The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a make or break experience for call centres.
Not only was there an increase in calls but there was also a significant increase in the rate of difficult calls and the need to escalate them. That’s at least according to a 2020 study by Harvard Business Review. Difficult calls increased by 50% overall.
Customer service employees, therefore, had to deal with more calls and more complexity in the calls and were further challenged with having to go into under-manned call centres due to social distancing measures or were having to work from home too.
NBC and Telemundo survey respondents suggested that work conditions had worsened during the pandemic and more than half of callers were unable to resolve their issues.
Several issues were identified in an article as particularly problematic
There is no single bullet that will solve all of these issues but it can certainly be argued that data probably represents one of the key aspects of how call centres engage with customers that could help.
Companies that rely on call centres for customer interaction have the opportunity to consider how they deal with customer master data in particular and how that can be aligned and integrated with call centre operations.
In the current era, a call centre that can’t identify, queue and prioritize a customer based on CLI is missing a trick in prioritizing higher-value or even known customers. To do that of course requires the orchestration of integration of the CLI with the CRM or CIC software and in all likelihood a customer MDM (Master Data Management) system like the Pretectum C-MDM. Of course, there is always the risk that the number from which the caller is dialling is unknown or blocked but surely when the number is known or identified, there is value in leveraging that information in queue management.
WFH (Work from Home) is quite possibly the new normal. We’ve seen the progressive transition to telework wax and wane over the past quarter-century as networking and telecommunications infrastructure has improved but these days most people who would be office-bound or work in a call centre; likely have fairly good broadband access where they live and even the costs of teleworking equipment now make this a much more affordable option than it was in the past. Call centre heavy business will have their eye on the ball here and be looking to enhance and improve the ability of their staff to work from home and the technology and infrastructure shouldn’t be a hindrance in achieving this.
Recruitment and staff attrition is a thorny subject because some individuals thrive on the social interaction associated with actually working in an office and might not cope as well in WFH from home circumstances. However, if your business has coordinated the elements of WFH and yet allow hybrid working approaches say where those who really want to divorce home life from work life can, then it becomes possible for staff to still achieve their top line work objectives and still have a work-life balance that they feel is acceptable. Give them access to the right levels of data that give them the feeling that they are empowered to actually help customers, and retention becomes less of an issue because staff are likely to appreciate the ability to work where they want in the circumstances that they prefer.
Finally, if you manage to orchestrate the best implementation approach for call queuing; provide staff with all the necessary customer data via your MDM integration with CIC and CRM that helps them be the best that they can be, in their jobs and then augment their lifestyle with the ability to work where and how they prefer it is likely that preferred existing and new customers won’t have to wait so long to have their calls answered; will be responded to by staff with some existing knowledge and insight about the customer and are likely to help solve issues faster and with improved success rates.
Publish Date: December 8, 2021 2:38 AM
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