Call centers are the engine hub of many businesses. They are responsible for processing sales, communicating with customers, handling queries, resolving issues and other functions that keep the business ticking over.
But, in the same way that an engine can develop problems, call centers can develop issues from time to time. Trying to run with an inefficient call center yields much the same results as driving with a damaged engine: ongoing high costs and the potential for a major, unplanned breakdown.
Here are some considerations to help you determine if your call center engine needs new parts.
Are Your Customers Smiling?
A customer’s unhappiness with a particular brand generally stems from not having his/her expectations met. According to research, two of the top expectations of customers are an immediate response to their queries or complaints and 24/7 customer support availability.
If call centers are unable to meet these expectations, customers are left frustrated and may eventually go elsewhere to have their needs and expectations met. This will cost a company dearly in the long run.
It is important to understand your customer’s needs and expectations, and then ensure that those needs are met.
“Your call is number…”
We have all experienced the frustration of having to wait for hours to speak to an agent. Not hours? Ok, but you get the point. Long waiting times usually point to a call center that is ill-equipped to handle the volume of calls they receive.
This can be detrimental to a company, as customers may simply get fed up and cut the call, never to return. Time is money and in in the world of the call center, longer waiting times usually equal less money from that customer in the future.
Companies need to consider solutions that will enable it to streamline its call handling process.
Easy come, quickly go
Studies have indicated that up to 60% of call center agents leave an organisation within 90 days. While the reasons for agents leaving may be varied, the fact is that companies incur a crippling cost in recruiting and training new agents, only to watch them leave after three months.
It’s no wonder then, that companies are looking at other solutions to reduce the cost of agent attrition.
Mind the (skills) gap
In addition to the high rates of agent attrition, another challenge relates to agents not necessarily having the technical skills and know-how to assist customers.
Agents require constant training to upskill themselves and keep abreast of any changes within their environment. Unfortunately, many companies do not have the time or the financial resources to constantly train the call center staff, leading to an undue burden being placed on agents.
Listen to the experts
The experts, in this instance, are your customers. I’m talking, of course, about customer feedback. We all know how crucial customer feedback is, to know what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and how things can be fixed/improved on. Think of it as your progress report card.
Call centers who do not take their customer feedback mechanisms seriously or, worse yet, have no feedback mechanisms at all, could soon find themselves being stamped with a big F.
All thriving call centers have one thing in common: they are fully customer-focused. They continue to listen and respond to their customers’ ever-changing needs. Many of the challenges discussed can be resolved by incorporating conversational AI in some form or another into organisations’ customer sales and support strategies.
Many companies have already considered and implemented conversational AI into their business, resulting in savings of both time and money. The introduction of this technology also take some pressure off call center agents so they can focus on more complex customer needs.
Times are changing, and call centers need to change along with it.
Written by Dr. Raphael Kamanga (COO, FinChatBot)
FinChatBot to the Rescue!
At FinChatBot, our conversational AI solutions are integrated to accomplish all the goals outlined above. Our passion for technology ensures that we remain on the cutting edge of development with regards to Conversational AI. Our software constantly learns and assimilates information to provide a personalised experience for each customer.
The tone, language, and approach is customisable to meet the ethos of your brand. We accomplish this mission by using existing messenger services (especially WhatsApp) to meet customers where they’re at, with a platform that they are comfortable with.
If you are interested in integrating conversational AI into your business to better serve customers, increase efficiency and reduce operational costs, click here to request a demo.