Creative ways to reduce call volume with a contact center digital transformation because it isn’t just about reducing costs, if done correctly it can be used to create delightful customer experiences.
Optimize your IVR or IVA Flows
Spending time evaluating how your IVR (Interactive Voice Response) is directing calls or even migrating to an AI, machine learning system, IVA (Intelligent Virtual Assistant) is the first step in reducing call volume. Understanding why customers are calling and creating the pathways to get to their destinations efficiently opens doors to other channels that can work together to decrease volume.
IVRs or IVAs can often understand the purpose of a dial into the contact center. Once the intent is identified, you can route them to the place that makes the most sense to solve their issue, and use the least amount of resources to still solve the issue. For example, if a customer is calling your cable company with a question about their most recent bill, they’d be delighted to push a dial tone number and be connected with the billing department immediately. However, if they simply want to know the balance left on an invoice, they’d probably be okay listening to an automated response. This helps cut down on call volume going into agents at the beginning of the interaction.
If organizations are unable to identify the intent of the incoming interaction at the beginning, asking them to input information as part of the flow via dial tone reduces the time it would take an agent to enter it to route their call. An added bonus: when customers are spending time inputting information, they are less likely to abandon the call.
Utilize Self- Service Options
Self Service channels are helpful in two ways: directing customers to self-service options before even dialing into a call center, or smart IVRs or IVAs can direct callers to self-service channels as an exit point from your IVR or IVA flow.
Here are three self service channels to integrate into your CX strategy:
A detailed, easy to navigate FAQ page
So, you have an FAQ page at the bottom of a support page with 10 questions? This isn’t going to cut it if you want it to address and solve customer concerns efficiently. It needs to be a living document that is searchable, regularly updated and loaded with links that guide customers to results.
With Millennials and Generation Z making up more and more of the overall population, we know they typically prefer solving issues without having to talk to a person on an audio channel. Thus, having tutorials that make the customer feel comfortable accomplishing simple tasks without calling into your call center is a great strategy
Logging area for items that don’t need immediate assistance
Send customers without urgent need for assistance to an email flow that informs them they will receive a response within 24, 48 or even 72 hours later.
Train Agents to Handle Multiple Channels
For most organizations, there will typically be a handful of agents that need to give customers focused, real-time voice interactions; however, these agents who are only talking to customers on your voice channels are often less efficient. Agents who have access to additional channels like chat, SMS. Email, etc. can reduce call volume because they can interact with more than one customer at a time.
Have Synchronous Communication Between all Channels
Implementing a strategy that takes multiple channels to communicate with your customers on their terms is awesome, but you can also get creative in how they work together to reduce call volume. If you are able to have the channels work together synchronously, this opens up a world of possibilities. What if you were able to tell if a customer saw a coupon on your social media channel, then browsed a page on your website, before deciding to call into your contact center? Your agent could proactively consider the reasons for the call before interacting.
Even if your strategies don’t allow integration at a customer level, there are ways to utilize this at the organization level. For example, creating a pop-up that triggers when a customer searching for your support phone number that lets them know of high call volume times and directs them to send an email or self-service portal.
Regardless of how much investing your contact center does, if your customer experience isn’t at the center, your digitization probably won’t pay off. Ensure you are taking a holistic view of the customers needs before outlining your approach. Often organizations base the customer journey how it best fits in the organizations structure, and now a comprehensive look at why they are actually calling.