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What is First Call Resolution?

Waiting hours and, sometimes, days to fix a problem that is central to one’s business or day-to-day life can be disheartening. And you do not want to disappoint your customers. Because . . .

Disappointed customers do not become recurring customers.

Disappointed customers do not feel loyalty to your brand.

Disappointed customers go to your competitor.

As a business, your primary goal should be creating good and useful products and assisting your customers in using those products and services. This also involves making it quick and easy for them to resolve issues related to product purchase and use. That’s where first call resolution (FCR) comes into play.

First call resolution directly impacts customer satisfaction and retention. It is being able to resolve customer concerns in one call or one contact. Therefore, your business or call center measure and track this KPI regularly. Here is a guide that will help you understand the importance of one call resolution and how to measure and improve FCR rates for your business.

What is First Call Resolution?

First call resolution means resolving customer questions or issues in the first call itself and an FCR rate measures a call center or business’ ability to resolve customer calls when they first call. In other words, customers who call to resolve a problem or inquire about a product are helped during the first call with no follow-up calls or emails are required. Resolving calls quickly like this does not mean reducing the quality of customer service. Instead, your teams work to resolve and close common customer issues within one call to make room for more complex issues while keeping customers satisfied with quick resolutions.

One call resolution or FCR is an essential call center KPI or metric. Most customer relationship management or CRM systems include this metric among others.

Another similar metric is the first contact resolution rate. This metric not only measures one call resolution but other support channels as well such as chat, tickets, and emails. By keeping an eye on these channels as well, you can aim to improve support across all support channels.

Why Should Your Contact Center Measure FCR?

When customers contact your company regarding an issue or product, they expect to have an answer quickly. The longer they have to wait to resolve a concern or question, the more likely they will find a different company that provides faster service and quicker solutions. Customer satisfaction (CSAT scores) drives brand loyalty and customer retention rates. Good first call resolution rates can improve customer satisfaction and help you keep your loyal and valued customers close.

Furthermore, this metric also helps you measure the efficiency of your employees or agents. For instance, how quickly can agents resolve a call? How much time is spent on resolving issues? Do they spend more time with follow-ups with the same customers or are they able to attend to others as well?

Calculating first call resolution can give you insights into how your business is performing in terms of customer satisfaction. The higher the FCR rates, the higher your customer satisfaction scores. For any contact center or business, the goal remains: achieving high first call resolution rates and low talk time.

Related: 7 Types of Customer Complaints & How to Resolve Them

How to Measure First Call Resolution?

FCR is commonly measured as the total number of calls resolved on the first call divided by the total number of calls received during a certain period of time.

When measuring first call resolution, you may want to consider the following criteria or factors that could affect this score:

  • What does “sufficiently resolved” mean? Is it only when a customer’s issue is resolved? Or does customer satisfaction count as well?
  • Does a callback include agents following up with callers via chat, SMS, or email?
  • Will FCR include calls handled by your IVR?
  • What about calls abandoned calls due to confusing IVR, long wait times, etc.?
  • Will a caller reaching the wrong department be included?
  • What about a call where a manager was conferenced in or that was transferred to a colleague?

Make sure you clearly define what FCR is and how it will be measured so that your agents and employees are prepared.

First Call Resolution
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8 First Call Resolution Tips for Your Call Center

There are a few different ways to improve your contact center or business’ FCR rates:

1. Set realistic goals: Define what FCR is and ensure your agents and employees understand the importance of good FCR rates and show to achieve them.

2. Train agents: Train call center employees to meet your company’s standards and mission. Use a call recording service to highlight strengths and weaknesses.

3. Conduct performance analysis regularly: Review employee performance and efficiency by sitting in on calls or reviewing recordings.

4. Identify common customer questions and issues: The fastest way to help customers is to be prepared for issues or concerns that may arise while using your product or service. Identify common issues and train agents to quickly resolve.

5. Develop an easy-to-follow knowledge base or guide: Provide employees with a knowledge base or guide that can help them help customers efficiently.

6. Track FCR on all communication channels: If you communicate with clients via phone, email, live chat, social media, etc., ensure that you track FCR rates on all these channels. A low rate on other channels can bring your overall FCR rate down.

7. Develop incentive programs and rewards for employees: Give employees good reasons to do their job well so they work harder to resolve calls on the first try.

8. Set customer expectations: Create better caller experiences by reducing wait times, employing an effective IVR system, etc.

