Following Google’s announcement that its ads would generate over 30 billion calls last 2016, many declared that “call commerce” is still very much alive. That reference is to the inbound calls and high-value leads for a business.
Some 70% of consumers have used the click-to-call button in online ads. Meanwhile, 60% prefer a human being for a detailed inquiry over an automated system.
It’s logical to think that boosting call volume would increase revenues. That may be true in general terms, but more is not always better.
A large call volume could well be the result of a surge in telecom spam and fraud, routing issues, or an ineffective marketing strategy that is eating into your ROI and decreasing sales productivity.
Managing a successful inbound contact starts with reducing call volumes. However, lowering the number of inbound calls is not only cost-saving but also more feasible than you may think.
How can you reduce call volume in your inbound contact center?
One of the most effective ways we manage high volumes of inbound calls in your organization is ensuring every interaction with a customer includes quick-connect options for further contact. It’s all about showing your customers their next right step.
For example, if a customer receives a confirmation email. It should include a link or tab for connecting to live chat. If a customer is visiting the website, the company’s chatbot should initiate contact with a pop-up.
If a customer is waiting on hold, they should be given options to connect in other ways. Even an on-hold message when customers call can direct them to an FAQ page or Resources page on your organization’s website.
In short, every effort should be made to spread the customer volume over multiple channels.
The more accessible the channels are, the more likely customers are to make a habit of connecting in ways other than the phone.
Magellan Solutions can help drive customers toward non-phone channels to decrease call volume. We guarantee that our agents are well-equipped, and trained to handle it.
If you want to train customers away from a call and into a different method, you need to make it worth their while. Show them an exceptional customer experience and your omnichannel experience succeeds.
The key to a thriving omnichannel strategy is ensuring all channels are well integrated with one another.
Customers need to feel comfortable switching from one to the other without fear of gaps, overlaps, or repetition in the transfer of information. That’s why your inbound contact center must ensure that adequately-trained agents are staffing all channels and that replies, especially on asynchronous channels, are timely and effective.
Customers increasingly prefer self-service options anyway. Magellan Solutions can make this a part of our strategy for lowering your phone call volume.
According to a recent Forrester report, two-thirds of customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.
We can further help with the following self-service options:
Customers will learn how to resolve some of their own service issues, making them less likely to become an addition to your call center volume in the future.
Agents actively speaking with customers on the phone have a very limited ability to multi-task. This can lead to an increased call volume.
Some interactions do call for focused attention, and that’s okay. But real-time voice-to-voice interaction demands the agent’s full attention, and compared to some other channels, this is less than efficient.
Channels that are asynchronous, like chat, SMS, and e-mail, allow agents to handle more than one customer at any given time.
On average, agents can handle two customers at once via webchat, or a maximum of four without sacrificing service quality. This is a great strategy to reduce call volume because leaning toward asynchronous channels allows your agents to handle more customers in less time.
Your organization’s IVR (interactive voice recognition) system can do much more for you than direct callers to the right department or agent, making it an excellent resource for managing high call volume.
The IVR system can also provide successful “exit points” for the customer that result in their not having to speak with an agent at all.
If there are simple clerical tasks that customers can complete themselves via touch-tone options, make these a highly accessible part of your IVR call flow. This reduces inbound call volume arriving at your agents’ phones, and allows them to focus on more complex customer tasks and services.
Moreso, when your customers are inputting details, they’re spending less time on hold and that can reduce call abandonment rate too.
A strong FCR (First Call Resolution) rate in your inbound contact center means the customer has no need to call back. At least, not regarding the same issue. Thus, cumulatively lowering inbound contact center calls in the future.
In fact, a 15% improvement in FCR results in a 57% reduction in repeat calls.
As strong FCR reduces inbound call volume, there’s a positive ripple effect on customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. 12% of customers who have to call more than twice to resolve their issue will leave a company or brand behind.
Call analytics can help you by providing visibility into the effectiveness of your ad targeting by tracking the source of each call and its outcome.
The source of the call is tracked by dynamic-number-insertion technology. It links a call back to its source online by automatically inserting a phone number on your website or landing page that is unique to each visitor. Once the phone number is called, you know exactly which channel, keyword, and campaign is driving calls.
Dynamic number insertiontogether with conversation analysis provides a true picture of your call attribution beyond counting calls. Conversation analysis tracks how many of those calls were leads by interpreting the calls as leads or low-value calls.
It could also be a sign that your advertising on social media is more effective than on Google.
Testing two ads through dynamic number insertion will help you optimize your marketing on that channel efficiently, with clear and reliable call-attribution data.
Your routing system could be responsible for an artificially inflated volume of calls by misdirecting irrelevant calls, resulting in an inaccurate conversion rate.
Routing calls efficiently and correctly can improve the customer experience. It further results in a boost to your conversion rate. Routing issues are a top customer complaint and pave the way for a bad customer experience.
A misrouted call can also cause you to miss a sales opportunity. 78% of people have abandoned a call because they were incorrectly routed.
For a business with multiple locations, a routing system based on a ZIP code or an area code can ensure that customers are directed to the local business servicing their area and reduce worthless calls. ZIP code routing prompts a customer to type in their code, connecting them to the location assigned to that ZIP code. Area code routing automatically connects callers to the location assigned to their area code.
Filter out the calls that may be wasting your time and could potentially cost you money.
The Telmetrics Data Insights Lab found that 47% of call volume is typically spam or fraud. Judging from the 50% increase in the first half of 2016 of complaints to the US Federal Trade Commission, spam/fraudulent calls are a growing problem that shouldn’t be ignored.
Telecom fraud may also be costing you money. Toll-free pumping artificially increases a phone bill by pushing calls to toll-free numbers.
There are several ways that fraud and spam calls can be blocked before they reach the business.
The first involves a spam and fraud blocking program, which is already included with quality call-tracking numbers. Call-block works by identifying spam and robocall patterns, such as numerous concurrent calls, and then blocks those calls.
Other fraud and spam prevention measures include a captcha for callers that ensures only human callers are connected to the business. Callers are prompted to press a number that is randomly generated for a quick and seamless patch through. The call captcha can also be scheduled for outside business hours and triggered for calls outside the service area.
That latter option has a secondary benefit in that it makes sure local businesses receive local customers.
Reducing customer service calls has many benefits for your inbound contact center. By following the outlined steps, you can cut costs, and improve your customer’s experience.
By establishing asynchronous channels, providing agents with the proper omnichannel training, and allowing them to handle more complex calls, agents can continue developing a more qualified skillset.
Don’t keep your customers waiting in a queue. Contact us for a quote on how to keep your customers happy on the other end of the line!
Contact us today for more information.
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