Call centers can be cold, unforgiving places. They can make customers feel undervalued and unwelcome when they aren’t set up properly. The employee turnover rate at most centers is extremely high, and this prevents customer representatives from getting into the habit of dealing with customers. Add to that the long hours, the overbearing management, and the high call volumes and you get a place that very few people want to visit, even over the phone.
But that doesn’t mean call centers are a lost cause. In fact, some companies are using innovative methods to make these facilities more appealing for employees and consumers alike. Some of these techniques make the process more intuitive and user-friendly, while others challenge the very values that lead to poor service in the first place. No matter which category they fall into, though, these practices will revolutionize the way people interact with customer service representatives.
There’s a whole new world of call center technology out there, waiting to be discovered. Read on to find out more about the future of consumer engagement.
Call Centers Are Moving to the Cloud
“The cloud” is one of those buzzwords that seems to sweep through every industry every few years. But it’s no passing fad. Cloud computing has changed the way companies in every sector do business. If you’ve ever used Google Docs or Dropbox, you’ve experienced cloud-based applications in some form, and they’re coming to a call center near you.
Every call facility requires specialized hardware and software to operate efficiently. Unfortunately, each of these tools usually comes from its own unique manufacturer, so they don’t always fit together well into a cohesive whole. This can make standard practices feel choppy and unproductive, which directly affects customer satisfaction. Cloud-based solutions bring every service under one umbrella that companies can then license for a regular fee. Not only does this eliminate dysfunctional systems, it also means that operations can expand or contract as needed, giving the client greater control over their customer service.
Centers Are Adopting More Platforms to Keep up with Demand
Call centers are a product of a time when the telephone was the primary method of one-to-one communications technology. As email, social media, text, and more have proliferated across the globe, however, these facilities have seemed more and more limited. Today, consumers are more likely to send a harshly worded tweet than they are to vent their frustrations to a representative over the phone.
Thankfully, call center technology is finally capitalizing on these trends. More facilities are adopting omni-channel approaches that make use of many different communications platforms. Moving call centers into the 21st century doesn’t just result in short-term customer service gains. It also allows service representatives to collect more data about consumers, and this can be used to tailor future interactions and improve relationships.
Negative Response Rates Are Overshadowing Call Times
Call times used to be the name of the game in call centers. The logic dictates that more calls equal greater customer engagement, so service representatives would have to answer a set number of calls per day. The problem with this was simple. If a representative felt compelled to answer more calls, they would rush through each interaction just to meet their quotas.
Negative response rates seek to address this flaw in the system by redirecting agents’ focuses. Instead of measuring call volume, these rates determine whether a representative solved a problem adequately. They take time out of the equation and redirect the focus back to where it belongs: on customer satisfaction.