Missing an important customer call is something businesses cannot afford to do, and especially not startups and small businesses that are just starting out.
Regardless of the systems and tools that you are using, such as the best call center software, when a potential customer or an existing customer is not being able to get through to the line, the customer may get extremely frustrated and eventually move on from your call center service to that of your competitor, who will be more than happy to take their call.
If this is an occurrence that happens quite frequently, your business will naturally develop a bad reputation for being unavailable to the customers, which would definitely discourage all the other potential customers and therefore, in turn, affect your hard built company in the longer run.
So, in this article, I shall do my best to cover exactly how you can make sure you never miss a customer call again, as well as the opportunities that come with it, such as free promotion and superior shopping experience for your customers.
Firstly, investing in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system is the utmost priority, and modern call center software, are all integrated with VOIP solutions.
VoIP solutions for businesses carry a variety of features that can surely help you avoid a lot for missing any important calls.
Earlier when the technology was still developing, selected features were previously available to only corporate giants with great purchasing power.
Now, these advanced calling features with good call center management software are available everywhere, and they help businesses of all shapes and sizes by staying connected, working hard to make sure that no calls go unanswered.
Let us have a look at the tips that will help you answer a majority of the calls:
1. One of the most common reasons for missing calls in a call center is that their customer service section is not properly staffed.
Therefore, in order to reduce the amount of missed calls in the call center, you must utilize a workforce management system and the proper call center software solutions in order to optimize call center staffing and scheduling.
2. Call queues must also be optimized properly.
Cloud call center software solutions which has a call queue system that is efficient enough in order to handle all of the company’s inbound call volume will definitely reduce missed calls in your call center.
3. A great idea that will help reduce the amount of missed calls in the call center is to allow specialized and trained agents to provide their customers with a direct line that will lead straight to them.
Dedicated phone numbers will really help in ensuring that the callers do not have to waste their precious time waiting for an IVR to answer to their call as they can go straight to their agents.
4. If your agents have decided to use dedicated phone numbers, then you should be equipping those phone numbers with personalized voicemail, which is a definite must.
You should make sure that each agent, each department in your call center as a whole has their voicemail optimized to the requirements and that they have a personalized greeting for their voicemail.
5. Another must-have call center software feature to gain leverage in the business, if you have dedicated phone numbers and the voicemail installed is customizable business hours so that your agents are not overworking themselves.
6. In order to better optimize most of your use of the resources, you should be able to configure individual agent settings in your call center software systems so that agents can have field calls whenever they are available for it.
7. Forward-to-phone is a nifty little feature that will forward all inbound call to your call center to a specific phone number when it is way outside of business hours.
This will reduce the number of calls, each agent receives.
This will also help in reducing the number of missed calls and in turn the agent frustration.
A call center software comparison will help in deciding which software can perform this ability in the best possible way.
8. If your company does not have a dedicated round-the-clock workforce of call center agents, or it lacks agents who are willing to remain on-call after hours, then hiring a remote workforce, or outsourcing calls and field calls outside of your normal business hours to home-based agents is a great solution, even though it’s a little bit costly to manage.
9. VoIP phone systems have an awesome feature, which goes by the name Simultaneous Ring. With this feature, when you turn this feature on, all of the incoming calls will be directed to your phone numbers at the same time.
This can be really useful when you are on the go, or you want to monitor your phone in some way.
10. Call Group Feature is a very handy service that will direct all of the incoming calls to a specific list of extensions that would ring either simultaneously or in a sequence.
With all of the present and available extensions receiving the same call, you can be rest assured and confident that an important call will never be missed. If by any fault it is, it can go straight to a voicemail.
11. When you as an agent or your agents cannot answer a call yourself or if they do not have any receptionist to manage an influx of calls, it is important to use VoIP Auto-Attendant, which can prove to be very handy in not letting a call drop.
It is a very useful and cost-effective feature that will automate all the incoming call process.
12. Using the Find Me/Follow Me feature is very important and basic, if you want to be found immediately by the customer.
Using this feature to get important calls no matter where you are located is important, as up to five different locations can be programmed into the system and all of your calls will follow your movements as you go around doing your job.
13. It is important to take note of the call queues so that you never ever lose a call to your sales and support teams again.
By setting up a call queue feature, your VoIP phone system will automatically ring extensions either simultaneously or sequentially.
