Telephony For Support

Call scheduling for better sales and support

Question: When is the best time to call your customer? Answer: When your customer wants you too! When speaking to the customer, timing matters. How do you ensure that your agents call customers at times that suit them? Are they still jotting appointment times down in a diary? Does your telephony solution let you schedule your outgoing calls in an organized manner? A call scheduler is an important tool to ensure: You call customers/prospects at times they prefer. You demonstrate reliability, by sticking to your promise of calling back at a specific time. How to schedule your sales calls? During Lead Generation When someone fills out a lead form on your website, it's very very valuable. It has probably taken you significant marketing efforts to get them to sign up. Don't squander it all away by calling them when they’re bang in the middle of something else. Industry best practices suggest that you give a preferred callback time and date option on your lead form itself. I suggest giving two time slot options. You can integrate your form with your cloud telephony API and schedule the call to the specified time. During call conversation Sometimes, during phone conversations, your prospect/customer may ask your agent to schedule a follow-up call at a specified time & date. It is imperative that there is a process in place to ensure that the call back takes place at the agreed time and date. Businesses which are prompt, and keep their promise of a call back at a given time are naturally seen as more reliable and get better conversions from their prospects. Scheduling calls in your CRM If your agent has their CRM window open while speaking to the customer, they can use their CRM + telephony integration to schedule calls directly into their contact center software/ telephony solution. Scheduling retries using an auto dialer You autodialer may be set to dial a long list of contacts. What happens to the leads who don't answer in the first try? You need to reschedule these calls. Preferably, this should be automated. These are the different rules you can use to retry the call: Immediately. When a call goes unanswered, the auto-dialer redials immediately. After all primary data has been dialed. When all the contacts in the list have been dialed, the auto dialer will go back and systematically call the unanswered calls. After a specified time. You can set a specific time range for callbacks. For example, you can arrange a call back 2 hours or 4 hours after the call first went unanswered. The next day. Sometimes it's worthwhile to try the same number on a different day of the week. Set your auto dialer to retry the number the next day, and see if it improves your chances. KOOKOO has built-in advanced engine rules that help you experiment and find the time and date that suits your particular dataset/industry/prospect personna. Scheduling as per call history. If your prospect has a call history with [...]

Call scheduling for better sales and support 2019-06-17T17:10:30+00:00

Call Queue Management

Call centers exist to provide speedy customer service and issue resolution. Speed is key; achieved through efficient call queue management. What is call queue management? Simply put, call queue management is the management of call queues to ensure minimal customer wait time and fair workload distribution. When done right, call queue management ensures: Reduced wait times Lowered dropped calls Efficient workload distribution amongst agents Better customer experience Why is call queue management important? If you’re calling a call center, chances are you’re already frustrated. But, to have to wait for assistance, and listen to a recorded message or music only makes it worse! The average customer hold time is 56 seconds (Source: conversational.com). That may not seem like a lot, but after 2 minutes, customers hang up (Source: Small Business Chronicle). In this Inbound Queue Analysis, we can see that out of the 244 queued calls, 55 calls dropped. 70% of business callers in the US are put on hold (Source: Inbound/Outbound). How much lost business and disgruntled customers are we talking about? Substantial! Especially, as 40% of customers in the US attempt a phone purchase (Source: American Teleservices Association). Finally, something doesn’t add up: 90% (or more) of the marketing budget is spent to get customers to call, but only 6% is spent to handle the call (Source: Inbound Telephones Call Center)! By not managing their incoming call load or call queue, businesses are wasting marketing dollars and losing revenue. A good call queue management system is critical. It minimizes and manages call wait or hold times for customers. How to manage call queues efficiently? Good call queue management isn't difficult. Some of our clients’ customer support centers ensure that 90% of their callers connect with live agents within 10 seconds. How can you manage your queues better? Here are 8 ways: Carefully design your IVR and consider self-service. Consider what your IVR requirement is? Do you really need to give your customer multiple level menu options? Many of our clients connect callers to live agents directly. Others divert few customers to live agents and others to IVR, based on caller history/customer value. Consider self-service: For many routine tasks, it's actually preferable to divert customers to self-service. Popular use scenarios: While paying medical bills, customers don’t have to wait in line to be assisted by a live agent, but can follow IVR prompts to pay the co-pay, at their convenience. You can also read our case study on Treebo, a chain of boutique hotels that allows customers to reserve and cancel bookings via self-service. This IVR flow efficiently uses CRM integration and self-service to manage your call queues. Plan call distribution How do you distribute calls amongst your agents? Your ACD or Automatic call Distribution transfers calls to your agents. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of distributing these calls: evenly by number; or by talk time. You need to choose your method in such a way that it is fair to your agents. When you have a sales [...]

