4 Immediate ways Voice Bots can help sales teams

It has been quite a while since chatbots have invaded the customer service sector. Several big-name bots have taken up residence on different platforms to serve various purposes. Chief among those purposes is to let the users interact and communicate in real-time. This provides a level of self-service to the customer while elevating the customer experience. And customers are happy with the arrangement as well. Live chat software as a way for customers to interact with businesses has a 73% satisfaction rate. Voice bots go a step further as they use Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning. These technologies make it possible to have an interaction that is akin to talking to any customer care representative. These AI-powered bots, for instance, can help rethink the customer contact paradigm with natural conversations. They enable customer interactions not only on mobiles and landlines but also on websites. Read on to know what makes these bots’ conversations natural and how that can help your sales teams win: Qualify Leads - With these bots, telemarking and cold calling can be elevated to a new level. Bots can engage the prospect to find out who is your potential customers, what they are seeking, and how can they assist these prospects further. They not only qualify the leads based on the qualification questions in the database but also try to understand what they are seeking.  Do they want to learn more about a service? Do they want to get more information about a product? These bots can tell you who is ready for a demo for a particular product or a service based on various responses. Similarly, they can filter the respondents that need more nurturing and can engage customers who are interested in knowing more. By doing this, they allow sales teams to focus on later-stage demos and actions while the voice bots continue to handle the early-sales cycle tasks.  Schedule Appointments – Intelligent bots can make scheduling appointments a breeze. They can help fix the most appropriate and convenient times to talk to the prospects, thereby increasing the conversion chances. Without this, your potential customers or leads could be no-shows.  Emails are a great way to remind the leads of an impending meeting or call, but real-time, quick phone calls are even better. You can schedule multiple reminder calls. The bot will confirm the appointment or update rescheduling requests. This saves a lot of time for the sales teams.  Conduct Surveys – A 2017 survey by American Express found that more than half of the consumers have scrapped a planned purchase at some point because of poor customer service. The same study found that 70% of the consumers would spend more money when they know that a company offers excellent service. Of course, these numbers matter, in that they form a crucial input into sales and marketing strategy. But taking these surveys has always been a tedious, cumbersome, effort-intensive task. Until bots came along, that is. Voice bots can handle your surveys [...]

4 Immediate ways Voice Bots can help sales teams 2020-01-13T17:25:34+00:00

What are DID numbers? And how do businesses use them?

Learn how DID  numbers  help connect customers to the right employee at the right time, while letting you measure and track all interactions. What are DID or virtual numbers? DID numbers are Direct inward dialing numbers, also known as virtual numbers. It is a system of routing two or more telephone numbers to a single telephone line. The DID or virtual number masks your existing phone number. Using this system you can assign a direct number to each of your employees or agents without needing multiple telephone lines.  The DID numbers can simultaneously route to their existing desk phone, computer system or cellphone.  5 important ways businesses use virtual numbers Calling a restaurant via Zomato? Or giving a delivery agent instructions to reach your house? Maybe you're talking to a carpenter you’ve hired via an online app. Or speaking to your Uber cab driver.  Here are five ways businesses use DID or virtual numbers to track, measure, and improve their customer communications: 1. Establish Local Presence Local numbers see improved pickup rates during outbound sales campaigns.  You can use virtual numbers to match the geographic region and improve the call pickup rates. This feature helps you establish a local presence no matter where your call center agents are located.   2. Centrally manage calls from across geographies Sharing local numbers with your customers or prospects it makes it easier for them to reach out as well. So whether it's for customer support centers or inbound sales campaigns, you can share local (virtual) numbers and route them to a centralized call center. 3. Track Leads Use virtual numbers to track returns on your marketing investment. For this, assign a separate virtual number for each campaign. For example, publish a separate number on your OOH advertising, another one on your online ads, and a third number on your print ads. You may route the calls to the same or different set of agents, but either way, the marketing manager can clearly see how many leads have come in per campaign by accessing your call center reports.  4. Manage direct employee-customer connections Many businesses need to offer customers one on one conversations with their employees. For example, customers need one-on-one conversations with consultants from their financial services firm. Or they may need to speak to on-the-move service engineers who are coming in to repair an electrical appliance. Virtual numbers allow you to route calls directly to the staff member without sharing their personal numbers. 5. Enable anywhere, anytime conversations Since the numbers are not assigned to one specific phone, your team can function from anywhere and not miss customer calls. This means that the agents can answer the calls on their smartphones even when they are out of office. Conclusion Using virtual or DID numbers help you manage operations from a centralized call center or via remote employees. It helps customers associate a single number to your business. It enables your staff to manage their business and personal calls on the same phone number [...]