Your 3-Step Plan to Improve FCR

To improve one call resolution, you and your team first need to understand what type of issues do customers call to resolve and which issues take longer to resolve.  Once you identify issues that need 2-3 rounds of support to reach resolution, you can create plans that agents can use to reduce the resolution time. Here is a 3-step plan to improve first call resolution rates in your

1. Analyze Support Channels

Gather information from all support channels that needed more than one interaction to be resolved. Look at call records, chat history, email threads, and delayed tickets and analyze patterns and issues that occur repeatedly.

2. Prepare Action Plans and Resources

Once you’ve identified the main issues customers call to resolve, you can create resolution plans for those issues and patterns. This may include:

  • Sending the customer a how-to guide
  • Conferencing with a team or product expert
  • Letting the customer know the issue will take a few days to resolve and explaining why so that they understand
  • Adding new or temporary solutions and features to quickly resolve the issue
  • Finding new suppliers and vendors
  • Create a support center with documents and how-to guides for agents to use
  • Updating your product or service, and so on.

3. Train Your Support Team

Finally, train your agents to collect the right information during calls and provide the most appropriate solution. Encourage agents to collaborate with senior colleagues on complex cases through call conferencing tools and features. Provide agents with resources and materials to equip them with the solutions customers are looking for. You may even invest in software and tech that centralizes customer data and past interactions so that agents can review how other agents have handled similar issues and update records.

Improve First Call Resolution to Boost Customer Loyalty

Can call analytics help you gain better insights into FCR and how your business is doing to see where you can improve? Start measuring first call resolution today and secure your valued customers!

9 Ways for a Call Center to Use a Web Dialer

More and more companies (call center or not) are using a call center dialer or a web dialer to support their outbound calling strategies. The main reason is that this type of dialer can be used on any device and from any location. Here we will discuss what these dialers are and 9 practical ways you can use them to increase productivity and customer relations.

what is a web dialerWhat is a Web Dialer?

A web dialer or call center dialer is a keypad tool that allows your employees to make business calls through a computer or smartphone. Call center dialers and web dialers are not meant for call centers exclusively. Regular businesses that engage in outbound calling for sales or customer retention purposes can use this dialer to connect with local and international customers. Virtual phone service providers like Global Call Forwarding offer web dialers with their outbound calling service.

Who Can Use a Call Center Dialer?

Businesses of every kind — start-ups, remote and hybrid workspaces, small businesses, large enterprises — can use a web dialer to manage their inbound and outbound calling efforts. Depending on what type of company you operate, there are two types of calling:

  • Inbound calling: incoming calls by customers, prospects, and vendors usually for customer service and support.
  • Outbound calling: outgoing calls made by your team to customers and prospects to increase sales.

A web dialer allows you to receive and make calls from your computer or smartphone. This means that you do not need to invest in desk phones for every employee. They simply download a software, application, or browser extension. Most providers will offer a call center dialer with additional features such as the ability to save caller notes, update contact information, check voicemail, CRM integrations, etc.

Web Dialer: 9 Practical Uses

Here are the top 9 ways your team can use a call center dialer to increase productivity and efficiency.

1. Sales and Lead Generation

Use the call center dialer to quickly contact various prospects on your sales list and generate new leads. You can store and update prospect information, notes on the interaction regarding whether they qualify, whether they demonstrate an interest in the product, need a follow-up call, and so on. This way, you create a contact and the next time you call them, you have a history to build off of, and can quickly dial the number. Dialers are a call center favorite when it comes to calling large volumes of customers.

2. Increase Brand Awareness

Besides merely calling to make a sale or appointment, you can use a web dialer to promote your brand and increase visibility. Use market research to identify target audiences and demographics. Then, contact these potential prospects from this list and introduce them to your brand and its products and services. You can offer them a promotion or direct them to your website where they can learn more about the services you offer. This will help you get closer to target consumers.

3. Connect with International Clientele

Global Call Forwarding’s outbound calling service comes with a customizable caller ID capability. This means you can customize your outgoing caller ID and override it with a toll free or local number (of the location being called) previously purchased. Customers who receive such calls will see a toll free number or a local number and are more likely to answer the call. The main reason is that local or toll free calls are inexpensive compared to international calling.

You can get multiple international toll free and local numbers for countries across the world. With this service, you can call internationally for much cheaper rates and avoid paying long-distance calling fees.

