Inbound call centers are often your first line of contact with a customer. A consumer has a request or issue that needs to be resolved, and so they reach out to your company through the phone to discuss the matter. Many times, customers will make broad judgments about your company based on whether or not they’re satisfied with the service they receive. As a result, it’s pivotal that your inbound call center is equipped to field these types of communications appropriately and consistently. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you build a strategy for effectively handling inbound calls.
Coach your agents
While it may seem old-fashioned, it never hurts to reinforce your operating procedures when engaging with clients. Agents need to know that customers are a precious resource and to treat them as such. To this end, make sure to create helpful scripts with preapproved language that your agents can read from as they’re getting acclimated to their workflow. Even simple tips such as having your agents smile while they’re speaking into the phone can make a conversation seem brighter and more upbeat. When you consider that many consumers expect specialized treatment for their loyalty and relationship with a company, it becomes clear how crucial a well-coached team of support agents is.
Use customer data throughout the conversation
When it comes to offering personalized attention to your customers, customer data is king. A cloud-based omnichannel call center solution can be a major boon when it comes to addressing these concerns, as it integrates with your existing CRM platform. From there, you can harness a wide range of customer data key performance indicators, as well as previous chat transcripts, to give the kind of personal touch your best customers deserve. From referencing a product they recently purchased to apologizing for a repeat service request, empowering your agents to use customer data can be one of the best ways to provide a consistently positive experience.
Use omnichannel tools to ensure that each call is valuable
Just because you have agents ready to answer the phone doesn’t mean they need to speak to every single customer. Because a phone call costs your business an average of $15 an hour in labor and other costs, it’s a good idea to reserve voice calls for the customers who truly need to speak to someone over the phone. Omnichannel call center software can be a good way to help curb unnecessary phone calls by offering customers the chance to interact with your brand through other channels such as SMS messaging, web chat, or even Facebook messenger.
Analyze inbound call data
Another way to increase the efficiency of your call center is to collect, track, and analyze data about your agents and customers. For example, if you see that a specific issue is getting marked as unresolved by many customers during exit surveys, you may want to reassess how your agents are talking about that problem with your consumers. Similarly, if your software company has one product feature that is consistently receiving support requests, it may be worth investing some time and money into creating some more resources or video tutorials that explain the feature more thoroughly. This can reduce redundant calls and ensure that your agents are instead handling only the highest-priority customers.
While inbound call strategy is complex and varies from industry to industry, any good inbound plan has a few fundamental aspects. From coaching your agents to be more personable and to reference your customer’s data to analyzing your work to look for areas of improvement, the above tips should all be part of your approach.