing these or using these methods to improve their service.