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Social channels and mobile devices are great tools for reaching out to our customers, said Shana Duthie, VP of marketing and customer experience at MDLIVE, an online company that connects patients with a network of physicians and therapists through secure video, phone or email.
"Many customers have grown very accustomed to using their smartphones and tablets to interact with each other and with companies," Duthie explained.
"When we went looking for a customer service technology provider, it was critical that social and mobile channels were right there next to all of the other channels we use for inbound and outbound communications, in both marketing and customer service. Taking a multichannel approach has allowed MDLIVE to ensure customer requests are being taken care of in a timely manner and on the customers' channel of choice."
Keep an Eye on Analytics
Kelly Weinhold, the product strategist for Angel, told us about one tip that can help with better managing a contact center and ensuring that the voice of the customer is being heard: Keep an eye on analytics that can provide invaluable insights into caller behaviors, attitudes and preferences.
"For example, when a customer calls into an interactive voice response system, a call center manager can use analytics within the platform to monitor how well the caller is navigating through the process," she said. "The business can instantly see when an issue happens and ideally make immediate changes to the call flow, all with the help of analytics. Analytics can drive call centers to make data-driven decisions to consistently improve the customer's experience."
Optimize Your Workforce
Workforce accounts for more than 50 percent of total contact center costs and hence it needs to be optimized, said Iain Regan, executive vice president and global head of sales for CRM at Firstsource.
"Contact centers should have a robust forecasting engine which predicts the correct call volumes, and a best scheduling practice to plan and optimize resources that are sufficient for handling these call volumes," he said. In addition, "call volumes and resource scheduling need to be tracked on a continuous basis for future forecasting."
Last But Not Least: Keep It Fun
Kerry Carstairs, senior vice president of operations for C3, a global business process outsourcing firm that specializes in the operation of customer contact centers on behalf of medium and large companies, has a plethora of quick tips to share. (continued...)