4. Welcome New Customers

Use your call center dialer to welcome and verify new customers when they sign up or make their first purchase. This will demonstrate customer care as it shows that you value their business. You can verify purchases, offer to help them understand your service better, activate accounts, and so on.

5. Follow-Up on Recent Purchases

Check in with customers who made recent or repeated purchases with follow-up calls. Ask for feedback, how the experience was, or anything that can be done to improve the service. This too will display that your business cares about how customers interact with it. Your team should always try to improve customer service and this is one way to do so.

6. Reach Out to Abandoned Carts

Abandoned carts occur when an interested customer starts the check-out process but does not complete it. In other words, they abandon their cart and don’t make a purchase. Follow-up on abandoned carts with calls to identify reasons why customers may hesitate to purchase your product or service. Inquire how processes can be made simpler or help them complete the purchase.

7. Execute Customer Retention Strategies

Bringing new customers abroad can be more expensive than retaining customers. Having the ability to quickly contact important and valued customers can help you improve customer relations. Some good customer retention strategies include calling customers and prospects to:

  • Schedule new appointments
  • Set sales appointments at more convenient times
  • Remind them of upcoming appointments, payments, renewals, etc
  • Help reduce abandoned carts, and more

Keeping in touch with customers shows that your business is customer-focused and this will help you retain existing customers.

8. Raise Funds/Donations

Another useful application of a call center dialer is when your organization is conducting a fundraising campaign. You can reach out to members or prospects, present your campaign, and more through an outbound calling service.

9. Collect Customer Surveys and Feedback

Finally, a call center dialer can speed up phone surveys and help you collect feedback from customers about certain services, products, or interactions. Use this feedback to improve your overall service and offer better customer care.

download web dialer guide

Need a Call Center Dialer for Your Business?

Voice IP and web dialers can work together to give you the right tools to support inbound and outbound calling. Your business may fall behind if you do not take advantage of the right tools.

You can get a web dialer with our outbound calling service attached to your virtual phone number plan. Sign up today on our homepage or contact us for more questions!

6 Practical Tips for Managing Virtual Call Center Agents

What are some ways that you, a virtual call center manager, can encourage your employees and agents to perform well? Agents who do their job well will bring more business to your remote contact center and therefore, it is important to keep them motivated and trained. Here are 6 tips to motivate your agents while executing your duties in the most effective manner.

How to Manage Remote Call Center Agents

Managing work-from-home call center agents can be tricky if you do not know where to start. A remote call center works through virtual agents and offices. And this lack of physical office location can prove difficult when it comes to monitoring agents and their interactions. However, there are tools and options available to make this process much easier for managers. Here we will look at the different methods you can try to motivate your agents, monitor their work, and train them to do better.

1. Set and Reiterate Goals

It is important to always be on the same page about the goals and standards of the company. As an agent, what is the agent’s ultimate goal and what steps do they need to take to reach these goals? Provide clear and easy-to-follow instructions and make yourself approachable for any questions or concerns that may arise. Refresh these goals in team meetings or group chats to keep it fresh.

2. Train and Retrain Your Employees

No matter how experienced an agent may be, it is always a good idea to have them go through a brief period of training. This may include refreshing the way certain things are done or running through new software together or doing some practice calls. You may even choose to listen in on a few calls to study how the agent handles themselves. On a similar note, conduct online workshops or group seminars to run through essential training as a refresher for existing agents.

3. Provide Helpful Training Materials

Besides workshops and training, give them access to sales webinars, software tutorials, textbooks, and classes that may help them improve their sales techniques or outbound calling strategies. Having access to these materials will help them stay in touch with the system and processes being used. It will also help them learn about new trends in sales and customer service.

H3: 4. Explain the Importance of Building Strong Customer Relationships

Since this is a virtual call center, efforts must be focused on building strong customer relationships. Therefore, it is important that your agents understand why and how they need to pursue this goal. Educate them on the value of having long-term and returning customers and how loyalty can impact customer retention rates. This information should motivate them positively and encourage them to provide stellar service. This will help improve CSAT scores.

5. Provide Agents with the Right Call Center Tools

Helping your call center agents also includes choosing the right call center software for your call center. Whether it is getting an outbound calling service with an easy-to-use dialer or an IVR system that distributes calls evenly so that no agents become overwhelmed. Having the right resources can make sure your agents are not overloaded with calls and are able to provide solid support.

