“Adequacy is the enemy of excellence”
- Peter Drucker, Claremont school of management, California
Once you’re finished and work in the call center established, you’ll achieve a cutting-edge outcome. Find out what it’s all about and apply these important tips to your call center.
Compliance with laws is critical
In every call center’s activity, whether you initiate a telemarketing campaign or robocalls, you need to comply with all of the regulatory agencies in the targeted region. And there is no single small window for avoiding compliance for call-center representatives unless you apply a high risk to have fines and money loss. It’s crucial to comply, both with laws and Do Not Call (DNC) lists.
Purchasing of lists with DNC numbers:
- For the US these lists are possible to achieve here;
- For telemarketers that want to operate in the UK buy list here.
Take a look at the examples of prosecutions initiated by federal agencies and governments:
Yet, not only that. For example, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) guards laws that regulate selling features or features options. In the US, there’s on average about one lawyer for every 220 adults in America. The advice is: read everything you can regardless of your selling or calling activity.
Especially, read carefully your niche markets, such as FDA for health supplements, CFTC for selling futures and options, Securities & Exchange Commission and National Association of Securities Dealers for selling mutual funds and investments (Bitcoin, stocks or bonds, etc). And of course, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to make sure all calls are secured.
Complying with these lists is critical, and if you even use scare tactics to call customers that are in the DNC list, they’ll hardly buy something from you.
Tips on how to deliver excellent customer experiences
Most of the companies provide average customer experiences, and only a small percentage of them have highly competitive efforts that keep them on the edge of the industry. Customers have constant demand to achieve the best customer experience, even if you have disruptions or incapacities to deliver them right now.
Demanding customer expectations are that they want to contact you 24 hours a day. Addressing customer inquiries, which come after working shifts is one of the solutions call center managers need to tackle. Proactive customer interaction is essential and keeps your company on the edge of a market.
Measure customer satisfaction metrics
Measuring is essential in terms of your business goals. Screen and change strategy in your business goals endeavors.
Customer lifetime value
This is the call center metric that shows 5-star business relationships and the success of resolving customer issues. Better engagement with customers across all their requests equal the higher customer's lifetime value. Mainly this metric indicates average frequencies of buying services or goods, number of ongoing purchases, and period of business relationships.
Contacts with company
This metric shows how much particular customers contact your company. If customers contact to order more services and goods this is positive. However, frequent contacts could be triggered by unresolved issues, so in this case, it brings a negative experience.
All the time, customers' calls have the potential to upsell. If customers order additional goods, it’s because of the great quality and proactive experience. Happy customers are likely to make an upsell in your company.
Customer’s satisfaction rate (CSAT) and customer satisfaction score (CSS)
Customer satisfaction rate works both in B2C and B2B environments. In B2C, goods or services generally improve the lives of customers. And if customers achieve what they want, it indicates their satisfaction rates. You want to keep customers happy for lasting satisfaction rates.
In the case of B2B, If the company generates more revenue by working with your company, it indicates that your business flourishes not only your company but the other’s companies as well.
It’s important to keep the satisfaction rate at a high level. In cases of lowering this level down, it's because of staff or technology you have.
Long hold time
The only way customers call a call center is that they need rapid solutions to their needs. This metric shows how much your customers spend in a queue waiting for a live agent. In a case of an understaffed call center or bad routing logic, customers have to wait several times on the same issues.
If the waiting time of customers increases, it creates hang-ups of customers. Sometimes agents don’t pick up the phone fast, and that’s one of the reasons. Always give a callback to customers that hang up to ensure that every customer is satisfied.
Automatic call distribution (ACD) system that routes the customer to the relevant or free agent within the shortest period. This system drastically decreases the on-hold time by giving you an engagement with customers, even when all agents are busy. This kind of software provides rapid pick-up of a phone and smart call routing to prevent it. Use advanced technologies and software in order to complete your business goals.
Interactive voice response (IVR) system that provides agentless services on the obvious needs. Through IVR the customer satisfied obvious needs with the press-key mechanism embedded in the software, thus no agent is needed.
These tools address your long waiting times and reduce strain from agents, so they address only the most demanding calls.
Every metric needs to be tracked by a Key Performance Indicator or KPI. By doing so, you’ll achieve a changing view on your customer satisfaction metric and business goals within a given period. Check this guide on how to measure metrics with KPI in your call center.
