- On August 18, 2016
Mon, 10 Aug 2015
Benefit Of Having A Contact Centre
A Contact Centre helps businesses apply time and motion techniques to phone calls entering the business, improve customer satisfaction and lower costs. By observing trends in the type of customer phone calls received, Management can learn to improve many processes.
E.g. you receive 200 calls per month asking how you fit the batteries in a remote control you supply, this might tell you to review the instruction book you send out.
The Main Tools Of A Call Centre
- The call queuing system
- A statistical database of call traffic or call logger
- A call recorder
Part 1 – Analysing Your Call Traffic
To improve efficiency there are several strategies you need to adopt and they all rely on you gathering this information through a computer database that analyses phone calls. This is where a Contact Centre becomes valuable.
Some fundamentals to understand the pattern of calls received by most businesses:
Time of day – Calls bunch together in a two peaks pattern each day
Day of week – Some days are busier; typically Monday and Friday the quietest
Monthly – Demand seems to vary across the month with start of the month the quietest and the end of the month busier
Seasonal – Any business might vary its output according to the time of year with particular influences made by the school and bank holidays
What do you need to know from your call logger?
- The type or classification of each call, e.g. delivery enquiry, stock availability etc.
- The typical length of time it takes to process each type or class of call
- When they are presented to you
- The quantity of each type of call you process
Part 2 – Centralisation
Routeing all your call traffic into one location is the key. Don’t worry about the benefits of “localisation”, technology can easily distribute calls to familiar agents, anywhere.
With modern cloud technology and leased lines, you can easily centralise all your regional calls into a single processor, carefully managed by a single Contact Centre Manager and then if you wish you can distribute locally from the central point.
With a central processing of calls, you can really take advantage of technology to lower your costs.
Part 3 – Becoming More Efficient
Callers are ringing you to either gain information or supply information to you.
A Simple Guide To Becoming More Productive
To understand what is more productive you have to understand what is inefficient. To reduce your unit costs you need to answer more lines (or calls) with fewer Agents.
Working “over-square” – In order to queue a call, you must have a spare line it can wait on, the term is “over-square”, more lines than Agents. The more phone lines you can answer with the fewest numbers of Agents, the more efficient you become. The key to keeping callers happy and being more efficient is reassuring the waiting callers that they are going to be served promptly. A key principle is you must give good service to anyone you let into your queue.
Queuing systems – Smooth out peak demand and manage less staff. They feed and manage extra lines into your Contact Centre that are waiting to be answered. Calls abandon more frequently after eight rings. Each ring is three seconds, so you need to greet a caller after the seventh ring if you have no one to answer it. This initial greeting should be pleasant, unapologetic and re-assuring. It can be up to ten seconds long and then you fade to some pleasant and professionally scripted, on-hold music, with perhaps some promotional information. The more frequently callers contact you, the more varied these messages need to be. Manager and Agents can see the size of each queue on a Wallboard and react according to demand.
Eliminate the calls – One of your processes somewhere is triggering the call to your team. By classification of the main types of phone calls, you can look at what the triggers are for these calls and get rid of the reason for people calling in, in the first place.
Shorten the calls – You can shorten a call by pre-handling the likely types of information your Agents have to wait for the caller to provide, e.g. “please have your account number and model numbers to hand”. You can also compare techniques – for this, you really need a call recording option on your Call Centre and the Manager uses the recording to compare techniques between Agents with the shortest call profiles.
Extend opening hours – Modern technology like MPLS networks allow home users to fill in gaps and log into your group to extend opening hours beyond what is economic with the entire building but might suit a narrow market with just a couple of customers.