Three tips to ensure your customers’ happiness


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Recent analysis from Citizens Advice revealed that irate callers tweeted HMRC over 11,500 times in the last 12 months to complain about long phone line queues.

The analysis from Citizens Advice revealed that callers are waiting on average 47 minutes to speak to an advisor, which is a huge five times longer than the ‘guaranteed’ waiting time of 10 minutes.

In one extreme case, a tweet revealed a caller had tried to get through to HMRC on four occasions, waiting an hour each time.

Now obviously, HMRC’s contact centre inefficiencies are causing great frustration. It’s an example no organisation with the vaguest notions of providing a good customer experience wants to follow. But how do you ensure that you are delivering an optimised call queuing experience and meeting promises on wait times? Especially when you have potentially large inbound call volumes that ebb and flow wildly around peak times, like those HMRC inevitably deals with?
You can give your customers the best queuing experience by taking note of our call flow management techniques below.

Make your customers queue…virtually
No one wants to be left waiting, with no idea how many people might be in the queue ahead of you. Using in-queue announcements to show where customers are in the queue will help them to decide whether to hold on, or to hang up. This doesn’t have to mean an abandoned call however. By placing your customers in a virtual queue at times of high traffic calls they can opt to hold their place in the queue and then go about their busy lives without being stuck to the phone.

Once they have moved through the queue, they will receive an automatic call back and are immediately connected to an agent. Alternatively, customers can key in a preferred call back time and get an agent to call them at a more convenient time. This way, agents can automatically follow up on any inbound calls that requested a call back. You can also stand out from the competition by pro-actively calling back those customers who hung up without requesting a call – a standard feature within our cloud contact centre.

Automatically pivot your channels
Earlier this year HMRC began encouraging people to tweet them with their tax enquiries, rather than using the phone. We know how that’s worked out, but to pinpoint the failings there are two main points. Firstly there’s the failure to actually respond to the tweets satisfactorily, if you’re going to direct customers to another channel you have to be responsive there. Secondly, there’s the issue of appropriateness – a public communication channel like Twitter is not suited to potentially sensitive personal issues like tax enquiries. However, the principle of directing customers to a different channel is a good one in a multichannel world, if executed well.

Software that allows you to ‘channel pivot’, automatically switching individual customers from one mode of contact to another based on configurable rules, can help you ensure that you’re using the most appropriate communication channel for the customer and their query. For example, picking up an inbound email where the customer ID flags them up as a premium, combined with the content of the email being such as to trigger a priority outbound call.
This can be especially useful when a customer is frustrated. For example, picking up on a ‘venting’ tweet and automatically triggering a personal direct message or a direct call based on the content of the tweet. If only HMRC had done that.

Drive your call flows with data
Contact centres increasingly need more sophisticated systems to identify customers. Using data-driven call flows allows you to automatically direct calls to the right agents using information in your system to identify callers and the possible reason for their call. Their phone number, email address or even Twitter handle can be referenced in the CRM instantly to identify them, and tell you details such as whether they have had a bad experience before, or if they are a long-standing customer. Saving both your agents and customers time.

Discover more useful tips here to ensure that your contact centre stands apart from the crowd and doesn’t become one of the contact centres seeing a fall in customer satisfaction.

This blog originally appeared here.

David Ford
I am an experienced engineer, director and corporate adviser with focus on technology sector. I now work as the Managing Director of Magnetic North. Magnetic North is leading the contact centre in the cloud revolution by providing organisations of every size with a high-availability, secure, enterprise-class solution at a fraction of the cost of the cost of traditional systems, together with transparent pricing, out-of-the-box integration and continuous product innovation.


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