What are DID numbers? And how do businesses use them? 2020-01-15T06:07:52+00:00

How to make collection calls? Cash in on the right technology.

“A customer who is delinquent on a loan is, first and foremost, a customer. If handled correctly, a collections customer can still yield new sales. If handled incorrectly, current and future sales could be lost.” Chris Maranis* As most contact centers for financial institutions, products and services know, debt collection calls constitute a large volume of agent work. This includes loan or credit card payment reminders, upcoming payments, and overdue bill collections. These calls are rarely pleasant. This controversial and potentially confrontational topic needs to be tackled with sensitivity, speed, and most importantly, loads of tact! Let’s consider some possible scenarios:  Call 1 Agent: “Mr. X, we are calling from Y Bank to remind you of your overdue payment of $$ towards your home loan repayment. Customer: “I can’t talk, I’m busy.” The customer hangs up. Call 2 Agent: Good morning mam, I’m calling on behalf of Moneybags Bank. Have you made the payment on your Gold Credit Card for the month of January? Customer: I am doing it today. Stop bothering me. The customer hangs up. Sound familiar? Our research data suggests that to convey 1,000 collection messages you need to make 2,500 calls. This means that to get a live connect you must dial an average of dial 2.5 times. And after that, customers rarely answer on the first try! Reasons like customers asking for a callback, noncooperation or wrong numbers, mean that almost 60% of the connected calls don’t serve the intended purpose. This is a huge drain on time and manpower. Furthermore, due to the sensitive nature of debt collection, customers mostly prefer indirect communication. It enables convenient, informational and less emotionally charged experiences. The 3 most effective technologies for collection calls The first step to improving your collection call process is to select the right communication channels. You want to choose these channels based on a deep understanding of your customer. The aim is to make the whole process as stress-free as possible. From the contact center’s point of view, you want to maximize reach and minimize time wastage. 1. Voice bots Using voice bots for collections is the way of the future. Efficient, unbiased, and enhanced with NLP, these AI-powered voice bots can be, ironically, just the right tool needed to humanize the debt collection process. Voice bots integrate with your dialer APIs to call your entire database in a matter of minutes. They reduce unproductive agent time and connect agents only to those customers who actually want to speak to one. Voice bots don’t just relay the message, they use NLP and intent recognition to understand what the customer says, even if they don’t give direct yes/no answers. They can reschedule calls, create and save dispositions, or divert calls to agents if needed. In cases where a customer turns hostile over a call, the bot can relay a statutory warning message and “intuitively” gauge when human intervention is needed. The bot advantage Bots give businesses both a productivity edge and a CX [...]

How to make collection calls? Cash in on the right technology. 2019-11-14T12:53:49+00:00

A Quick & Easy Guide to ‘Automatic Call Distribution’

