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"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.
"Employee engagement -- keep the employees updated with business news, updates, new products, etc. Provide an avenue for employees to give feedback and suggest improvement. Keep it fun," she told us.
"The repetitive nature of contact center work requires a lively, activity packed environment. Provide plenty of options for career progression to keep people engaged and intact. Provide opportunities for employees to give back to the local community."
Ultimately, managing your contact center for maximum profitability and productivity requires a hands-on approach with managing your people as well as your technology, and keeping customer satisfaction always top-of-mind.
Posted: 2013-12-17 @ 6:26am PT
Brand loyalty in the digital age. How quickly can you lose a customer? You'd be surprised!
Posted: 2013-12-16 @ 10:00am PT
@Robert W: You are so right about Time Warner Cable and also so many other so-called 'service' providers.
It drives me crazy that companies like TWC and plenty of others still think it's ok to give a customer a window of say 8am-noon -- or even worse yet, 8am-5pm, for delivery or service. They expect working people to stay home from work half a day or sometimes all day, waiting for them to show up.
Now, I realize they don't always know how long a service or delivery call will take. But, they *do* know if you're the first one on the schedule or not. So, let's say they know that you're the 2nd or 3rd on the list for the morning. Why do they still make you have to wait for them from 8am? And if they know you're the last appointment of the day, why can't they give you a 2-hr window, say 3-5pm instead of making you wait 4 hours or more.
With cell phones, and GPS, and all the other technology available, why can't service companies provide better service in terms of not making their customers wait around for them?
Posted: 2013-12-15 @ 7:55am PT
The importance of this advice can not be overstated. Now go tell AT&T and Time Warner Cable. They have a lot to learn.