6. Focus on Improving Quality Assurance

Consider using VoIP call recording to evaluate how agents interact with customers and callers. Here you can identify areas of improvement and highlight appropriate agent behavior. This can also be used for training purposes with the goal to improve virtual call center quality assurance.

Improve Your Virtual Call Center with Global Call Forwarding

Global Call Forwarding offers virtual call center tools such as IVR, outbound calling, call recording, and more. Learn more about our services by talking to an expert today!

What is a Call Center Dialer?

Does your business need a call center dialer to support its inbound and outbound calling needs? How do you decide when it’s time to invest in a dialer and what type of dialer should you go for? In this post, we will discuss dialers for call centers and their usefulness.

Call Center Dialers: What are They?

A call center dialer is a dial pad tool designed to help you make outgoing or outbound calls. Even though these dialers are called “call center dialers,” they are not meant for call center use only. Any business that makes a large number of outgoing calls for sales, appointment setting, and customer service can use an outbound dialer. These dialers help improve agent productivity and efficiency. Types of call center dialers include the following:

Manual Dialing and Predictive Dialers

If you are a small- or medium-sized business, then you will most likely start with manual dialing. This is where your sales team manually works through a list of predetermined prospects or leads and contacts them. The benefit of manual dialing is that it offers more control and responsibility to the agents as to who to call and when to call.

Automated or predictive dialers exist as well. However, these dialers use automation to make calls automatically from a set database. There is little control involved, which some sales team managers consider more of a disadvantage. When making a sales call, the salesperson needs to prepare with the right information about the person, their history with the company, demographics, and so on. With predictive dialers, there isn’t always enough time to get acquainted with the necessary information before the call goes through. Manual dialing gives you the time you need to prepare.

Inbound/Outbound Web Dialer

An inbound/outbound web dialer for call centers enables you to make outbound calls and receive inbound calls through a dialer that works over the internet, accessed over a webpage such as Google Chrome. You can access an inbound/outbound web dialer through a URL and a virtual phone service account.

For example, to use Global Call Forwarding’s web dialer, you will need a virtual phone number plan and you’ll use your login information to log into the web dialer on a webpage. Logging in will lead you to the web or online dialer. This looks similar to a smartphone’s keypad or dial pad. Here, you can access or add contact information and notes, check your voicemail, and make and answer calls. All you need to do is remain connected to a reliable internet connection.

Related: 9 Ways for a Call Center to Use a Web Dialer
download web dialer guide

Getting a Dialer for Your Cloud Call Center

A web dialer can speed up the process of outbound calling for sales or customer support team. No additional equipment or desk phones required. You simply need to enter the URL, log in, and start dialing numbers. You can call customers you have already connected with or contact new prospects. Additionally, you can look up notes, other contact information such as email or address details to customize your sales approach.

Another benefit of an inbound/outbound web dialer is that it works well for businesses that have remote offices or remote employees. Employees can easily connect and start making and answering calls from anywhere in the world as long as they have a stable internet connection. Therefore, your business will have greater cost savings.

Ready for a Call Center Dialer?

Businesses with a large outbound call volume should consider an inbound/outbound dialer to control and handle their business communication. Save tons by managing your calls in-house instead of outsourcing them. And call center dialers can help you do so. Check out Global Call Forwarding’s web dialer. For more information, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

5 Surefire Ways to Improve Call Center CSAT Scores

As a virtual call center manager, it is your job to ensure that your center’s CSAT scores are high and continue to remain in good standards. Here we will detail 5 useful ways you and your agents can improve call center customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores.

What are CSAT Scores?

CSAT scores are the measure of customer satisfaction your call center generates. That is, after interacting with your service, how happy are your customers and how likely are they to recommend your service to others. CSAT scores are essential for collecting customer feedback and making much-needed improvements to your product or service. Common questions you’ll see on a customer satisfaction survey include “How would you rate your experience/stay with us?” or “How likely are you to recommend our service to others?” And customers can rate the service on a scale of 1-10 or Good-Bad or Very Likely-Not Likely At All.

How to Calculate CSAT Scores?

To calculate Customer Satisfaction (CSAT), divide positive responses by the total number of responses. Then multiply that number by 100. This gives you a CSAT percent.

CSAT score formula: (#) positive responses / (#) total responses X 100 = CSAT (%)

Why are Call Center CSAT Scores Important?

Satisfied customers can easily convert into returning customers and will be the ones that bring new customers to your business. For this reason, improving and maintaining high CSAT scores becomes essential. To succeed, your cloud call center should implement the following methods.