ACD, aka Automatic Call Distribution, is a telephony software tool that automates incoming call distribution amongst your staff. A business can define rules for how this distribution takes place, based on their needs.  Generally, an ACD works with your call routing parameters to connect callers to the right department; and then follows another set of rules to determine how these calls are distributed amongst your workforce. First, Understand Call Routing There are two steps to distributing your calls perfectly amongst your workforce.  The first step is call routing. Call Routing is a set of rules that determine which agent, or group of agents, should answer your call, at which time.   This could be based on agent skills, timings, or customer priority.   Suppose, your customer needs to speak with someone who has a particular expertise; this system will route their call to this expert agent. Or, if someone needs a person who speaks their language, the call routing system helps them connect with the apt person. (Also Read: Skill Routing.) You can even ensure that a customer is routed to the same agent every single time.  Apart from this, you have multiple ways to route calls as per customer priority or customer category. (Also Read:  How to make your customer feel like a VIP) Second, Decode ACD At Ozonetel, we consider ACD or Automatic Call Distribution, as the second feature that comes into play when routing calls.  Let’s say your call has routed to the correct department, based on your routing rules. Now, how do you distribute these calls amongst all the agents qualified to take the call? That’s where you use your ACD, or automatic call distributor, to take care of things. Here are the two different ways in which you can set up your ACD: Idle Agent First In this kind of call distribution, the system sends the call to the agent who has handled the least duration of calls so far.  How does your system calculate this? Simple. Every agent logs in to receive calls, so the system keeps track of both talk time and idle times for each agent. Based on this, it sends calls to the agent with the maximum idle time. This means that, suppose Agent 1 has answered three calls so far, totaling 20 minutes; and Agent 2 has answered two calls totaling 30 minutes, the call goes to Agent 1. In other words, work is not distributed based on the number of calls, but on total call duration. Result: Total talk time is evenly distributed amongst your workforce.   Round Robin  The other way to distribute calls is via Round Robin. In this system, we have a fixed sequence for distributing calls. Let’s say you have assigned a sequence: Agent 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. When a call comes in, if Agent 1 does not answer, it passes on to Agent 2, and so on, until the call is finally answered. Let’s say Agent 3 answers this call. Then the next call [...]

A Quick & Easy Guide to ‘Automatic Call Distribution’ 2019-10-17T13:19:55+00:00

Everything call centers should know about HIPAA

Does your healthcare practice use a cloud telephony software solution to communicate with patients, forward or answer calls? Or does your call center cater to the healthcare vertical? In either case, HIPAA awareness is critical for you. We’ve compiled an exhaustive blog on everything you need to know about HIPAA compliance for your call center or phone communications. What is HIPAA? HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is a United States legislation. It offers data privacy and security for the safe upkeep of the medical information. This act came into being after a series of health data breaches that were caused by ransomware attacks and cyberattacks on various healthcare providers and insurers.  What does HIPAA do? HIPAA safeguards patients’ medical records and other personal information.  It protects patients’ privacy and gives them more control over their health information. It holds violators accountable. With civil and criminal penalties if they violate patients’ privacy rights. It sets boundaries on the use and release of health records. Establishes safeguards for the confidential handling of health information Who needs to be HIPAA compliant? If you are a US-based healthcare provider, healthcare clearinghouse or health plan, your business, and everyone who handles your data, needs to be HIPAA compliant. This includes your call centers too—wherever they may be located. HIPAA & Patient Telephone Calls HIPAA changes the way you answer customer calls, store their information, and communicate key data. Your call center needs to encrypt and secure all customer data.  HIPAA & Outbound Calls If the patient has given you their telephone number as contact detail,  then as per FCC, this can be considered express consent for telephone calls to be made. But you can make these outbound calls only for the following reasons:  Provision of treatment. Health checkup. Appointments and reminders. Test reports. Pre-operative instructions. Post-discharge follow-up calls. Intimations on prescriptions. Home healthcare instructions. Hospital pre-registration instructions. During these calls, you need to ensure that: Your call center agent should provide their name and contact details to the customer.  Every call should be short and precise.  Test messages should not exceed 160 characters. Call Centers cannot call patients more than two to three times a week. Text messages can be sent just once in a day The calls and text messages cannot be charged to the client. The calls and messages must adhere to the plan limits. When you leave messages on answering machines, provide patients with a toll-free number to contact again. HIPAA & Automated calls You will need written consent from the patient to make outbound calls to them via an auto-dialing device.  HIPAA & SMS Physicians and pharmacists can continue to remind patients about appointments or medicine refills via SMS. Texts that fall under minimum necessary standards” are allowed. You need to follow some technical safeguards:  The text must not contain any personal identifiers.  Patient health information should be accessible only to authorized users. Ensure that whatever software you use to send SMS can only be accessed [...]

Everything call centers should know about HIPAA 2020-02-06T07:37:24+00:00