Answer that phone and do it quick! When the success of your business depends on your customer’s experience with your contact center, this should be your number one mantra. We have all been on the other side of that phone line, waiting for the IVR to stop repeating itself and for a human being to ask, “Hello, how may I help you?” And we know there is nothing more frustrating than waiting endlessly for this to happen. Little wonder then that the Average Speed of Answer which, simply put, is how soon an agent answers a customer’s call, is probably the most important contact center metric. What is Average Speed of Answer or ASA? ASA or Average Speed of Answer is the average time an agent takes to answer an incoming call. How do you calculate it? You divide the total wait time for all calls by the total number of calls in a day. So, ASA (in seconds) = Total call wait time for calls answered daily Total number of calls answered in a day So if the total time callers have waited for in a day is two hours or 120 minutes or 7,200 seconds, and the total number of calls answered in the day is 200 then the ASA would be: ASA = 7,200/200 = 36 seconds Which means each customer calling your contact center has to wait for at least 36 seconds before he or she can speak to a customer service agent. That can be a long time for a customer in a hurry or an irate customer with a complaint. This means the aim of a contact center should be to keep the ASA to a minimum. The faster your contact agent answers a call from a customer, the better it is for your business in many ways. How can a low ASA help your business? Higher customer satisfaction – It gives a customer immense relief to hear a human voice at the other end because they feel they are a step closer to a solution to their problem. And the faster they hear that voice, the better they appreciate your service. Better agent productivity: If an agent answers a call quickly, the call queue moves that much faster, and agents are able to handle a higher number of calls. Also, the chances of resolving the issues that the customer has called with are better with a low ASA. This improves agent productivity and keeps the contact center’s operating costs low. Higher customer loyalty: Often, customers hang up because the waiting time is too long. They not only abandon the call but, in the long term, may end up abandoning your product or service. A low ASA is a good way to hold on to customers. Better brand image: When you answer calls quickly, it shows customers that their time is important to you. This helps build your brand image as a business that puts its customers above all else. How can you reduce [...]
About NehaNeha is a Digital Strategist at Ozonetel and is focused towards improving the user experience at all digital touchpoints a consumer interacts with everyday.
How are you gauging the quality of your customer experience? How are you deciding whether your customer is really satisfied or not at the end of each call? Is it part of your agents’ ACW? In that case, how objective is your agent in marking your customer’s mood? Or are you are using a survey system? Sadly, we know that surveys are not always answered. Besides, every customer judges on a personal scale. One customer’s 4-star rating can mean they’re not completely satisfied, whereas that may be the highest rating another customer gives. The scale just isn’t standardized. Or are you still using metrics such as first call resolution to judge satisfaction quality? Do these metrics give you a complete picture? For example, let’s consider a customer who calls, speaks to your agent for 5 minutes, hangs up and doesn’t call again. Was that really a call resolution or have you just lost a customer? And, we all understand that even the best QA team can only go through a small sample set of call recordings. We don’t know how many unhappy (or happy) customers hide within the call recordings we missed. What you really need is an objective and intelligent analysis of customer sentiment at the end of every single call. That’s where Sentiment Analysis comes in. Sentiment Analysis is a function of your Speech Analytics system. A Speech Analytics system first transcribes every word your customer speaks to text. Then it analyzes the text using Natural Language Processing to understand what they meant when they said what they did. Based on the words used, and the context, Sentiment Analysis is able to gauge whether the customer’s mood was: a. Positive b. Neutral or c. Negative. And here is why it helps: Fastest Feedback Loop. A great plus point is that the results are instant. Your agent gets immediate feedback. Studies show that immediate feedback is the most powerful way of improving performance. 100% analysis. 100% of your calls are analyzed. You don’t miss out a single negative (or positive) remark. This makes a judgment of agent performance 95% more accurate than before.* Deep Dive. The results can be further scanned with various keywords to find common causes and trends. For example, are the negative results all pointing to a product/service flaw? Are there common complaints that can be used to improve your product offering? Are there some triggers in your script that cause a change in customer sentiment? Find your star players. Sentiment can also be scanned at the beginning and end of the call. Are there some star agents that can turnaround customer sentiment from negative to positive? You can automate call routing of certain customers to your star agents. Take immediate action. You can develop APIs that allow barge-ins or call redirects whenever sentiment drops to negative. Go beyond first call resolutions. Let’s go back to the customer who calls, speaks to your agent for 5 minutes, hangs up and doesn’t call again. Was this a [...]