Call Queue Management 2018-10-29T04:02:31+00:00

Setting up an enterprise contact center without changing the telecom provider

When it comes to contact centers, enterprises have different needs from small and medium businesses. For example, our pure cloud offering is extremely popular with SMBs. But when enterprises set up their contact center, they want our tools to work with their existing telecom providers. Is this possible? Yes. Is it advisable? Yes, sometimes. We explore the whys and the how in this article. Setting up an enterprise contact center without changing the telecom provider. Why? In the United States, we are one of the few contact center solutions open to customers getting their own sip trunk while using our software. But, in countries like India, we have been doing this regularly for over a decade. So why do enterprise businesses choose this option? I have listed the top reasons below. See if they resonate with you. Easier billing This stands out as a major reason for us. What customers value are the contact center tools we provide, so they pay us the license fee per month for using it. But the telephony need not be through us. This means that their billing to KOOKOO is a fixed cost output per month, while billing for call charges happens via the trusted telecom partner directly to the client. How does this help? It prevents issues of overbilling. Surprisingly, even major cloud telephony providers often face complaints of overbilling for their call charges. By keeping the billing separate, everything is more transparent. (So, your accounts section is happier too!) Ownership When there is a challenge in voice quality or connectivity, is it actually an operator issue or platform issue? By keeping trunk ownership, enterprises can ensure greater accountability when problems occur. Ease of shifting to another cloud player Shifting your Toll-Free number ( TFN) or Virtual Number ( DID) to another player takes anywhere from 14-30 days. This is a long drawn process. When you own the trunk, shifting is fare easier. For example, it takes little over an hour to plug into our contact center solution and get started. Long-term relations with operators Why do you want to break a long relationship with a trusted telecom provider? Sometimes, this is actually is the reason that keeps enterprises from embracing the many benefits of cloud contact center solutions. Now they can get all the advantages of online contact center tools without breaking this long-term relationship. Backup Of course, since we provide end-to-end solutions for most of our customers, KOOKOO has its own very reliable cloud telephony solution in place too. So, many clients who have kept their telecom provider, subscribe to our services too—as a backup in case they face a problem. Setting up an enterprise contact center without changing the telecom provider. How? So how easy is it to get started on a contact center solution, without changing your telecom partner? As you can imagine, it's not complicated at all. It takes less than an hour to set up and get started. You get access to a world of tools like [...]

Setting up an enterprise contact center without changing the telecom provider 2018-10-17T10:55:31+00:00

What is a Virtual Phone System? Features and Guidelines.

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 [...]

What is a Virtual Phone System? Features and Guidelines. 2018-10-19T15:36:11+00:00

How to put your caller at ease? 8 tips and tools to excel at customer support

How do you talk to a stranger when they call you for help, or to complain? Customer care agents are expected win over hundreds of customers who call in to their centers, everyday. Here are some practical tips and tools to help you deliver the kind of stellar customer support that creates high customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. We decided to ask experts who have excelled at handling these calls themselves before rising to senior management positions in the industry: Sundeep Gursahani, Senior Manager, PISPL and Nikhil Pandurangi, Senior Manager, Maple Digital Technology International Pvt Ltd. Both have over 12 years’ experience in the contact center industry. We’ve enlisted their advice on how you put a stranger at ease, while our tech guru, Sudhamay explains how your contact center software can ensure it happens: EXPERT TIP #1 DON’T INTERRUPT. Sandeep advices that contact center agents should be good listeners and patient speakers. “Never speak over the customer or interrupt. That's a rule.” SUPPORT TOOL: Speech Analytics. Do your agents regularly interrupt or speak over callers? Can you make this a metric to measure? You can. Learn how your speech analytics tools can measure and identify interruptions here. EXPERT TIP #2 PERSONALISE Says Sundeep, “Try and personalise as far as possible, that is, take the caller’s name. This helps focus attention.” Nikhil agrees,” Try to personalise the call using customers name and be compassionate with the customer as if it’s your issue.” SUPPORT TOOL: CRM Integrations. Identify customers by name when they call into your contact center. With screenpop integrations agents get all customer information on their dashboard. Learn how it works here. EXPERT TIP #3 CONTROL THE CONVERSATION Steer the conversation. “Contact center agents need to keep in mind that they are being measured on certain parameters. One of the parameters is average handling time. By having a controlled conversation. He/she will be able to steer the conversation in such a way where they reach a conclusive end, and save on time.” Suggests Sundeep. SUPPORT TOOL: REPORTS. Use reports to measure Average Handle Time for for each agent on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. EXPERT TIP #4: YOU ARE RIGHT Nikhils favourite phrase, to put the customer at ease is “You are right”. According to him these are the three magic words that can make a caller feel that you are with him/her SUPPORT TOOL: SPEECH ANALYTICS. Want to train your agents to say “you are right” or any other phrase that you think works best? Train them, and easily test who and how often they put the phrase into use --using speech analytics. EXPERT TIP# 5: You can sell too. Customer support can help win sales too. Nikhil states” today we are looking for agents who are multi skilled. We train people with good communication to learn to manage some amount of revenue generation too.” SUPPORT TOOL: CRM INTEGRATION. CRM integration can give agents access to customer history, past purchases and other clues that can help them cross [...]

How to put your caller at ease? 8 tips and tools to excel at customer support 2018-10-11T05:00:28+00:00