1. Increase Personal Interaction

More recently, a lot of technology has been developed to automate cloud call center processes in an attempt to increase productivity and efficiency. While these are positive influences, it may lead to a decrease in personal interaction between your call center and its customers. Personal interaction is important in order to thoroughly resolve issues.

Many times, customers call a business or call center to get an immediate response. Being bounced around a complicated IVR system or interacting only with the automated system can increase frustration, especially if their issue is rare and complex.

Try to ensure that there is some personal interaction that takes place during a call, as often as possible. Your IVR system is built to make your virtual call center run smoothly, but it does not need to overtake all calls and interactions. Even if it is at the end of the call, have an agent connect to ask: “Is there anything else we can help you with?” Keep in mind that more positive personal interaction equates to more resolutions which, in turn, leads to higher CSAT scores.

2. Increase Quality Assurance

Maintaining quality assurance (QA) is another important factor in improving virtual call center CSAT scores. Call center QA focuses on providing high-quality customer service that matches the business’ standards. And so, QA pays attention to the customer, their issues and needs, and how to improve caller experience. All of these lead to better customer interaction and higher CSAT scores.

Some essential call center QA strategies include training your agents to understand and maintain business standards and goals. For example:

  • Are agents following the necessary scripts?
  • Do they ask questions about the customer’s needs, history, and experience to better understand the issue?
  • Are they following protocol?
  • Is there any misunderstanding or miscommunication?

Virtual call center managers can listen in on calls or review recordings of calls to study and analyze different factors or aspects of agent/customer interactions. They can then provide more training, highlight strengths and weaknesses, strategies that work or that need improvement, and so on. All with the same goal: improving caller experience and increasing customer satisfaction.

3. Pay Attention to Customer Issues

This goes in line with quality assurance. It is important to understand what issues the customer is facing in order to better help and serve them. Here, as a virtual call center manager, you may consider market research to provide data about certain products and services and their most common issues and concerns. This way, your agents are better equipped to help or resolve upcoming issues.

The aim should be to provide solutions and resolve the issue on the first call itself. This is called first call resolution. Call centers or businesses with a higher first call resolution rate have more satisfied customers and higher CSAT scores.

4. Purchase the Necessary Virtual Call Center Technology

It is imperative to invest in the right tools. As with any project, to do a good job, you need the right tools and support. The same goes for a virtual call center. Consider investing in call center software from a provider like Global Call Forwarding where you can customize your options, features, and services to create an ideal phone system.

Most virtual phone service providers offer tools that can support remote and virtual call centers. These include:

  • Call forwarding and routing options
  • Call recording to record incoming and outgoing calls
  • IVR system to manage and distribute incoming calls
  • Outbound calling to make local and international calls with customizable caller ID
  • Local, toll free, international, and vanity numbers that route calls via the internet, and more

5. Track Call Center KPIs

Another way to improve your CSAT scores is by tracking and monitoring important metrics such as:

  • Call answered
  • Calls abandoned
  • Average hold time
  • First call resolution rate
  • Number of calls answered by each agent
  • Time taken to answer a call, etc

These key performance indicators (KPIs) can give you insights into areas of strength and improvement. And they can help you understand your center’s customer service levels and even its current quality. This information will lead you to your next step in improving the service you provide.

Improve Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) at your Call Center

Increase your CSAT scores by improving the way your call center interacts with its callers. Provide better customer service, pay attention to your callers, and watch your customer satisfaction and retention scores increase. For more information about virtual call center software from Global Call Forwarding, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171.

On-Premise vs. Virtual Call Center Software: How to Choose

Want to know if your business can benefit from an on-premise or virtual call center? Here we will run through a comparison between these two call center software types so that you can determine what is best for your needs.

The Call Center You Need: On-Premise or Virtual?

Deciding which software to use depends on the requirements, budget, and goals of your business. Let’s look at what each software type does and how each can be beneficial.

On-Premise Call Centers

On-premise call center software is run and controlled by the business itself. The hardware, software, and other infrastructure is held in-house. This means that the business is responsible for its maintenance, upgrades, and expenses. It also means that you have control over it and how it functions, which is a benefit for some companies. But others may not want to deal with hiring an IT team and the added costs.