Take a close view of your accountable and VIP customers
There are two types of conversations agents have with their customers. One of the types of conversation, when you provide an average customer experience. Delivery of customer satisfaction over the globe perpetuates a scaling up and down, and it drastically affects the revenue of companies
Source: Global Contact Center Satisfaction Index, Statista research department
The other type of service is when you provide a more personal experience to make customers closer to you. And that increases your ROI by tenfold. Once you establish business relationships with your customer, send them a “thank you” call.
Especially if this is VIP or a highly accountable customer. In this call, tell them you appreciate them ordering a product or service, and customers can rely on you at any time. In order to do it take these steps:
- Call them once a month for confidence that everything is OK.
- If you know the date of birth, give them a happy birthday call.
- Happy New Year and Merry Christmas. This kind of time, when customers achieve notes about New Year and Christmas. In this call, thank customers for this year with the company, and assure customers you always keep an eye on their needs.
That kind of treatment will astonish your customers. It delivers an excellent customer experience, and you can ask customers almost anything you need. And here’s the secret: by establishing relationships in such a way, it's much easier to provide an upsell and increase revenue.
Customers will feel almost guilty if they don’t buy something from you after such an astonishing treatment.
Many agents and managers complain that it's hard to achieve customer feedback about goods or services and that customers are always busy. And guess what, it’s all because they don’t do these steps. These steps almost nobody does, and that’s a flaw in their relationships with customers. As a result, in customer loyalty to a particular brand.
This behavior is crucial for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) which haven’t a reputation like Adidas, Coca Cola, McDonald's, Lacoste, etc. SMBs have to earn respect and trust from the customer first to ask them something later.
When customers achieve what they want, that creates a decent customer experience.
Collecting data about customers
You need to know exactly what your customers do when they contact you via phone, browsing websites, order goods, and leave feedback. Based on this data build strategy and define what is crucial for them.
Successful collecting of data grants you real-time insight into how you can improve your sales or customer support. Interviewing your customers via phone will give you a rapid and wide range of information about their concerns and true state of mind. Collect this feedback to forecast activity towards a better customer experience.
Personalize every customer for your services and goods
Every customer should achieve what they want. For example, when customers call you, route them to relevant agents. So better personalization means greater communication and revenue growth.
Provide an easy customer journey. If you want to reach customer service goals you need to solve an issue of an easy customer journey. Make a great impression, through the ease of a journey to their needs.
For example, if a customer is connected with a relevant department or agent and this single agent guides the person to the solution, it drastically improves customer journey and satisfaction rates.
Make your calls personal
Have you wondered why you have unhappy customers, even if you provide a service? Let's find out. Use the second name of a customer in your outcoming and incoming calls.
Instead of saying: Hello, this is the sales/technical support department of company X, say: "Hello, this is Mrs. Smith? We call you from the sales department from Voiptimecloud, do you have one minute to answer our questions?"
Instead of saying: Technical/sales department, operator X is listening. Say: "Hello Mrs. Smith, this is the technical/sales department, operator Voiptimecloud is on the phone, how can we help you today?"
There’s almost always you know the second name of the person in your database, you need to establish a mood of excellent service from the beginning. It’s quite impressive to hear a second name in a second or third call, don’t you think?
See the difference? And guess that this type of treatment positively astonishes your customer, so you’ll always retain this customer as long as you provide decent services and goods.
Customers will feel your integrity and passion for their needs and reward your company accordingly. Don’t rely on an average level of customer experience, instead deliver the best call center experience possible.
These days, the treatment listed above is so rare and customers feel abandoned. Once they give their money, they are dead meat for most of the companies. That’s bad news for companies that can’t apply these tips in incoming and outgoing calls.
Yet companies listed in the Fortune 100 list established their relationships with their first customers in that way. Then when their popularity skyrocket and everyone knows them, they don’t have to use this strategy to compel customers that they’re the best.
Practices for hiring call center agents
Hire the best to achieve high agent performance, even if this is expensive for you. The trick is that highly paid agents will always generate more money than you spend on them. Build hiring policy on the principles of high value that top agents deliver and not seek for a bargain.
On the other hand, a satisfied and decently paid agent will likely work in your company. By doing so, you’ll prevent high turnover rates.
In times when you hire a newbie for your call center team, this is profitable investing. Test them first to find out what they can do for your call center. Then load them with work to find their real value for a call center.
If they pass the working period, start call center training sessions for them. And finally, if they are personalities with a high attitude for work and appropriate for your job, you need to provide an environment for retaining these agents. These onboarding agents start to generate more revenue and deliver high-quality service within 3 months.
