About Prashant Kancherla

Prashanth is VP, International Business at Ozonetel Communications. He is focused on delivering impactful business benefits through our contact center solutions.

The Top 10 Contact Center Reports that Supervisors and Managers use most

When contact centers initially started moving from legacy systems to the cloud, not all of them understood how powerful data could be. Cloud contact center solutions such as ours generate 70+ reports. Businesses switching from legacy to cloud for other reasons such as to reduce infrastructure costs, or to connect remote offices— found this a big bonus. Happy reviews started pouring in. Managers were able to use reports to monitor and draw insights from every call their support or sales departments received or made. But I still feel that contact center reports are an underused tool. How can you make best use of this powerful feature? No matter what contact center solution you use, this article should introduce you to many ways of optimally utilizing the reports they generate. Broadly speaking, there are two user groups who use contact center reports: Supervisor Groups / Team Leads. This group needs real-time metrics and monitoring to prevent escalations and manage their agent workforce efficiently. They also need historical reports (management reports) to measure and report to their managers. Head of Customer Support / Customer Experience / Customer Success. These users need reports for a top-level view of performance metrics (daily /weekly/monthly/quarterly). They also need reports/ metrics which will correlate to other activities done in other departments. Understanding these reports can help contact center managers achieve better workforce management, productivity and customer satisfaction levels. They can even give insights to marketing managers on campaign performance, even product performance issues. Let's start by understanding the 3 main reasons/ use cases for reports, and then categorize each report under these heads. After that, we will explore the top 10 contact center reports used by managers, supervisors, and team leads across various outbound and inbound contact centers. The 3 contact center report categories The traditional way of categorizing reports is by user group, that is, agents, team lead and management reports. But I find that a more practical way to categorize them is by intent, that is, based on what these reports are used for. Category 1: Reports that measure CX. Some reports measure use customer service/experience as the key indicator to measure contact center performance. You measure these against industry benchmarks or predefined SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) or your organization guidelines. The key intent behind these metrics is to measure how customers feel about your service.   Category 2: Reports that monitor performance These are reports which give you metrics about your teams, agents or various skills. Skills can also be defined as teams or departments. (While skills can be teams, a single skill can also have multiple teams with each team reporting to a supervisor/team lead. To know more, also read Skill Hunting)   These reports help you in understanding your agents/ teams adherence to log in times, SLA, AHT’s(Average Handle times  Abandon rates, Productivity, Schedule adherence to rosters and other productivity metrics. Category 3: Reports to manage the big picture Supervisor or admin reports tend to focus on real-time metrics. The aim is [...]

The Top 10 Contact Center Reports that Supervisors and Managers use most 2019-01-31T20:44:49+00:00

8 things people hate most about your customer care. And how to fix it.

When your customer contacts your support center via call or chat here are the top 9 pain points they face*: Long Wait Times (Before reaching an agent) Slow Service (When an agent is reached) Self Service is difficult to use Rude agents Agents aren’t knowledgeable Repeating info when a call is transferred Cannot get service in the preferred channel Service isn’t personalized Support centers are high-stress environments. Most incoming calls are complaints, and so understandably, the people calling aren’t in the best of moods. It isn’t easy to motivate agents to thrive in this environment. And since many customer support centers are still treated as cost centers, budgets are tight. Calls often exceed the number of agents available, leading to high call volumes. Often agents handle calls back to back. And sometimes even managing calls and chats simultaneously. Yet all the problems listed above are solve-able. Over the past decade of working with contact centers, we’ve learned some of the best practices for dealing with these problems. And of course, we have worked hard to provide technology to help. Let's delve into each problem and see how it can be solved in efficient, cost-effective ways: COMPLAINT #1 Long Wait Times (Before Reaching an agent) What’s the issue? When customers call in with complaints, most likely they’re already facing a problem. What they want, more than anything else at that moment, is for the problem to disappear fast. This should be—and probably is— your support center’s most important focus. Reducing the time taken to reach your contact center is the best place to begin. Why does it happen? There are two main reasons why your customer cannot reach a live agent fast: Agents are unavailable to take calls or chats leading to long queue times IVR is too long. How to measure it? Average time in Queue. And Average Time to reach a Live Agent. According to our research across 160 million calls: in 2018, customers spent an average of 75 seconds in the queue. A long IVR menu may further delay a customer. On chats, your chatbot may waste their time. A measure of around 10 seconds to reach a live agent is far more ideal. And it’s do-able too. How to fix it? Plan staff/ Forecast regularly. Your data is a gold mine. Use it to plan your staff more efficiently. If you go into your call reports regularly, you can see what time of day or day of week call traffic is high, and when it isn't. Use this to plan your agent rosters accordingly. If the metrics show a need for increased staff, you can use the data to quantify exactly what your increased budget requirements are. (Also Read: Call Queue Management: Plan Staffing) Create Fallbacks. Take your metrics seriously. If calls do not connect with a live agent within the stipulated time, you should provide fallbacks. Another skill group: Your fallback could be another department or support center. Or it could also be a group [...]