Virtual Call Center Software

A virtual call center software is hosted by the server but runs on the cloud. This cloud call center handles customer support and success communications. The benefit of such a virtual call center is that all interaction between the business and its customers remains accessible from anywhere, via the internet. This includes inbound and outbound calls, email, instant messages, etc. Since customers are using digital channels to connect with businesses — such as email, instant messaging, etc — companies are switching to modern virtual call centers.

On-Premise vs Virtual Call Center Software

So, while both types of call center software have their advantages and disadvantages, how do you decide which is right for your business? It all depends on what you need and what you prioritize. Would you like full control of your inbound and outbound calling? Do you need to cut down costs? Determining what you want to get out of a call center software will help you identify which will work better for you.

Costs: An on-premise call center will require set-up costs. For example, you will need equipment, hardware, licenses, servers, and full-time agents. Additionally, you will have to spend on installations, upgrades, and maintenance.

On the other hand, using a virtual call center software will mean that you can build a virtual call center or virtual office and hire remote agents instead of needing on-site agents. Additionally, you won’t need to spend money on equipment or a physical office space. All of this helps increase savings.

Scalability and Reliability: Virtual call center software offers the same functionality and benefits of an on-premise solution. However, the former is far more scalable, reliable, and flexible. Changes to certain lines or numbers can be made quickly by the account manager or by contacting the provider.

Mobility: An on-premise call center will need an in-house team to run and maintain the system. This may even require you to be present on-site to ensure everything works according to the plan. If you desire a centralized, physical location, then an on-premise call center software will be more appropriate.

On the other hand, if you have employees working remotely or spread across the world, then a virtual call center will prove more beneficial, as everything can be monitored and tracked through the online account management system and your softphone. All you will need is a strong and reliable internet connection.

Advanced Features: An on-premise call center software can give you basic, traditional call center features such as call transfer, extensions, hold, voicemail, call logging, etc. However, a virtual call center will give you access to premium services such as advanced IVR, click-to-call, call recording and forwarding, and more.

Virtual Call Center Software with Global Call Forwarding

You can get the necessary tools to set up a virtual call center from a cloud-based phone service provider such as Global Call Forwarding. We offer local, international, and toll free numbers. Additionally, you can get advanced features such as Call Recording, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Outbound Calling, Call Reports, and more. All of these services can support your virtual call center. To learn more about virtual call center software or to start setting one up for your business, call us at 1 (888) 908 6171 to talk to an expert.

Advanced Call Center Technologies for Sales and Support

As 2019 comes to an end, it is time to review and explore advanced call center technologies that are becoming more popular for sales and support. These technologies and tools help centers drive traffic and work through leads and calls effectively. Some companies have already started investing in advanced tech and more relevant features. Read on for the latest advanced call center tech many companies are considering.

Technologies Used by Call Centers

Call centers assist companies in telemarketing and sales efforts, tech and customer support, and making reservations and appointments. They, therefore, require different kinds of technology to support the work they do. These technologies help centers and employees sort through calls and information, keep and maintain records, and increase customer interaction. Oftentimes, it is through call centers that customers interact with a company. Thus, it becomes important for these centers to utilize tech and tools to their advantage in order to improve customer relations. Let’s have a look at some of the advanced call center technologies available and understand why centers are gravitating toward them.

Virtual Offices With Cloud Communications

Remote call center agents and customer service agents are on the rise. Companies are hiring more and more remote agents in an effort to expand their business without increasing costs. These agents can work from across the world, making it easier for companies to tap into those consumer markets. Having remote agents and a virtual office enables seamless team communications and also ensures that customers can always reach your business.

Advanced Call Center Technologies for Sales and Support
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How to Start Using Cloud Communication

The first step to adopting cloud communications is by getting a virtual phone number. This can be a local or international toll free number based on your requirements. Phone service providers like Global Call Forwarding can help you with a variety of virtual numbers. These include local and international virtual numbers, direct inward calling (DID) numbers, or international toll free service (ITFS) numbers. You can also benefit from additional features like rollover numbers, outbound calling, call forwarding, and so on.

Call Center Analytics

Companies are increasingly investing in various software and applications that provide call analytics and reports. These reports provide statistics about the number and types of calls made, what day/time is most preferred, etc. Likewise, such data provides insight into understanding customer preferences and the target demographic. They help predict customer engagement and improve call center quality assurance (QA). They are also used for evaluating agents’ performances by studying average speed to answer calls, hold times, customer satisfaction ratings, and call recordings. Then, if necessary, agents can be re-trained to help them perform better.

