Cloud Call Center Software Untethers Customers
If you’re old enough to remember Blondie’s Keep Me Hanging on the Telephone, you remember an era when the telephone was the only way you could communicate with a company you were doing business with.
In the old days, before cloud call center software, that meant spending a chunk of time on hold, pacing back and forth as far as the phone cord on your kitchen wall phone would allow. (For you Millennials out there, phones used to have cords. And Debbie Harry was calling from something called a “phone booth.”)
Free Yourself From Old Ideas That Went Out With the Mullet—With Better Contact Center Software
That scenario is SO 80’s, and went out with the Mullet. Technology—such as call center software and multichannel communication—has made it obsolete. Today’s customer service spans several different channels—email, chat, phone calls—and thus needs to be viewed as a conversation that moves from one channel to the next.
Call Center Software Untethers Customers and Agents Alike
Millennial customers—most of whom weren’t yet teething when Debbie Harry sang her on-hold lament—are right to ask why they should have to sit on hold and wait for an agent to be freed up to answer their phone calls. That went out with the Mullet.
They also think it’s absurd for an agent to repeat IVR scripts that ask the same questions they already answered on a previous call, email or text on the same issue. They’re right to demand better, because they know that technology makes huge improvement possible.
Today, customers can take advantage of “virtual queue” technology. Customers place their requests for help, letting the system know where they can be reached. They can then rest assured that an agent will call them back without needing to wait on hold and listen to bad music. Even better, they don’t have to wait while agents try to figure out the history of a particular communication.
There are several good ways to initiate a virtual queue:
- Customers come to your website and request a callback at a time that is convenient to them, or as soon as an agent is available. Some companies even display average wait times on their website to set expectations right up front. Customers using the Web to request an interaction can ask for a callback, a chat, or kick off a service request or trouble ticket.
- Companies can also prompt customers right from an IVR application within their call center software that asks customers if they’re interested in getting called back at a time the customer chooses.
Virtual Queuing Gives Your Customers Choices—And Reduces Pressure on Contact Centers
Everything changes when you free your customers from the phone. Virtual queues can reduce customer irritation and improve customer service. They also ease some of the performance requirements on contact centers. (And we really should say “contact center,” to acknowledge that many customer interactions will not be initiated by phone calls.) And when customers aren’t forced to drop everything and sit on the phone, the need to answer every call in a few seconds goes away. If you invest that time wisely, you can change the customer experience, and make your contact center far more efficient in the process.
Several contact centers already provide this service today. This functionality is available in 8x8’s Virtual Contact Center Professional Package. For example, one of 8x8’s customers watches its own customers’ behavior on its website. When a customer’s behavior indicates an interest in becoming a seller on the site, the call center software is set up to offer the customer the option to speak with an agent. Prospects who take advantage of this offer are routed to an agent group that specializes in recruiting sellers for the website.
With Smarter Contact Center Software, Everybody Wins
Imagine being able to put your most important customers into a special queue of highly trained agents. Then giving those agents a minute or so to get status on an issue before connecting with the customer. Everyone wins. The customer’s time on the phone shrinks from minutes to seconds. Ergo, customers are happier, reducing churn. And agents are spared the wrath of exasperated customers which increases their productivity and reduces employee turnover.
See how your company can enhance your customer experience while reducing costs and simplifying staffing challenges with a virtual call center.