8 things people hate most about your customer care. And how to fix it. 2019-10-17T13:16:16+00:00

Predictive Dialer Vs Power Dialer

Most cloud telephony or outbound contact center solutions will give you a choice of auto dialer options. This will mean selecting either manual dialers/ preview dialers/ power dialers, aka, progressive dialers or power dialers. What you choose will depend upon how many agents you have available, how good your data is, and what your priorities are. When your call lists are small, you generally choose manual dialing or preview dialers. But when your call lists are large, making up your mind on whether to use a predictive or power dialer is often confusing. So we put together all the differences between the two on this single infographic. Basic difference: Power dialers are less complicated. Predictive dialer: A predictive dialer dials numbers from a database based on a mathematical estimation of agent availability. The estimations are based on factors like the number of agents available, average talk time, etc. Predictive dialer dials multiple phone numbers per agent. Power dialer: In contrast, a power dialer dials one number after another sequentially for each agent available. There are no complicated mathematical predictions. It dials one phone numbers per agent. (If you make a 1:1 dialing ratio in predictive dialer, it becomes a power dialer). Productivity: Predictive dialers are more efficient. Predictive dialer: A predictive dialer prioritizes agent’s time. It lowers agent idle time and increases productivity, that is, agent talk time. You can expect it to give an 80% or higher agent efficiency. This is because the next number is dialled even before the agent finishes the call they’re on. This leads to Predictive Dialer campaigns being completed faster. Power dialer: A progressive, aka, power dialer, is also efficient, giving about 60% or higher agent productivity, but it isn't as efficient as a predictive dialer in prioritizing agent time. This is because the next phone number is dialed only after the agent completes a call. This means that Power dialer campaigns take longer to complete than predictive dialer campaigns. Call Quality: Power Dialers give better CX. Predictive dialer: In a predictive dialer, agents are connected after a callee answers the call. This means that your customer or prospect may hear an awkward silence, a ringing tone or hold music until the agent connects. This could annoy them, and/or cause them to disconnect. Power dialer: A power dialer connects the agent before the call connects. This means that your customer/prospect hears the agent as soon as they answer. Training: Predictive Dialers need training to  perfect Predictive Dialer: Predictive dialers are more complicated. The manager/administrator needs to learn how to tweak many more settings like dial rate to get best results. Power dialer: A power dialer is based on a straightforward concept, is easy to use and needs no learning/training to use. Compliance: Power dialers are a safer bet when compliance is an issue In many countries, you need to be wary of compliance while using your dialer. For example, in the US, if your dropped calls are geater than 3% it could invite [...]