14. It is, of course, very important to schedule. If an important customer calls your office outside of business hours, with the help of scheduling, there should be no problem.
An effective software can help you with this. A check on the call center software pricing can help you choose the best call center at the lowest cost.
15. VoIP very easily provides plenty of features and more, which will end up making you less dependent on a huge staff and making the present staff you have trained hard, more efficient at handling customer calls and questions.
The Case Study
It is important to note that knowing about these tips alone will not help you in understanding what is the best way to approach the problem.
In order to actually know, you have to go beyond and above. No research is complete without a proper example to study, an example that will include some of the tips given above and draw solutions from them.
Since it is impossible for one company to have all of the problems, it is best that we study a real life example. With this idea in mind, I decided to draw out a case study on behalf of you, taken from a real life company. For anonymity sake, I shall call it GRHH.
In this case study, we will study about the problem scenario GRHH had, the various challenges they faced as a result of those problems, the solutions that the leader found out with regards to these challenges and the results that they had achieved.
Without further ado, let’s just jump into it:
The Problem Scenario
GRHH is a call center company, established at an age where competition was an all-time high. However, throughout the years, the conditions stayed where they are, without any sign of improvement. A major reason for this was the number of calls that were being missed on a regular basis.
What the leader found out quickly enough is that it does not matter if the call they missed is from a potential customer or an existing one.
For a potential customer, it is a known fact that the competitors of the business are just as efficient as you are. Missing the call for an existing one, is a missed opportunity to be there for your customer at the first chance, which is a waste.
Therefore, the leaders came up with the notion that not missing any customer call is the absolute basic thing that they should be keeping in mind while they setting up their business phone system.
With regards to this problem scenario, let us now look at the challenges that the company GRHH faced.
There were several challenges that the company faced, that is related to this topic, and that the company was prone to having.
Some of the challenges that the company faced are:
1. They failed in keeping track of missed calls, which is not as simple as a process of the admin of the team or the manager of the company getting a message or an email saying a call was missed.
2. They looked at it mathematically, as in they wanted to find out how many calls were being lost. If they had a team of 10 agents, and if each of them missed perhaps 2 calls a day, they would be adding 20 emails to an already full and possibly overflowing inbox that they have to get back to.
3. They get 100 incoming calls and make about a 100 outgoing calls on a normal, stress-free day. There are hectic days when the calls just do not end, and then they lose track of the numbers, which means that the organization within the company was terrible.
4. While agents see all the calls that they have missed inside the company dashboard, sometimes, it may not be their top priority to return the calls when they are busy answering or making calls back to back, especially on a busy day.
5. At one point, the company was missing more calls than they should be at GRHH, and they were so caught up in the everyday job of incoming and outgoing calls that we were not paying proper attention to this number, causing them to build up.
The solutions were quite difficult to figure out immediately, but over the course of a few months, they did. Once again, I will only pick out the solutions that I feel is the best suited to this topic.
The solutions are:
1. Their aim now is to never miss any of customer calls. The newer rule of the company is, if the phone starts to ring, it will be picked up by an agent, and someone will be available to speak to the customer.
2. For ten days the leader paid close attention to the busiest hours of the day, and noted them down. Accordingly, he separated the group of agents to handle the calls in a better way.
Since the volume of calls was very high between 9 am and 8 pm for the company, they hired backup agents for this particular slot.
3. In addition to the backup agents, the leader himself got involved and added himself as the last person on the list. Therefore, every time he received a customer call, he knew that there was someone in the agent group who was missing calls or that the call volumes were very high that day.
4. Even if they did miss a call by some unknown reason, they wanted to make sure they called them back without wasting any time. They had a support email address through which they received an email with details of the call that they missed. This email had all the details that the agent team needed to call this customer back.
5. Since there were missed calls that sometimes appeared as a ticket on the helpdesk, they could even track SLAs on these call-backs. This integration is possible with a proper helpdesk software.
It took months, but as newer and better rules were being established over the course of the year, the company began to see improvements. The dropped call rates and missed call rates were really dropping, much faster than they expected to.
When they integrated their ticketing system with their phones, the number of calls they were missing came down drastically. Overall, this was a learning curve and they managed to master it.
No change is easy, especially if you are an older call center company, but something changes are good and necessary, and this is just one of those instances.