By Nancy Lee and April Forer
Call centers exist in an ever-changing marketplace. New channels and technologies are constantly emerging. Using a multichannel, all-in-one system makes it easier to support customers’ needs and earn their loyalty. A true omni-channel system eliminates many performance challenges call centers face today. Agents need to be able to assist customers without having to access multiple systems.
Remote agents are increasingly in demand to maximize the availability of resources. Software and virtual operator applications make working from home easier. To be effective, these tools should be scalable and capable of offering fully functioning call handling.
Automation adds value by accurately handling everyday, tedious tasks, which allows agents to focus on providing a higher level of customer satisfaction. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be employed to improve call taking and reduce errors. Digital channels have become popular tools to enhance the customer experience. Users can use analytics to improve customer retention rates and enrich the caller experience.
Transitioning to Virtual Call Centers
Faced with limited space, some call centers are using a unique solution by having their agents work remotely from home. One of the benefits of running a call center in a virtual server environment, or in the cloud, is the ability to use home-based operators.
Communications software and virtual operator applications make working from home easy. These applications are scalable and offer fully functioning call handling to transform any personal computer into a professional telephone agent station, accessible through the internet or local intranet. All agent functions are still available for remote agent connections, including call log recordings and retrieval, which allows for a smooth transition. For callers, the fact that the agents are remote is transparent.
A cloud-based messaging system is omni-channel and offers flexibility and efficiency. Establish a VPN connection for remote operators to ensure that their connection is secure. Set up the data link via direct connection, remote desktop, or thin client and an audio connection via integrated audio or external audio.
It is helpful to have a remote system that performs directory searches, scripted messaging, and dispatching, and also provides access to call log recordings, web content, and on-call schedules. Custom call center scripting guides remote operators through each call with the exact information they need to provide. The ability to easily edit scripting protocols means that frontline operators, working from any location, will have the most up-to-date information to provide the best caller experience and reduce errors or misinformation.
Benefits of Utilizing AI
AI can reduce customer effort and help resolve customer needs on the first contact. First-contact resolution is a leading sign of a great customer experience. Meeting this goal includes making call taking easier for agents, speeding up the call process for the caller, and reducing the possibility of errors.
AI can enhance skill-based call routing to determine the best agent to receive a call. By using a call’s automatic number identification (ANI), the artificial intelligence ACD feature can determine the best agent to receive that call based on which agent previously worked with the caller, started a dispatch for the caller, and is the most qualified to handle the call.
Expanding Digital Channels
By offering additional digital channels such as chat, mobile, and social media, users can engage customers with meaningful support. These channels are becoming increasingly popular as customers feel more comfortable with them.
These tools can translate popular social media posts, messages, and notifications on the client accounts into tasks for agents to manage. Check Facebook accounts for keywords, inbound messages, posts, comments about posts, shares of posts, and reactions to posts such as likes and other emoticon-based comments. Monitor Twitter accounts for keywords, inbound direct messages, replies to account tweets, and for likes, hashtags, retweets, mentions, and reactions to posts by the customer. Track Instagram accounts for likes and comments regarding a client’s posts.
Utilizing Analytic Tools
Tapping new analytic software is important to improve customer retention rates. Speech analytics allow supervisors a deeper analysis of call logs, such as providing a transcript of the call and describing the overall tone of the caller. Speech analytics can also look for keywords in the call recordings and alert supervisors about those keywords. Then supervisors can analyze the data through charts, reports, and transcripts.
As technology continues to evolve, using a multichannel, all-in-one system will provide agents and customers with a more efficient call handling solution. Using automation and enhanced services allows call centers to provide a higher level of customer satisfaction while reducing frustration for both the agent and customer.
Nancy Lee and April Forer are marketing specialists at Amtelco. Founded in 1976 to provide communication solutions to the answering service and medical messaging industry, Amtelco has a strong history in the telemessaging industry. Amtelco focuses on providing call center solutions that meet or exceed customer expectations, backed by top notch service and support. For more information contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-356-9148.