Turnover of every agent that is onboard with your team for more than 1 month will create a negative ROI for some time. The job that was processed with fired agents needs to delegate to others. Or you need to hire a new agent to prevent an understaffed call center. Hiring a new agent, educating and launching work is always a time and money-consuming activity.
Proactive communication with team
All agents are different, some of them handle hard calls, and others handle average responsibility calls. The impact each agent brings is important to understand through monitoring of calls and resolutions. Understanding the activities of agents gives ideas on how to promote them or give more responsibilities.
Scale up your promoting policy
The other reason is that experienced agents will be promoted and become call center leaders. And you’ll delegate them more responsibilities without hiring additional managers. Those agents show an example of how to tackle calls that will create a more proactive experience for all agents in a team.
Even if the salary of a promoted agent will be increased, it doesn’t hurt your company, yet only benefits it. Promoted agents are both profitable and efficient; they’ll drastically increase the ROI of a call center.
The crucial metric that helps measure the performance of agents
First Resolution Rate (FCR)
Customers can be fully satisfied if all issues resolve from the first touchpoint. The more calls customers have to initiate to solve one issue, the lower FCR and less satisfied they will be.
Average Handle Time (AHT)
Average time indicates the duration of each call in a call center. In case average wait time increases for tackling a challenging task, it’s a positive metric. When AHT increases, yet slowing the speed of finding solutions then it brings a negative impact.
Customer Retention Rate
It’s more profitable to keep a customer than to achieve a new one. Great business relationships with customers create a constant cash flow and this is what companies need to strive for. You’ll grow your customer base and generate more revenue by adding new customers to your retained customers.
To improve these metrics, it is wise to incentivize agents and teams. By providing regular training and staff meetings. Give a financial benefit for teams or agents that reach the highest rates of FCR, retention rate, CSAT rate, etc.
An excellent company culture
Everything in a call center must work in tune, and employee engagement with executives is constant. Workforce management is a strategy you need to give a decent time. Define your strategy for both customers and agents. And how to accompany this culture to your activity with the needs of customers.
Schedule everything, work shifts, breaks for lunch, meetings, days off, promotions, the delegation of responsibilities, etc. When everything is scheduled it always brings a constant impact on productivity flow.
Proper workload management
In planning activity for a call center, you need to operate with the idea of the capacities of your team and each agent in particular. Take a close view for underload or overload environments, they are equally harmful to business.
Underloaded staff is likely to have more idle time that they aren’t using profitably. And the overloaded staff make mistakes and quickly burn out due to high calling volume.
Schedule the tasks for a call center’s team. Make them feel passionate about implementing these tasks. Even if the scheduling costs you time, you’ll benefit from tracking real results from your call center.
Set the goals, discuss them with managers and staff, and define the reasonable workload for week, month and year. Arrange a meeting once a week to ensure that everyone understands their goals in a call center.
Each agent has to implement their work deliberately. When everybody is in their places everything works as a good vehicle. Tasks may change if call centers decide to change their strategy for telemarketing or inbound campaigns. The only requirement for this is that all staff must know about it before changing workflow.
Back up strategy
Your call center can face technical problems from time to time that will disrupt work. And one of the most demanding practices for business continuity is to ensure customer service while fixing your technical problems.
To prevent stops for call centers, give additional channels of communication that work 24 hours a day, even if main hardware is disabled. Additional customer service channel such as an external phone is crucial. Use a chat, email, social media if you have nothing more for contact. Always have a backup plan both for your equipment, business continuity, and staff.
Regular review of your activity
Monitor your business processes constantly to understand at what point your call centers stand today. Tracking the productivity of agents and their impact creates real-time insights for strategy in the future. Define what brings you more results, whether it's software, staff, or performance.
Software that gives you cutting-edge
Software is the single most important issue for call centers to prevent additional expenses on infrastructure and telephony engineers. The software has all-in-one solutions, so it's easy to start to work within 48 hours. Small and mid-sized businesses have small room for investing and a little time for starting to earn money.
But this is not a problem. The software for call centers has facets that skyrocket dozens of call centers over the globe. And most of their competitors wonder how these companies achieve cutting-edge in their customer experience. Do you want to make your competitors wonder?
Voiptime Cloud delivers top-tier software to call centers over the globe for more than a decade. We constantly update the software on a free basis and ensure the quality of call center software. We give a hand to our partners in their most bold endeavors.
If you want to flourish your customers with cutting-edge experience, click get a quote, our team will contact you and start to increase your ROI within 48 hours.