Update: This article was recently updated to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
Customers call a business’s contact center service when they are stuck with a problem or have complaints regarding a product or service. In such situations, customers expect reps to solve their queries as fast as possible.
Although, the customers hate being put on hold over the phone call for a longer duration. According to a study by The Small Business Chronicle, most of the callers hang up after an average of 1 minute and 55 seconds of hold time, and 34% of those callers won’t call back.
The longer the customers are made to stay on hold, the more irritated they feel. No matter how sweet and soothing the on-hold music is, the chances of losing the customer start to rise as soon as they are put on hold.
This directly affects their interaction with the call center agents later. There is nothing much you could do with the traditional telephone line wires, but with the new cloud-hosted solutions, there are a number of ways in which on-hold time can be reduced significantly.
In this blog, we discuss some ways to reduce the hold time in your call center –
Efficient CRM Software Integration
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software manages the customer details for the business. It can list all the details of the leads, potential customers, existing customers, previous customers, etc. that a business has.
By integrating CRM with the dialer, agents can be availed with these details, and they can deliver the support instantly to the callers.
Improved CRM indicates a richer and faster availability of the customer data to the agent so that the agent does not have to put the customer on hold repeatedly to check the solution for the customer.
Review and Update Your Knowledge Base
Updating your company’s knowledge base continuously and frequently can be of great help, not only to the customers but also to the agents. An updated and well-researched knowledge base lets the customers access the solutions for their problems, at their own convenience.
That is, a robust knowledge base acts as a self-help tool for the customers. Quick access to the relevant information also helps the agents to respond to customer queries instead of putting them on hold or transferring the call.
Optimize Your Call Routing Strategy
Using a call routing strategy ensures that the customer queries are sorted according to categories. Call routing means that the most qualified call center rep gets to handle the call for a specific customer problem. This way, the agents can handle the case effectively with minimum time spent on hold.
One of the common call routing strategies is to route the call back to the agent with whom the customers last spoke to. This can be done with the help of an Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) that can recognize caller IDs. There can be various ring strategies that can be employed to route the calls – Round robin, Least used, and Ring all.
Implement Intelligent IVR
IVR System (Interactive Voice Response) is a medium that helps in processing inbound calls without any need for an agent. There are many requests from a customer, like- activation of some kind of service, the transaction history of the customer account, reward points availability check, etc., that don’t actually involve any personal input from the agents.
A computer can automate these requests without any problems.
This way, a customer can just call a number, follow the pre-recorded instructions, feed the input that’s required, and get the job done with no agent involvement. No hold-ups for the customer, even for a business with a limited number of agents. It is a total win-win situation.
Integrate Chat/Email Tools With The Dialer
A customer can often demand service or information that is unavailable with the calling agent. The agents then need to contact his manager for the relevant procedures and put the customer on hold.
Many customers find this practice highly unpleasant. By using a unified chat/email tool, an agent can quickly notify the manager about the customer’s needs while still talking to the customer and deliver an immediate resolution.
Also, using chat and email as a communication medium ease out the process for the customers. Agents can also refer to pre-written scripts that can save a lot of time and keep the agents away from putting the customers on hold.
Monitor Agent’s Performance, Continuously
Call center solution software must have an integrated feature to monitor calls. Call monitoring allows the call center managers to listen to the ongoing calls, talk to the agents during a live call, and actively take part in the ongoing discussion (without the customers knowing it).
This feature lets the supervisors pinpoint if the conversation is not going in the right direction.
The agents can even ask for the required help from their managers, in case of pitching a product or service. It significantly reduces the hold time for customers as the agents get the required assistance directly from their supervisors.
The Bottom Line
As a company, the main motive of any organization should be to make their customers as happy as they can. Therefore, they should try to implement as many new technologies and protocols that they can to provide the best possible experience for their customers.
The strategies mentioned above can really benefit a company by decreasing the on-hold time for the customer, thus increasing their own brand value and business efficiency.
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