How to Improve Contact Center Quality Scores and Customer Service

Improve your Contact Center Quality Scores and Customer Service

How do great contact centers know when they’re running at peak efficiency and keeping up with customer expectations? Simple – they track key performance indicators, review the data regularly and quickly make adjustments to keep productivity high and customers smiling.

Among the most common (and critical) contact center KPIs and quality scores that are typically tracked:

  • Average abandonment rate
  • Average speed of answer
  • Average call handling time
  • Average time in queue
  • First call resolution rate
  • Service level

Unlike call centers which manage only inbound/outbound calls, today’s omni-channel contact centers receive customer inquiries from a dizzying array of sources – voice, email, SMS/text, web, mobile and various social media outlets – which can make it difficult to maintain KPIs…but not impossible. Here are five strategies to keep your contact center and KPIs on track:

#1 Draw insights from analytics

Contact center data resembles a huge and sprawling haystack – and analytics can work like a magnet to help you find the needle that huge haystack. Analytics can provide a 360-degree view of your contact center performance to help you find answers to important questions such as:

  • What kind of customers frequently reach out to your contact center?
  • Which mediums receive the maximum traffic?
  • When do the maximum inquiries occur?
  • How long does it take to answer and resolve each inquiry?

Armed with this data, you can tweak contact center resources to ensure maximum effectiveness and productivity.

#2 Use an IVR

Is your contact center experiencing high volumes of basic or repetitive inquiries? Instead of dedicating live agents to address these inquiries, consider an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. An IVR system can help segment those calls and automate the information retrieval process.

It can also act as a self-service portal that customers can interact with to retrieve the information they desire. An IVR system is made up of several menus and submenus. The callers can choose the menu closely related to the information that they require using key presses on their devices. Based on the key press input, the IVR system can fetch information from the database and provide it to the customer. Calls may also be transferred to an agent if necessary.

An IVR can help improve key contact center metrics like average abandonment rate, average call handling time, first contact resolution and the average time in queue, among many others.

#3 Use omni-channel helpdesk software

A contact center is an omn-ichannel support center – and it needs omni-channel helpdesk software that can collect customer inquiries from all channels and group them under a single repository.

For instance, inquiries via social media, email, chat, calls, etc. can be collected and sorted into different categories for faster resolution. Further, if helpdesk software can be integrated with your CRM software, it can be used to paint an entire picture of the customer journey and help the contact center deliver highly personalized customer service.

#4 Train agents for difficult scenarios

Failure to properly train agents to address customer calls efficiently and appropriately is the #1 leading cause of unacceptably high average call handling times (AHTs). A strong training program that describes how to address specific scenarios for which customers reach out to the contact center can help reduce that AHT.

If basic inquiries can be addressed with an IVR, agents will have more time to focus on more sophisticated customer inquiries, becoming experts at guiding callers with step-by-step instructions to address complicated problems like a car breakdown, a technical problem with an equipment, configuring the dashboard of a software, etc.

#5 Create skill-based teams

Assigning the right agents for the right calls can bring down average call handling times to an ideal length. In other words, create specific teams of agents with qualifications/experience and training to attend to specific types of calls.

You can configure the IVR system to route the call to the appropriate teams when calls come in. These agents will be in a better position to resolve special inquiries than agents who do not possess the same level of call handling experience or knowledge.

Read more: Contact Centers - How they make or break your business

In a nutshell

Contact centers are omni-channel support centers. Maintaining productivity and customer satisfaction can be achieved by identifying the common queries with the help of analytics and automating the call handling process for repetitive queries with a well-devised IVR system. Invest in a good omnichannel helpdesk software to manage everything under one roof. Most importantly, train agents to handle specific calls that are difficult and complex in nature. When the expertise of the agents is mature enough, create skill-based teams that can provide rapid response to segmented calls.

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