Predictive Dialer Vs Power Dialer 2019-10-24T09:16:21+00:00

Setting call retry rules for your dialer: best practices

Retry rules, if formulated intelligently, can make an agent’s life easier and reduce unwanted calls for your customers. There is a fine line between being pesky and being persistent. And when you are telemarketing or cold calling, that line becomes even finer. Often, contact center agents need to call leads more than once to be able to speak to them. Sometimes their phones will be busy, and at other times, they will simply be unavailable. Often, people just won’t answer. But the business demands that you keep trying. However, you don’t want to put off your prospects by constantly calling at the wrong time. So How best to set up your call retry rules on your dialer? Let’s explore. Why have retry rules? When you are using a retrying system, whether it is on your power dialer or predictive dialer, the idea is to save your agents’ time. When you have a system in place for call retrying, it can only better agent productivity because the system is lining up calls for them, making their work that much faster and easier. Retry rules basically mean that you program your dialer to retry calls within a specified framework. So the dialer does the initial work of sorting the numbers and deciding which ones to call and in what sequence. What are the best practices for setting up your dialer retry rules? If a number is busy at the first try, retry immediately. Set this up on your dialer’s rules engine. So that, every time you get a busy tone or message on a prospect’s number, the system redials it automatically. When a call goes unanswered. Do not retry a prospect at the same time of the day as the previous retry. For example, if a prospect hasn’t answered your call at 1 pm on one day then the chances of them answering at the same time the next day are even lower. So ensure that the number is dialed at another time. When a number is invalid. Don’t waste time on retrying a number that is invalid. Ensure your dialer detects an invalid number and does not retry them. Clear these numbers from your database immediately. Prioritize based on the number of tries. It makes more sense to place new data,(new phone numbers), at the top of the list, followed by those you have already tried calling once and then twice and so on. This way, you can target multiple phone numbers, almost simultaneously. Watch out for certain time slots. It has been seen that 11.00 and 13.00 hours and 15.00 and 17.00 hours are usually the busiest hours for any working people. If your target market is someone who doesn't keep regular office hours, then the rules reverse, and these become the best times to dial. Having retry rules in place gives you the flexibility of dialing prospects at the times they are most likely to answer. It, thus, increases the chance of pick-ups. Studies say your data is exhausted [...]

Setting call retry rules for your dialer: best practices 2018-12-04T14:05:38+00:00

Making international calls? Learn how to ensure high voice quality on VOIP calls.

Do you support your international customers from a global headquarter, or local customers from multiple remote offices? Or does your business need to call prospects across the globe? In both cases, VOIP calls can really slash those international phone bills. But if there are basic voice quality issues, it isn't worth it. Disruptions, echoes, jitter or long silences can ruin the customer experience. How do you ensure high call quality on VOIP calls? Do you need to fix things in your own infrastructure? Or watch out for something when choosing your cloud telephony partner? Turns out, call quality issues can crop up in cloud telephony infrastructure or your own office infrastructure. That's why we’ve divided this guide into two helpful sections: Cloud telephony infrastructure issues: 2 ways to ensure your cloud telephony infrastructure ensure high call quality Issues in your office infrastructure: 4 office infrastructure fixes to ensure high call quality. 2 ways your cloud telephony infrastructure can ensure high call quality on international calls. Distributed Points of Presence (POPs). If you know that a substantial number of your calls will be international ones, it is critical you ask your telephony partner to list out their points of presence or POP’s. (We’ve mentioned this before in our guide to selecting a cloud telephony partner ) Why is this important?  If your solution provider doesn't have multiple points of presence, they will have to resort to providing media(voice) and signaling (logic) from a single location. To put it simply, let's say their application is hosted in Location A, and your application site is in a distant site B and C, then when your partner provides all services from Location A itself, you will face voice issues like jitter, blank calls or one-way voice in site B and C. And, if your provider hosts multiple instances for each location, then each location will become like an independent entity, and you will not be able to run a central ACD (automatic call distribution), and will also face issues while scaling.   When you have multiple POPs, the Media (Voice) and Signalling (Logic) can be separated. This means that all agents/ admin login to the same application from anywhere across the globe. The ACD is centralized and voice is separated from this application logic. Global voice gateways can be deployed. So wherever you or your customer is located, a nearby voice gateway ensures there is zero voice latency issues (no jitter, one-way voice or blank calls). KOOKOO’s global presence ensures high voice quality during VOIP calls. Change the telecom provider without changing your cloud solution. Even though they are on the cloud, it is better to know how your telecom partner is aggregating the infrastructure for you. Your contact center software provider need not be your telecom operator. Usually, it is best if you use your own telecom operator (choose the leading telecom operator in your country). If you are facing issues like jitter or blank calls, it could be a problem with your [...]

Making international calls? Learn how to ensure high voice quality on VOIP calls. 2019-06-26T05:36:43+00:00