How Call Centers Use Technology to Reduce Hold Times
In a call center to define quality of service you must improve customer satisfaction. It’s just as simple as that, really. It’s monstrously hard to find a practical solution to achieve this result though!
When a customer calls your call center the first hardship that he will encounter will be the holding time he’s required to wait before talking with an operator. Although your call center may provide him the best service in the world by answering to all his questions, and finding all the perfect solution to his problems, it won’t matter much if he’s crazily angry after he waited 45 minutes, or if he simply hung up the phone. Reducing the average handle time is one of the most important objectives for a call center, and there are several strategies to achieve this goal.
Longer average handle time equates to greater frustration from your customers, and you do not require a psychologist to tell you that when a person speaks about the quality of a service, most of the time he will start by telling the bad things first. “Yeah… they fixed up my problem, but I had to wait 20 mins before I could speak to an operator.” That’s all it counts for them – and you know that perfectly.
But what can you do about that? Agents are often overburdened with lengthy calls, frustrated people will further eat up their precious time venting their complaints, and increasing the number of the workforce is often a solution you can’t just afford. Asking more from your workers may increase their productivity to some extent, but if you push them too much, they will often abandon you, and training a new agent is often much more time and resources-consuming that keeping a more satisfied expert one. Technology does offer an opportunity to improve client’s satisfaction though, in the form of a special new really simple solution called Virtual Hold Technology (VHT).
VHT is quite simple at its core: it is a device that uses the data acquired by various calls to calculate the expected wait time, and then gives the customer the opportunity of choosing whether they want to keep waiting on hold, or to receive a scheduled call back after that given amount of time. VHT’s artificial intelligence is really smart: by integrating several popular IVR and call routing platforms, it’s ability to store all the data about customers and agents time, placing the incoming call in a specific queue position to guarantee a perfect response. As soon as the client is called back, he will talk with the operator in less than a minute. People can keep performing their routinely activities, and do not need to interrupt their work or their precious lunch break to wait 40 minutes on hold, and when they receive the callback they will be much more gentle and relaxed, improving both their and your agent’s satisfaction (as they will work in a happier workplace). You’re not just saving their time, you’re saving your agent’s time, and the time of other people waiting in that same queue, and overall you’re greatly improving the quality of your service. Reducing average handle time will also reduce the number of abandons, lowering total calls and optimizing your workforce effectiveness.