3 Tips to Increase Efficiency in Your Call Center
Many call centers are facing growing inefficiencies as a result of delayed modernization. In order to drive successful business outcomes and deliver consistent positive customer experiences, it’s imperative for call centers to adapt to evolving customer expectations and needs. Here are 3 tips to increase efficiency in your call center and deliver a positive outcome for every customer.
For a call center, there are no more important indicators of success than effectiveness and efficiency. However, many traditional call centers are set up in a way that actually hinders both effectiveness and efficiency—callers are transferred from one agent to the next, each only having a partial view of the customer’s needs.
At Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest generators of energy, we recognized this shortcoming in our process and knew if we were to ever provide anticipatory service to our customers, we had to implement a technology that would empower customer service representatives to take ownership of a customer’s needs and have the information necessary to handle a call from start to finish, both maximizing their effectiveness and efficiency.
The problem is that when a customer calls a contact center to discuss an issue, they already understand every detail of their problem. They’ve been living it for hours or even days. So if your agents are not at least as knowledgeable as the customer, they’re already a step behind.
But historically that’s what happens. A customer with a problem is transferred from one desk to the next, having to explain their situation over and over, with each CSR having very little insight into the entire issue. The potential for frustration and miscommunication is high.
As program manager at Vattenfall, customer care is my passion and my mission. So when faced with the status quo of organizational silos and redundant processes, I made it my goal to streamline our customer experience and ensure each member of our staff had the tools to maximize customer satisfaction. Now, I’d like to share a few of the insights I’ve learned during this exciting, sometimes challenging, but always rewarding journey.
1. Give Staff a 360 View of Customers
You need an open and transparent customer experience platform to be able to service customers efficiently. For Vattenfall, the obvious choice was Genesys.
Before migrating to the Genesys Customer Experience Platform, we experienced a variety of issues. Our old system was a traditional contact center where the customer calls or sends an email and gets routed from one desk to the next.
Getting transferred from agent to agent not only costs the customer time, it creates the impression that they are on the phone with someone who doesn’t know anything about them. This also erodes trust, leaving the customer with the feeling that your staff is not knowledgeable.
Switching to the Genesys Customer Experience Platform helped us see firsthand what a difference an integrated, modernized system can make. The platform’s user interface helps us get the customer to the right agent at the right time. Plus, the system provides administrators with all of the information they need in a clean format that is easily configurable and flexible.
And we’re engaging with customers on an ongoing basis, not just when problems arise, so we’re always building on the relationship and continually working to understand each customer’s needs. Best of all, we have access to all that information every time we interact with our customers.
2. Provide Staff with Correct and Complete Training.
When staff is handling customer requests, they must have the training and tools to manage each call from start to finish. One way we’ve been able to improve our customer experience is by reversing the usual training flow.
Many call centers—and we were guilty of this in the past—start their new hires on the phones. Once a customer service representative gains experience, they are transferred to the back office where they no longer have any customer interaction.
The reasons for this can be many, including market forces or conventional wisdom. But when you reverse this process—giving your customers access to senior staff equipped with the most knowledge—you set your staff up to succeed, and the customer leaves the interaction feeling confident in your business.
The key to this success is training, and the Genesys platform makes that easy. Its intuitive design allows employees to quickly adapt to new processes quickly and effortlessly. It doesn’t require any special knowledge or skills. We like to say that if you can pick up a phone, you can work with Genesys.
For example, we recently completed a small migration to a newer version of the platform and we performed a pilot study in which we gave half our agents a 20-minute e-learning course, and the other half no training at all. Both groups were able to quickly comprehend and begin implementing the new system with almost no difference between the two groups.
Administrators also have flexibility in how they tailor the platform. If they wish to alter the information they have at hand, they don’t need to start a project with programmers and wait up to 12 months before the changes are fully implemented. It’s self-service.
In addition to the configurable layout, Genesys brings their focus on ease-of-use to troubleshooting as well. When a problem arises, Genesys provides both customers and vendors with access to technical documentation that is quite elaborate. But it’s also readable and easy to digest, providing our whole team with the resources to troubleshoot functionality and stay current on new features.
3. Involve Your Staff in Developing Your Platform
Whenever designing and developing new processes into your customer service platform, it’s important to include agents from the floor in the process.
You want to be able to give them a user interface that matches their requirements, so make sure to get them involved and listen to their feedback. That’s how you ensure you are designing the most efficient and effective product possible.
Even the most basic users can provide insights that administrators and IT professionals may not have considered. Every user can be invaluable for improving both the efficiency of the system and the experience for the customer.
A Final Word on Scaling
Success takes a defined path, and so must we. When scaling new processes and technology, it’s imperative to grow systematically and purposefully. Because if you begin to expand and your foundation is not perfect, small cracks and issues will spread and become much larger problems as you advance.
Luckily, Genesys is built to scale. It’s platform, processes, and knowledge base provides call centers with the ability to ensure consistent omnichannel customer experiences at every digital touchpoint and channel, and at every step along the path to success.
This assurance, the confidence of having a trusted partner by your side, empowers call centers to enter the modern world of anticipatory service and deliver consistent, positive experiences for every one of their customers. Now, achieving great business outcomes isn’t just a future possibility; it’s today’s reality.