Call Deflection Operational Excellence

How to optimise contact centres for efficiency

By Karen Waters 24 May 2021

Long call queues have historically been a bottleneck to providing a seamless customer experience (CX). As you juggle costs and resources, finding the right balance of speedy resolution and profitability can be challenging.

The pandemic has added even more pressure on customer service staff. With call volumes at an all-time high, the traditional call centre KPI of answering each call within 10 seconds is no longer realistic. Customers are frequently stuck in long call queues, while organisations battle to reduce volumes in a bid to help vulnerable customers.

In this article, we’ll explore ways you can eliminate CX bottlenecks by optimising contact centre processes. With the intelligent use of digital solutions, it’s possible to drive cost savings, increase operational efficiency and improve CX – all at the same time. Here’s how.

1. Reduce call volumes

Call deflection is one of the most powerful ways to reduce inbound volumes. Re-routing callers to other resolution methods before they speak to a live agent means lines are kept free for customers who need the most help.

For example, a top UK retailer experienced 30 times their normal call volume when the pandemic first struck and customers sought information about new store opening hours, stock availability and delivery slots. Using Engage Hub’s Conversational IVR, they enabled priority call handling for vulnerable customers, achieving a 30% call deflection rate while hitting resolution targets.

2. Digitise front-line support

When you offer effective digital self-service options, your customers may not need to use the phone at all. If they can easily complete an action or get answers via Chatbot, website, WhatsApp, SMS, social media or email, you’ll lighten the load on staff, saving time and money.

That 30% call deflection rate meant customers were diverted to improved digitised front-line support. As more options became available, more than 65% of their customers now self-serve rather than ringing the contact centre.

3. Route your calls more efficiently

Your IVR system should be smart enough to get your customers where they need to go. Engage Hub’s Conversational IVR uses AI-powered Natural Language Processing (NLP) to capture, interpret and understand intent, so that callers can speak naturally in their own words. It also offers predictive call handling. This gets customers the answers they need quickly and effectively by anticipating their needs, delivering personalised menus and routing people to the right destination quickly.

The Contact Centre (TCC) came to us with a need for a more flexible IVR solution capable of serving a diverse client base with frequently changing needs. Engage Hub offers both payments and voice through a single solution enabling TCC to centralise their IVR operation which led to substantial efficiency gains while improving CX.

4. Analyse holistic CX data

Customer feedback and data are essential for continuous improvement. For instance, listening to recorded calls – especially those that took a long time or ended before the issue was resolved – is an important part of identifying inefficiencies.

But to make substantial improvements to contact centre efficiency, you can’t look at calls in isolation. You need insight into the broader customer journey, so you can understand what led people to ring up and what they do after putting down the phone.

Tools like our Customer Journey Tracker give you a bird’s eye view of all customer interactions on all channels. It gathers data from multiple sources and collates the information into an easy-to-understand map that highlights drop-off points and inefficiencies. You can use this data to pre-empt issues and identify opportunities for digital self-service, both of which will reduce inbound call volumes.

Digital transformation for contact centres is here – are you on board?

Contact us to learn more about Engage Hub’s Contact Centre Optimisation Solutions Suite. It brings together the tools you need to deliver efficiency gains that delight colleagues and customers alike.

See other posts by Karen Waters

Product and Marketing Director

As a Product and Marketing Director at Engage Hub, Karen has held a wide range of roles across Telefonica, Vivo and start-ups, gaining over 10 years of product management and commercial experience across different markets in LATAM, Africa and SEA. In her day to day duties, Karen is responsible for defining product strategy, roadmap creation and maintenance, release scheduling, and partnering across the company. If she’s not halfway across the world meeting with clients to gather product requirements, she’ll more than likely be found hiking a mountain or exploring remote villages.

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