Long queues and wait times will not only incur more costs for your contact center but will also have a negative impact on your customer experiences. Customers want speedy service, whether it’s with a live agent, or through a self-service option that’s efficient and easy to use.
In this blog, we will explore some strategies and services that reduce average wait times and reduce call queues for your contact center.
Optimize Your IVR Flow
Your IVR should be configured in a way that customers can reach the right agent or department the first time depending on their request. Continuously test your IVR to spot inefficiencies, and if you’re using a cloud contact center solution, skill-based routing should be utilized to help connect customers to the best available agent. Having each unique call handled by the correct department and the most well-suited agent will lead to faster resolution times, reduce transfers, free queue positions and in turn, reduce average wait times. Take a look at our other blog on the 9 ways to improve your IVR system.
Introduce Self Service IVR
You may have customers waiting in a queue that don’t necessarily need to speak to a live agent for their issue or request. In order to help reduce queues, consider implementing a self-service IVR option for those simple requests, which will free more agent time and reduce your call queues. Self-Service IVR may be used for things like account changes, payments, scheduling appointments, checking shipping statuses and more.
Enable Chatbots for Webchats and SMS
Chatbots have gotten a lot more sophisticated over the years, and are very effective in answering common questions for your customers. They can even handle common tasks like making account changes or checking the status of a shipment. You can implement these chatbots with SMS/text support or through webchat support. This is another solution for allowing your customers to handle small tasks and inquiries without having to reach out to a live agent and waiting in a queue. Contact us to find out more about chatbots.
Here are some use cases for SMS and Web Chatbots per industry:
- Retail Applications: Process online returns, shipment tracking updates, and product availability info
- Insurance Applications: Process quick quotes, account changes, and claims
- Healthcare Applications: Schedule appointments, get requests for callbacks from doctors, and information on any procedures
- Real Estate Applications: Schedule appointments for viewings, offer information on current listings based on criteria from prospects, schedule calls with realtors, and provide market data
- Banking Applications: Check balances, schedule appointments within different departments, and offer status checks for loan approvals
“Your call is important to us. All of our agents are busy…” is a common greeting when your contact center is overwhelmed. Queue Callback allows your customers to keep their line in the queue, hang up, and receive a call back when the next agent is available. This drastically reduces wait times and improves your customer experiences.
SMS Blasting or Voice Blasting
Sometimes your queues will fill due to interrupted service, or other similar situations. Using Voice Blasting or SMS Blasting in a scenario of a service outage will inform your customers that you are aware of the outage and are working on a solution immediately. This will help reduce incoming calls from customers looking to make sure you’re aware of the outage and how long it will take to get your service back online. All of this information can be communicated in the pre-recorded voice messages.
In addition to using SMS or Voice Blasting to help reduce incoming calls, queues, and wait times, you may also use them for the following:
- Promotions and discounts
- Usage cap notifications
- Overdue payment reminders
- Requesting customer feedback on previous interactions
- Announcing new products or services
- Holiday or celebration greeting messages
- Appointment reminders for scheduled meetings
- Sending company information to employees
Well Trained Agents With Easy Access to Resources & Customer History
High AHT (Avg. Handle Times) can be taking a toll on your call queues and average wait times. The faster an inquiry is resolved, the faster the next customer waiting can get assistance. When agents have easy access to resources in one centralized location, it makes interactions flow quicker and more seamlessly while also driving down hold times. This also applies when agents are well trained on all different types of inquiries to be able to efficiently handle each interaction. Another factor to consider is having access to customer history per interaction. To help AHT, agents should always have quick access to each customer’s history such as products they have purchased, inquiries they have made in the past, notes and more. Customer history can be crucial to driving down AHT by allowing your agents to have more context per interaction, and it also helps provide more unique and personalized customer experiences that your customers will appreciate.
No matter which agent your customer gets in touch with, the information your agents provide should always be the same and consistent to prevent customers from calling back frustrated since they were provided with the wrong information, which can drive up call volumes impacting your queue times and average wait times. This may be due to a product or policy change that one agent was aware of but another wasn’t. One way to combat inconsistent communication is to utilize canned responses in a cloud contact center solution. Canned responses are scripts that can be used as responses which are set and updated by management. Agents can easily access these responses within a cloud contact center interface that supports them, such as ours (NC3).
These solutions and tips are proven to help your contact center connect with your customers quickly with less wait time. Contact us to speak with a Solutions Consultant to learn more about our services.