How much do you spend on inbound call center technology? You probably spend more than you think. Many SMBs spend a lot. The question is: Is your investment paying off? Does it improve customer service? How about customer satisfaction? Is call center innovation on your list?
According to this study, investing in advanced call center technology:
- Reduces average queue time from 12% to 43%
- Improves calls per hour per agent 6% to 18%
- Increases satisfaction among callers from 39% to 66%
More important, the study says, advanced technology improves both customer satisfaction and financial performance.
That’s a powerful one-two punch—one many SMBs would like to have.
If the findings are accurate, advanced technology is among the best ways to improve inbound call center performance.
But it may not be a solution for you. It all depends on your customer service capabilities.
Stages Of Call Center Innovation
The 1980’s saw call center technology take a huge step forward. Since then, this technology has taken off.
Today, vendors offer new, more improved solutions. They can help you do three things for your SMB:
- Manage costs: Analytical and virtual desktop solutions enable you to perform in-depth analysis and support customers wherever agents work. This can help you reduce infrastructure costs, increase employee convenience, and boost customer satisfaction.
- Segment customers: Segmentation is a powerful marketing tactic. It enables you to provide highly targeted offers to customers or extend them priority treatment. Today’s inbound call center technology augments this marketing tactic. It integrates segmentation data with customer analytics, enabling you to create individualized customer profiles, support personalized services, and pinpoint marketing efforts.
- Collaborate with customers: Today’s call center technology enables you to integrate existing call center capabilities with social media, social mining, and crowd sourcing to increase customer loyalty and gain near real-time insight into customer preferences, opinions, and feedback. You can then use this data to improve performance against key indicators including:
- Improving FCR rates
- Reducing costs per call
- Increasing calls per agent per hour
- Reducing average queue time
- Boosting multi-channel performance
Going through these three stages of innovation can help you boost inbound call center performance, but only if you can deliver on customer service.
Call Center Innovation Leads to Customer Service As Core Competency
Before updating your call center’s technology, examine your customer service capabilities closely. Is customer service a core competency for you? If it isn’t, even the most advanced technology can’t change this. So why make the investment?
A core competency is a key skill that your business provides that’s not easily reproduced by your competitors. In other words, it’s something you do better than your competitors. A core competency also provides a direct benefit to customers and is not exclusive to one department, but inclusive to all departments. Call center innovation should be a part of your core competency.
To determine if customer service is a core competency, examine your customer service team. Often, customer service teams are molded within an organization. That means they may not have all the key skills needed to make customer service a core competency
For example, agents comprising your customer service team need superior “soft” skills, like passion, ownership, knowledge, enthusiasm, and dedication. They also must have good communication techniques and use them well.
If your agents lack these skills or have poor communication techniques, chances are good that customer service is not a core competency at your organization.
In that case, outsourcing inbound call center services may well be the better option for you. It will boost customer service and customer satisfaction.
Isn’t that what it’s all about?
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