The world knows about the existence of cloud-based virtual phone systems, yet a number of businesses haven’t unleashed its benefits.? What is holding them back? This article aims to fill up the information gap. After reading this article, you should have a clear understanding of virtual telephony and its advantages. You will also get guidelines for choosing the right one for your business. So, what is a Virtual Phone System? Let’s get familiar! A virtual phone system is a cloud-based phone system rooted on the internet. When a caller reaches your toll-free number or business number, calls are routed forward to pre-set telephone numbers, chosen by the client: fixed, mobile or VoIP. The agents will accordingly receive calls on a computer(softphone), landline (hard phone) or mobile device. An agent can make/receive calls on the internet browser. Or the virtual number can work as a gateway between traditional calls (PSTN) and VOIP. Since the actual phone could be located anywhere, a virtual phone system enables remote working. This system can use VOIP Calling to enable long distance calls without incurring long distance charges. What are the advantages of Virtual Telephony? Business VoIP is growing in use worldwide. While the technology has countless advantages, some are listed below: Cheaper, easier setup: With virtual telephony, you don't need any expensive hardware or software to set up. You don't need any of the infrastructure, switchboards, chips, and cables of legacy contact centers. Just a set of headphones and a working internet browser or softphone for your employees. You save on a lot of capital expenditure right there. Plus there are no maintenance costs either. Mobility: You don’t have to be next to your desk phone to make calls on a cloud-based phone system. Virtual Telephony allows you/your staff to work anywhere with a working Internet connection. Your staff can work from home, on the go, or as full-time remote employees. There’s no need to wait at your desk for that important phone call or fax-- Calls can be routed to your mobile phone. Control: Your virtual phone system captures all call details. So you know when your agents are logged in, who they spoke to, and for how long. You have access to all your call recordings plus a large number of performance and queue reports. Integrations: Legacy contact center systems have architecture limitations which don’t allow them to open up APIs for third-party applications. Virtual phone systems, on the other hand, often have open platforms that can easily integrate with any third party applications. This could be your CRM, your ticketing platform or a social media integration. So you can: Send text messages pre or post your call. Integrate your telephony and email into a single support center Integrate your telephony with Zoho, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Salesforce or any other CRM or ticketing software. This saves agent time and customer experience in multiple ways. (learn more) Integrate your telephony system with WhatsApp, facebook messenger or other social media platforms, so customers and prospects can contact you in multiple [...]
