Customer calls are a reality in India for all businesses. Customers call on the spur of the moment – to track their orders, complain on quality of goods, to give feedback, to enquire more etc. While the channels of reaching out have increased whether Email, Social media, SMS or Chat, Calls are what most customers choose. In this scenario, each business needs to operate a call center with a published number. Even the government has pitched in and made it mandatory for all online businesses to have a published business number.
Now that call centers are a reality for businesses in India, what should be the key objectives of a call center?
Call centers, mostly operate as a “Cost center” and hence need to get it right the first time in choosing the right software, hardware & telecom setup. Upgrades to existing systems are often on the backburner for senior management due to the preconceived view that call centers are a bare necessity and not a tool to boost customer experience.
While there are many steps in achieving optimized call center operations, I have tried to keep the list simple, something which can be easily monitored.
How are you driving the 3 most important objectives of a call center - Sales or Support?
Improving Customer experience
Much often talked about, but not monitored, is the customer experience. While experience sounds global there are simple metrics like FTR, AHT, TAT which when done right, boost customer delight. Simple questions can help Senior management figure out whether their call center is positively impacting customer experience.
- What is the trend in FTR? Compared to industry benchmarks
- What is the SLA on inbound calls?
- Are repeat inbound callers greeted by their name?
- Is your call centers IVR too long? Compared to industry trend?
- Can I track repeat callers who are trying to get through
Tracking customer lifecycle & all touchpoints
In line with improving customer experience, tracking customer interactions via various media becomes critical. A key output of a marketing outreach campaign could be to check whether the business has been able to engage with new customers, to what extent? It’s critical to have all such information in one window to monitor customer engagement and take immediate actions that can boost business.
- Can your call center executive view all customer interactions in one window?
- Are you able to run campaigns linked with the lifecycle stage of customers?
- What is the SLA on responding to comments on social media, say Twitter?
Optimized Agent productivity
With a strong focus on costs and with the objective of driving efficiency & optimization, Agent performance metrics are key to successful operations.
- How to track efficiency of my agents? – Total talk time, Log-in time, Time to answer calls
- How to monitor quality of agents? Automated speech analytics to monitor keywords could be a step in this direction.
- How to identify my top performing agents? For an outbound sales campaign, total talk-time/day could be one such metric, to monitor.
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