Did you know that 67 percent of customers hang up the call because they’re frustrated with waiting for a call center representative? A successful call center is based on stellar customer service and such negative response hampers their service levels. In fact, 62.7 percent of agents view service level as an important performance metric. Since the call volume has increased exponentially, finding ways to route these calls effectively to ensure the maximum customer service is critical. That’s why we’ve listed out top call center routing strategies to help your center succeed with customers.
Most small businesses cannot afford to build a dedicated customer service team. They just need to direct their customer calls to the right department within the business. So, the direct routing model is perfect for them because it gets the information right from the horse’s mouth. In this model, your customers have separate contact information that connects them to a specific department. A particular number gets them in touch with the sales department or the service team, and so on.
Companies can also establish primary contact and next contact lists to help them navigate to the right person when someone else is preoccupied. 60 percent of call centers view first contact resolution as an important performance indicator. Through direct routing, small businesses can ensure they quickly resolve queries by allowing the customer to approach the person in charge.
Through an automatic call distributor (or ACD), call centers can use sophisticated routing techniques like the least idle routine. In this routing strategy, calls route to the advisor who’s idle for the longest time. A 2014 study states that clients are willing to wait for a maximum of 13 minutes before they disconnect customer calls angrily. With such methods, call center managers ensure that every agent is occupied and customers don’t wait for a longer time to get resolutions to their queries.
Interactive voice response (or IVR) gives customers predetermined options to choose which department they’d like to contact. This way, customers feel they’re given a choice, while businesses know how to manage these calls. Ideally, this strategy makes routing fast and simple because the caller has already identified the type of concern. It reduces the number of calls transfers a caller has to endure and can potentially solve a problem faster.
However, this model relies on the customer’s understanding of business to choose the right team. Many times, they may get confused about which department they need to contact. Often, callers choose incorrectly and this doesn’t solve their problem without transfers. With cross-trained agents or help desk capabilities, you can get a sense of why the customer is calling and redirect accordingly.
In this strategy, customers use toll-free contact information to get in touch with businesses. Since the number is associated with multiple locations, clients from several areas can use the same number. However, through location/zip code analysis, the call gets directed to the nearest service center. Though businesses do need to invest the money for the call customers make, ROI on this service is significant! Introducing a toll-free number specifically for customer queries builds a service-centric mindset that’s great for the company.
Through the cascading calls strategy, the manager can prioritize which type of agents receive the clients first, and how these calls can escalate. So, a supervisor may assign issues to the most skilled agents to reduce their resolution time. Small businesses with staff that multitasks can use this strategy to effectively handle customer queries. Through skilled employees, companies can ensure to keep the call resolution high and continue operations normally.
However, this strategy applies well only if the call volume is limited. With a greater call volume, companies risk wasting their skilled labor’s time and capabilities unnecessarily. Moreover, with great call volume, your less specialized agents may receive calls that they can’t handle. So, the call resolution lowers even more.
In this data-directed routing type, systems identify a caller based on important criteria like phone number, CRM profile, or account number. Then, it directs their call to the right agent that suits the level of service they need. So, if a VIP contacts you, the system routes it to a specialized agent that takes the extra effort to satisfy the customer. Similarly, it puts the new customer in touch with the sales team, so that they know about their product and services. A call from an existing customer will most likely go to the support department. A customer with due payments will be routed to the collections or accounts receivable team, and so on.
This smart solution solves many common pain points that other strategies don't address. It reduces the query resolution time, the transfer count, and the risk of customers picking the wrong option. However, this system may easily backfire if the criteria chosen to categorize customers don’t correspond to their queries. For example, if a returning customer is sent to the support team without realizing he wants to purchase new software, it’ll increase the transfers. Generally, assuming the customer is calling for a particular reason based on the profile can turn out risky.
In this routing, the system allows the best potential client to get in touch with the most qualified advisor. This way you prioritize the best prospects by helping them skip the queue. However, this approach isn’t worthy because it takes too much effort to maintain advisor skill records. Additionally, in this method, the juice may not be worth the squeeze. Though, if future technology eases workforce management, this routing can be a powerful routing approach.
While satisfied customers can be loyal brand ambassadors, the angry ones can destroy a carefully built brand image. So, ensure you give your clients the royal treatment they deserve!
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