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Inbound Calling and Customer Experience

Inbound call-centers are the best option to handle incoming queries. Using a nice blend of call-centers and remote support agents allows businesses to provide 24/7 support as various people are located in different regions and time zones addressing customers in their locale.

How Inbound Calling Works Today

Call centers these days also make use of different tools to help in the distribution of inbound calls. Generally, the representative would try to resolve the issue in the first interaction, however, if that is not possible then a follow up email or phone call is sent to the customer again. The general expectation is that the representative would help the customer until the issue has resolved. Although, traditionally inbound and outbound calling have been an integral part of customer experience. However, for the purpose of this blog, we will only be reviewing methods in which customer experience can be improved using inbound calling in call centers.

Increasing Revenue Using Customer’s Buying Journey

Today, firms are aiming to provide customer service using various communication channels. They realized that if they don’t aim to build a reputation with customers, they can easily lose their revenue. However, this also depends on where the customer is in their journey.

Role Of Call-Centers In The Past

Even today, call centers remain a critical element of the customer experience and can act as a competitive differentiator. With the advent of technology and the world-wide web, support representatives need to handle more complex issues including but not limited to providing technical support. Basic information is now accessible on the business’s own platforms. Today, call centers are handling much more technical questions and problems whereby the escalations and interactions with the agents have changed in nature. In the past, the questions used to be very basic such as ‘why has my product not been delivered yet?’ or ‘how do I get this product to work?’ whereas now customer support agents are dealing with much more complex issues.

Challenges Of Customer Service Today

In today’s modern era, customers expect that they will have multiple options for interaction with businesses. Due to the global pandemic, customers are now calling customer support representatives at higher rates as E-commerce and online shopping becomes more and more common. Since then, businesses have been trying to find alternate solutions to engage customers because walk-in services are no longer easily available. Today, there are several challenges that exist while managing inbound customer experience:

  • Making use of multiple channels to address customer concerns.
  • Identification of where the customer is in their buying journey
  • Increasing agility within the firm to provide customized solutions and to keep up with the customer’s ever-changing preferences.
  • Before the introduction of a new experience, testing and experimentation is needed which requires time, energy, and funds.

The old ‘service desk’ mechanisms which were used to provide customer service, now need to be scaled and innovated to properly connect with customers. Moreover, it causes businesses a huge hassle to balance cost effectiveness with responsiveness.

Objectives of Customer Experience (CX)

To overcome the challenges mentioned above, we need to focus on improving the complete customer journey which ranges from engagement, buying the product or service, using it, after-sales support and then making use of upselling or cross-selling to increase revenue. During each stage, we need to identify which channels and life cycle elements play a crucial role. Achieving customer experience goals for loyal consumers can be worth a lot more as compared to a new customer since it is much more expensive to acquire and retain them. Call centers must make use of CRM systems to keep track of all the call records and various systems of engagement. It is important to make use of APIs and integration to know where the customer is coming from, what the context is and where to take them ahead. Throughout the journey, it is important to align the strategy, policies, agents, and the technology in play.

Customized Solution Using Inbound Call Center Services

Many businesses today make use of artificial intelligence to have a more effective approach. Virtual agents are the best way to do this since they make use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to provide a more user-friendly experience. Virtual agents are not the same as chatbots since chatbots are provided with predetermined answers and scripts to respond to inquiries, whereas virtual agents handle human questions and contextualize them to fully understand the meaning. In other words, they allow composition of solutions based on the information provided regarding the problem.

Call Routing Towards The Best Agent

Businesses which make use of virtual agents can provide greater value and support to customers as they get the best agent every single time. Virtual agents can also be scaled as needed especially during pandemics or seasonal changes. Their availability to provide 24/7 customer support can ensure that customers in all time zones are catered to. Furthermore, it also allows businesses to optimize and route calls to the agents who are best suited to understand the problem. Call routing allows faster resolution and communication leading to increased customer satisfaction. Capabilities of routing are as follows:

  • It is generally done on a predefined criteria whereby specific agents handle certain queries.
  • Identification along with quick response is provided based on chronological order of issues along with problem priority
  • It significantly reduces call volume and allows management to handle peak seasons along with crisis situations such as COVID-19

Collecting and Analyzing Call Center Data

It is important to provide solutions which are configurable, reliable, and scalable. Agents need to have access to information in a way that it is easily searchable and not just in the form of a memorized script. Making use of behavioral analytics and advanced matching can help companies improve their overall revenue. A lot of unstructured data is being collected in terms of voice recordings and other parameters which can generate useful insights if cleaned and managed properly.

Investing In Training Of Agents

Customer service has long been considered an entry level job and it is often mistaken to be an easy job, whereas anyone who has ever worked in customer service can testify that this is not true. Hence, customer service skills need to be developed overtime and continuous training needs to be provided. Agents not only need to retain lots of information but also need to be good multitaskers, excellent communicators, and timely problem- solvers. Moreover, they need to learn the art of empathizing with their customers and putting themselves in their shoes to understand the problem and then deliver a solution. It is important to understand that customer service reps interact with your consumers more than anyone else in the business, hence they need to have the relevant training and support to represent your organization in the best way possible.

Efficient Call Center Solutions Today

To reduce the cost of phone support which only handles one person at a time, it’s essential to introduce other efficient channels such as e-mail support and chat support. While an average agent can only handle one phone call at a time, they may be able to handle multiple live chats especially if template responses can be used to address some of the common questions asked by customers. Discover more about providing such services here:

Having An FAQS Page To Avoid Repetition

Customers enjoy self-serving methods of support. Not only does it save your time but it also provides a solution to some of the commonly asked questions along with easy instructions and resources to help empower the customers.

Tracking Metrics of Customer Experience

An important question that most businesses ask themselves is whether their customers are satisfied with the product offering or service that they’re providing and if the answer is ‘I don’t know’ several times then it is a good indication that the tracking methods need to be improved. Various call center methods include:

  • Time to resolution which is the average time it takes to solve an issue
  • Time to hold which is the average waiting time before speaking to someone
  • The call abandonment rate which is the number of callers who hang up the phone before they’re able to speak to someone

In Conclusion

It is integral to understand that the customer expectations have significantly changed especially during the last few years. Customers want a wider variety of options during their buying journey. The world is shifting towards on-demand customer service and communication. Hence, IdeasUnlimited offers inbound call-center solutions and lead verification services to work with businesses and provide them with a personalized approach towards customer experience. This can lead to significant increase in profits along with increased customer retention. For more details, learn about our offerings here.

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