Cole calls his favourite restaurant. Almost immediately, Nia answers and greets him by name. Cole isn’t surprised, since he is used to Nia taking his order. He orders his usual. She remembers his gluten intolerance and pencils in special orders for the chef. He takes her recommendation for desert, and within the next few seconds, she reconfirms the delivery address and closes the call. This hyper personalization is a key reason why Cole remains a loyal customer. CTI applications are the secret sauce that powers multiple examples of stellar customer support. CTI applications can improve sales, support and agent efficiency. What is CTI? CTI or Computer Telephone Integration, as the name suggests, simply means integrating your phone system with your computer. Also known as call telephony, it gives you a wide variety of business benefits including being able to recognize callers, provide IVR, match caller to their customer records, as well as track call recording, missed calls and agent performance on each call. 4 BUSINESS APPLICATIONS OF CTI Are you able to track data after a busy day of receiving calls and answering them? Can you analyze this data at the touch of a button? Does the CRM system you currently use give you an edge over your competitor? Does it help improve your response time? And most importantly, does it help you resolve issues faster? CTI or Call Telephony integrations can help you achieve all this and more. Here are 6 powerful business applications of Computer Telephone Integrations in your call center: APPLICATION 1: RECOGNISE CALLERS & ROUTE CALLS BETTER CTI makes it possible to draw information from your internal database/CRM or Ticketing system to recognize callers from their phone numbers. ACD or Automated Call Distribution is used to transfer inbound calls to the right agent. Calls can be routed based on a variety of factors including time-of-day, agent’s skills, or campaign. VIP Routing is another option. many of our clients use VIP routing to prioritize customers based on past average order value. When the customer calls, the IVR uses customer data within the CRM software to “decide” whom the call will be routed to , based on pre-defined instructions. Sticky Agents. CTI makes it possible to know who a caller spoke to last, and connect them to the same agent each time. This builds familiarity, trust and superior customer experience just like in the case of Cole and Nia in the hypothetical scenario we discussed above. APPLICATION 2: SCREENPOP INTEGRATIONS With CTI, your telephone doesn’t just recognize the caller, it draws information from your internal database/CRM or ticketing software. The information then displays as a screenpop on the agents dashboard. The agent uses this information to resolve the caller’s query immediately, without having to fumble through multiple systems. A lot of time is saved as the information is ready with the system. The customer also feels welcome and acknowledged. An important step in trust is formed. APPLICATION 3: POWER DIALLERS CTI benefits for your outbound calling too. [...]
The two things that are at a premium for small businesses are time and resources. Especially, as small businesses scale, the challenge is being able to meet customers’ needs while keeping the machine lean. Often, what seriously peeves customers and urges them to switch to a competitor’s offering is poor customer support. Can your business phone system prevent long wait times for your customer? Can it ensure that customers don’t need to repeat information (the issue, the ticket, their id & other credentials, etc.)? Can it alert you on missed calls and abandoned calls? Can customers connect to it from your website? Small businesses are not ignoring their customers by any means. They are often just scrambling to reach their newly evolved customer who is thriving in a busy, chaotic, internet-heavy, social-media-centric environment. This has, for better or worse, vastly shifted business dynamics in all facets from Point of Sale (POS) to customer acquisition and retention. Today, customers can be reached through social media. Their cellphone, as opposed to the desktop (oh, the good old days!) is their lifeline. Customer needs are 24 x 7. And as a small business, you have many priorities too. Here’s a short list: Multi-channel customer communication. Customer Relationship Management. Growing & scaling your business & customer base. Managing operational & personnel costs. Profit optimization & ROI. How, then, do you stay on top of it all? Traditionally, small businesses have used phone lines to offer customer support and meet their customers’ business needs. While this can meet some business aspects, it has its shortcomings. They can be expensive, laborious, stifle employee flexibility, and offer limited automated workflows. For example, they lack CRM integration, which is critical for efficient customer support and retention. Besides, do customers really have the time or the inclination to talk or would they rather just troubleshoot in minutes with a chat bot? For small businesses, efficiency is key. It is no doubt, a daunting task to seek and select the right technology-based solution that fits your business’s current and future needs. This is made more challenging and confusing in today’s era of easy access to massive amounts of information through a multitude of channels. So, what should you as a small business look for, when considering a phone system for your growing business? The answer lies in a scalable, economical, laborsaving, easy to use solution. Here are 5 tips when looking for a business phone system: TIP 1: Look for Cost efficiency As a small business, you need a tech solution that has minimal set up costs. Consider a cloud telephony solution. Thanks to software as a service (SaaS) options that are deployed in the cloud, all you need are headphones and an internet connection, making your infrastructural costs almost negligible. TIP 2: Look for Multi-channel integration. You need customer presence across channels – social media, email, text messages. You need a phone system that can work across these multi-media channels with capabilities such as SMS plug-ins, Facebook [...]