As the central hub of customer interactions, call centres play a prominent role in shaping the customer experience. With this, call centers must harness advanced contact centre technology and leverage innovative features to improve efficiency.
Efficiency is the cornerstone of success – Consider the consequences of not investing time to ensure your contact centre helps customers efficiently. Long wait times? Customer dissatisfaction? Increased customer churn?
Whether you’re a small-to-medium sized team purely handling calls or a 200+ agent call centre communicating with customers across multiple channels, keep reading to uncover the top 5 contact centre software features that will boost your call centre’s efficiency.
Defining and measuring call centre efficiency
From a broader outlook, organisational efficiency can be defined as the relationship between an organisation’s output and input. The ratio between the output can measure this concept gained (e.g. revenue, sales, cash) and the input (e.g. people, time, technology) used to run the operation.
Call centre efficiency involves optimising the processes in place to improve service levels and deliver a better experience for your customers, with the goal of eliminating any inefficiencies. How your organisation’s call centre efficiency is measured will vary depending on whether your call centre operates exclusively inbound, outbound or a hybrid of both.
To illustrate, imagine yourself as the customer experience manager of an e-commerce clothing brand. One way to measure call centre efficiency is by assessing the time it takes for staff (input) to handle web chat interactions against the customer satisfaction ratings (output) received. The outcome will give you an understanding of what areas can be improved to help your call centre operate more efficiently.
Top 5 Contact Centre Software features to boost call centre efficiency
Here are the top 5 contact centre software features that you need to utilise to improve your call centre’s efficiency:
Feature 1 – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform Integration
If your organisation utilises a CRM to store and manage customer details, it is imperative to integrate your contact centre solution with your CRM platform to enhance efficiency. This integration combines customer information and communication channels through a Computer Telephony Interface (CTI) adaptor; agents can speak with a customer over the phone while viewing the customer’s profile in real time. In doing so, call centre agents can communicate with customers more personally, driving engagement and providing more informed support. Moreover, the CTI adaptor drives efficiency by automating manual tasks such as data entry. After a conversation, the customer profile will be automatically updated to reflect interaction details such as time of call, the call duration and a link to the call recording, saving agents time and enabling them to improve their productivity and help more customers.
Feature 2 – Snippets, Canned Responses & Email Templates
Digital channels such as web chat and email are popular for customers to engage with brands. By adopting cloud contact centre technology, your agents will be equipped with extensive functionality to improve efficiencies while engaging with customers through web chat or email. Snippets or ‘Canned responses’ – created explicitly for web chat interactions – are pre-determined answers to frequently asked questions managers make for agents to select while on a live web chat interaction. Similarly, managers can design ’email templates’ to reduce the time agents need to spend writing an entire email. Leveraging both canned responses and email templates across digital interactions can reduce average handle time and improve call centre efficiency.
Feature 3 – Reporting
To ensure you are improving the performance of your call centre or contact centre, you need data. The technology you use to make calls or interact with customers should provide accurate and timely reports for live and historical data. Managers should fully utilise a contact centre solution’s reporting module to surface call centre performance metrics. Furthermore, Business Intelligence tools such as Power BI can aggregate data points and create visualisations where crucial insights can be uncovered. Metrics such as average time in queue, abandonment rate, average handling time (AHT), and many other metrics will help form a data-driven approach to improve efficiency.
Feature 4 – Progressive and Predictive Dialler Modes
When conducting outreach programs, setting the outbound dialler to operate in either a progressive or predictive mode helps optimise agent talk time and maximise productivity levels.
A Progressive dialler will make a call one after another and only when an agent is ready to take a customer call. The progressive dialler automates making outbound phone calls and will only connect the agent to someone who has answered. In doing so, this dialler filters out busy lines, answering machines and disconnected numbers so agents are not spending time on calls that don’t connect. In contrast, the predictive dialler continuously makes multiple phone calls, predicting when an agent will be available. This dialler utilises an algorithm to predict when an agent will become available to take a phone call and adjusts the dialling rate accordingly to minimise abandonment rates while maximising agent productivity. Applying either dialler mode automates the outbound dialling process, enabling call centre agents to work efficiently by spending more time talking to customers, as opposed to manually entering numbers to call or becoming time-consumed by calls that did not connect.
Feature 5 – Self-service
A recent study found that “67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company’s representative”, highlighting the importance of leveraging automation to enhance customer satisfaction.
Automation and self-service help organisations reduce costs while improving the customer experience. Implementing self-service workflows using your Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, often called an ‘Intelligent IVR,’ can create call centre automation opportunities.
How do you create an Intelligent IVR? Using the insights gathered from the contact centre by reviewing reports or leveraging Speech Analytics can allow management to identify any repetitive queries that do not require agent assistance, i.e., “What are the store operating hours?” or “What is my account balance?”. Self-service call centre technology benefits Utilities providers for outage and service notifications, financial institutions for account queries and retail for delivery updates.
Ensure you are using a contact centre platform with sophisticated capabilities, including Web Services connectors, Virtual Agent Voices and APIs, so you can create an Intelligent IVR that automatically serves customers’ information.
If your call centre technology does not have “Intelligent IVR ” functionality, effectively deploying self-service functionality is possible by designing your IVR with simple prompts that customers can easily understand. Customers can interact with the IVR to resolve inquiries using the touch-tone keypad (DTMF tones).
Drive your call centre’s efficiency with ipSCAPE AdVOCate:
‘ipSCAPE AdVOCate’ automates customer feedback using AI to create call centre efficiencies. This solution has been developed by our Professional Services team to enable organisations to easily manage their customer feedback, where responses collected are transcribed through leveraging the power of AI.
This solution can be used to optimise your organisation’s customer experience strategy through deploying a post-call satisfaction survey which captures the voice of your customers as they provide feedback. The call metadata, satisfaction ratings and the transcription are stored within ipSCAPE Vault – a secure, centralised storage platform.
ipSCAPE AdVOCate is built for call centre managers to efficiently measure customer satisfaction by filtering on the sentiment score. Further insights can be derived by searching for specific words or phrases such as “Unhappy” or “The service today was excellent.” This functionality enables managers to quickly identify any at-risk customers in an efficient manner.
Overall, any incremental improvements made to call centre processes can help boost efficiency, which can be achieved by leveraging the right contact centre technology that equips your business with the necessary features.
Looking to upgrade or modernise the call centre technology your organisation uses to manage customer communications? Contact ipSCAPE today to explore how our feature-rich cloud contact centre software can boost your call centre’s efficiency.
ipSCAPE is a feature-rich, scalable cloud communication technology solution with advanced integration and intelligent IVR capabilities. We help businesses connect with their customers through multi-channel communications, including Voice, Web Chat, Email, SMS, IVR, and other emerging channels.