Multichannel Communication Lines

Opening more channels of communication — calls, emails, and text messages — between your business and its customers is essential. The more channels, the more likely customers will interact with your company. There seems to be a growing demand for texting or instant messaging services for call centers. Text message outreach makes it possible for agents to reach customers through yet another path. Most people prefer texting or emailing over phone calls and so, this feature will enable ease of communication on the customer’s part.

Other Innovative Features To Note

Besides the above-mentioned trends, some of the advanced call center technologies also include features and tools to improve customer service. These features help reduce agents’ workload as well as time that may be lost by prioritizing and distributing calls. Keep reading to learn more about these features and how they can be of benefit to your business.

Self-Serving Troubleshooting and Solutions: Today’s customers often want to resolve their customer service issues on their own. For this reason, many companies are looking into self-serving options such as displaying problem-solving information and FAQs on websites.

Callback Features: A new feature gaining attention is the Click to Call feature for customers to request callbacks. Global Call Forwarding has a similar feature called CallMe Click, a widget placed on the business’ website. Customers who visit your website can click on the button, fill in their contact information, and automatically receive a call from your company.

Predictive Dialing: Another popular feature, predictive dialing, is programmed to automatically dial a set list of numbers. When a call is answered, it is switched to a representative. These dialers can also screen for voicemails and busy signals and use statistics to predict the best call times.

Staying Up To Date

Now that you are up to speed on the advanced call center software available, it’s time to see what you can use for your company. Get your business a phone system that helps you conduct call center QA and also make you more accessible to your customers. Check out Global Call Forwarding’s rates and plans today. Invest in an easy-to-use phone service aimed at improving your customer relations. Happy customers make for a happy business!

Call Center QA: Effective Quality Assurance Strategies

When running a call center, it is important to pay attention to Call Center Quality Assurance (QA). Call Center QA is a process that focuses on and ensures customer service and interactions are aligned with business goals. QA is customer-centric. That is, it is concerned with understanding customer issues and concerns, improving customer experience, and improving communication. QA is typically conducted by identifying ideal customer service agent behavior. Maintaining a good schedule and interacting in a professional tone are just a few ways to achieve good customer service.

Call Center QA

It is best to look at QA as an on-going process. This way, customer service agents or representatives will be motivated to always be on their best and most efficient behavior. Representatives should be made aware that their calls, emails, and chats are being recorded. This is important because these are the most crucial areas of customer communication that affect the business.

Essential QA Strategies

There are different ways to ensure good customer service practices benefit your company. Analyzing call and customer metrics include monitoring average response times, call logs, handling times, customer ratings, etc. You can determine QA data through assessments made by team leaders.

Call Center QA Effective Quality Assurance Strategies
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Training and Motivating Your Agents

You should make call recording a significant part of the supervisory process. This way, you can review calls with customer service agents and help them identify areas to improve. Here you can also encourage and acknowledge their strengths, keeping them content and motivated to continue their good work. Additionally, knowing their calls are being recorded will give them an incentive to do a commendable job.

Appointment setters are responsible for contacting leads to generate appointments. Essentially, the company suffers if the appointment setter is unable to do their job. So, how do you make sure that appointment setters do a good job? Train them to learn the script and sound excited about the product they are offering. It is important that they are knowledgeable of the product so they can efficiently answer customer questions. Additionally, they should have the ability to listen to their customers’ doubts and queries. This way, they can make the customer feel heard and respected. Finally, they should send email confirmations with important details immediately after phone conversations.

Another way to train your agents is through evaluation. Evaluating agents will ensure they understand what is expected of them and are able to meet your standards. When assessing an agent’s interaction with a customer, using a Call Center QA Form will help you judge important elements. Here are some examples of assessment questions:

  • Did the agent greet the customer?
  • Did the agent ask questions to understand the customer’s needs?
  • Did the agent answer the customer’s questions accurately?
  • Did the agent follow protocol?
  • Did the agent display a professional, yet empathetic manner?

With questions like these, one can evaluate the agent’s strengths and weaknesses, and rectify areas that need refinement.

Utilizing Customer Feedback

Customer service feedback provides companies with a good idea of the customer’s perspective. With such feedback, companies can understand what they are doing well and which areas need improvement. To improve call center productivity, use recordings to compile data to set future goals and develop more effective approaches. Here, you can also identify frequently asked questions and develop customized messages to save time. Using an interactive voice menu can also answer questions by letting customers select a number to hear frequently asked questions. Such interactive voice responses (IVRs) can be set up by your virtual phone number provider and they are highly customizable.

You can also utilize call recordings to learn more about your customers and their preferences. For instance, how do they respond to certain questions? Why do they prefer one product over the other? What issues or concerns do they have? Are they asking for a product or service your company doesn’t offer and should you consider investing in it?

Consider Virtual Phone Numbers For Your Call Center

In conclusion, virtual call center software solutions focus on increasing productivity and reducing time spent on answering calls. Virtual numbers also make it easy to facilitate remote agents. Therefore, enabling you to host your call center from anywhere. Global Call Forwarding provides virtual phone numbers with additional features such as call recording, call transfer, IVR, customized greetings, and more. Call Global Call Forwarding 1-888-908-6171 for help with your call center QA today!

The Daily Challenges of Being a Call Center Agent

Customer service is a central part of any organization. The quality of service provided is undoubtedly a direct contributor to the overall success of a company. This means more companies are investing in call centers to handle their communication needs. With technological advances, virtual call center software has evolved. The daily challenges of being a call center agent have also changed. Having a good grasp on these changes helps in being prepared to overcome the challenges. This type of preparation ultimately contributes to the overall success of the organization. Let’s discuss some of these challenges to get a better understanding of how to manage them.

Customers Express Interest Only to Opt-Out Later On

A call center agent may spend a lot of time on the phone with a customer going over the details of products and services. A customer may express a lot of interest and this motivates the call center agent to continue to invest time. Later on, however, the customer may change their mind and opt-out of purchasing the product or service. When a sale falls through, it affects the productivity of the call agent in numbers and in the resources spent through their time.

The best way to convert leads to sales is to follow up regularly. Stay in touch with those who have expressed interest while communicating your value. Establishing this rapport and reminding them of the value of what your offerings is the best way to increase sales.

Not Knowing the Answer to a Question

Call center agents undergo extensive training. There is still the possibility that a customer is going to ask a question they do not know the answer to. If a call center agent does not know the answer to something, they should bring an expert into the conversation or make sure they call the customer back as soon as possible with an answer.

Managing a Never-Ending Queue of Calls

A call center agent will have what seems like a never-ending queue of calls, especially during peak business hours. This may mean long hold times for customers. Customers can become frustrated with long wait times.

A business owner manages this issue by having FAQ pages, DIY instructions, and tutorials on the company website. A call center agent can utilize self-service options and a callback option to better deal with heavy call volumes.

Transferring Calls

A call center agent will need to transfer calls from time to time. This may mean transferring to a different department and this could upset the customer. Being personalized and specific when transferring a call will help to ease a customer’s concerns. Also, making it a point that it is in their best interests in order to get them the best answer to their query really helps as well.

The daily challenges of being a call center agent.
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Adapting to New Technology

A call center agent will have to adapt to new technology from time to time. The environment is extremely dynamic and this presents challenges. Especially when trying to simultaneously manage productivity.

A business owner must introduce training courses to help familiarize agents with any new technology. This is the best way to allow the call center agent to grasp the full potential of the new technology rapidly and efficiently. This will then translate to higher productivity in the workplace.

Virtual phone numbers are a perfect example of new technology that has been introduced in relation to an inbound call center. Virtual phone numbers are relatively easy to adapt t and are beneficial to the company as well as call center agents. Introductions tools like these help companies to stay ahead of their competitors.

Understanding Customers and Dealing With Various Situations

A call center agent acts as a representative of the brand. This necessitates that call center agents operate within certain constraints. This can present challenges as some customers are expressive and very easy to read and others are not. Dealing with customers who are upset is also a challenge, as is dealing with unexpected issues without clear solutions.

The call center agent should always remain patient, calm and courteous. A business owner must also have a uniform process for dealing with a customer that is upset or an issue that is unexpected. That may mean simply going to a supervisor for their suggestion before moving forward with scripted best practices.

Want to Overcome the Challenges of Being a Call Center Agent?

The daily challenges of being a call center agent certainly require preparation for. Agents require training in areas such as communication, marketing strategies, and cultural phone etiquette. Ongoing training to manage the path in adjusting to new technologies is also crucial. Managing time, staying cool under pressure, and the prioritization of goals are also very helpful. Call center performance management is a critical piece of the puzzle in the success of a business. With the right personnel in place, as well as the right call center technology and training, call centers can help a company soar far ahead of the competition.