All you need to know about ASA in the call centers

ASA stands for “Average Speed of Answer”.

ASA is a call center key performance indicator (KPI) typically referenced by managers while assessing their team’s performance, efficacy and degree of accessibility to their callers. It is a term pertaining to the service industry where it is also known as “Average Seconds to Answer” and “Average Time to Answer” (ATA). It is further defined as the average waiting time for a caller before he is acknowledged by a service representative.

The mathematical formula is:

Average Speed of Answer = Total Waiting Time for Answered Calls/Total Number of Answered Calls

ASA
ASA

Factors affecting ASA:

1. Customer satisfaction:

Customer satisfaction is associated with an average speed of answer. This is because the time spent queueing is one of the main factors that affect how customers judge the level of service. Low waiting times do not automatically indicate high CSat. Customer satisfaction is understood from the contact center’s perspective. It starts from the instant when the customer is placed in a queue after they have navigated IVR. As a matter of fact, long or confusing IVR processes can lead to a bad customer experience. This is because lengthy IVR processes cause frustration in the customers. Moreover, they make the customer experience much more drawn out than the ASA figures would ideally indicate.

2. Call abandonment rate:

Call abandon rate is yet another factor that affects the average speed of answer data. In the cases where customers end the calls before they are connected to an agent, their calls do not count towards the ASA figure. Various factors may be responsible for the agents abandoning a call. Of all the possible reasons, a prolonged wait has the highest probability of triggering call abandonment. As a result, the worst offenders, in terms of answer speed, are often discounted from the understanding of the actual figure.

What is agent occupancy in a call center?

Agent occupancy refers to the percentage of time that call agents spend handling incoming calls against the available or idle time, which is determined by dividing workload hours by staff hours. It is a statistic used in calculating the productivity of a call center. When agent occupancy is the final outcome of how staffing is matched to incoming call patterns to a call center, the desired level of occupancy may drive staffing decisions in a sequential work environment. This useful metric can be utilized to measure instant messaging interactions as well.

Agent occupancy
Agent occupancy

Utilization rate, also known as call center occupancy, is measured as:

Handle time (talk time + after call work time) / time signed into a queue.

This metric is expressed as a percentage and tells you the amount of time that work is being performed in support of the call center’s queue. It also tells you how hard the call center agents are being driven. Higher the occupancy rate, shorter is the amount of time between calls. According to a research, 80% occupancy rate means that 20% of the time the representative was available for a call and the remaining 80% the representative was either on a call or in after call work status.

Occupancy rate
Occupancy rate

Call center utilization or agent occupancy is not controlled at an individual level. It is rather a group, queue or center measure. Also, it is a function of forecasting and staffing, the workload offered by the calls arriving randomly and the handle times. As a matter of fact, smaller groups have lower occupancy than the larger ones. Also, higher occupancy rates do not always correlate to an increased productivity. Therefore, call center agents can generally handle short bursts of increased activity but sustained high occupancy can lead to burnout. You need to know that call center occupancy needs to be considered along with other factors such as overall productivity, error rates, quality scores etc. in order to make the most out of it.

 

 

 

Best strategies to curb agent attrition: V

1. Consider agent priorities:

According to a research, agents who have worked in the contact center for more than six months have these top three priorities namely:

i) salary

ii) progression

iii) nice environment

On the other hand, the top three priorities for those who have been in the role for less than six months are as follows:

i) nice environment

ii) salary

iii) company culture

Therefore, incentive planning needs to be done on the basis of these priorities in order to lower agent attrition levels in customer support centers. This further helps you can gain the most out of the rewards that are offered. Apart from this, customer support managers also need to focus on the salaries of jobs which require similar skills to the agent role. Also, they need to make sure that the rates of pay that you offer are competitive.

Priorities
Priorities

2. Consider benchmarking against good agent skills:

The act of benchmarking the skills of new agents against their well-skilled counterparts will help benefit the quality of calls and provide the required guidance. In order to reduce agent attrition, benchmark advisors against their colleagues instead of alongside metric based targets. Further, suggest them what to pick up from them in call quality monitoring sessions.

Benchmarking skills
Benchmarking skills

3. Monitor customer-centric metrics:

As a matter of fact, the most effective call center agents are typically the ones that make a personalized connection with their callers and derive the most satisfaction from their job. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor customer-centric metrics such as contact quality, customer satisfaction, and first contact resolution. Thereafter, measures need to be taken to enhance them. Also, the contact center managers need to ensure that quantitative metrics such as average handle time or calls per hour are not overvalued. This will help increase customer satisfaction and curb agent attrition.

Customer centric metrics
Customer centric metrics

Best strategies to curb agent attrition: IV

1. Improve the working conditions:

Agent satisfaction is the key to reducing agent attrition. This can be achieved by allowing agents the opportunity to work from home, on a flexible schedule, or in an office with an ergonomic workspace. This will make them more satisfied with their work and achieve a healthy work-life balance. Simply put, if you want that each agent loves coming to work, you need to provide them with satisfactory working conditions.

Good work condition at office
Good work condition at office

2. Choose the new agents wisely:

As a matter of fact, if someone left their last role as a contact centre advisor after six to nine months, there is a possibility that they will leave again. This happens because agents who leave after this time often do so as they realise that there was not much room for job progression in their previous role. Hiring process needs to be more specific so as to find the most appropriate agents. So, in order to reduce agent attrition, you need to consider this factor to ensure that they are aware of possible growth within the contact center.

Hiring the right candidate
Hiring the right candidate

3. Try to find the right balance:

Agents who are good at taking calls may not necessarily be good at managing people. However, keeping them in the same position for too long may frustrate them due to the lack of progression and move on. Therefore, it is necessary to find the right balance to curb agent attrition. For this, consider developing leadership in the contact centre to find agents who have the right leadership capabilities, such as organisation, influence, and motivation.  Also, ensure you don’t make the decision based on call handling alone. Moreover, if you are seen to be helping the agents progress their skills by developing their leadership, you can lower attrition. This is because they will interpret your actions as preparing them for future opportunities and their betterment.

Promotion
Promotion

 

Best strategies to curb agent attrition: III

1. Provide rewards and internal promotions:

Implementing peer recognition and rewards program is yet another powerful method of curbing agent attrition. It involves ensuring that each agent receives feedback that is directly tied to their performance and that they receive rewards when they meet key milestones. This enhances an agent’s motivation and helps build engagement with their work. On the other hand, filling open positions within call centers by promoting internal candidates can also help motivate them to work better. This can actually be used as an incentive for agents to work harder at their job and be sure to promote top performers.

Rewards and recognition
Rewards and recognition

2. Strive to tackle your advisors’ grievances:

Exit interviews are the ones conducted to gather information on why an advisor is leaving and to learn how a customer support center can stop attrition. Instead of these exit interviews, conducting internal interviews, after an employee’s first few weeks of joining, can help tackle their grievances and know their pain points before it is too late. Thereafter, strategies can be employed to exempt these grievances. These interviews convince the employees that the company cares and supports for each of them. It further boosts their morale and job satisfaction and leads to a lowered agent attrition rate.

Coaching culture
Coaching culture

3. Ease down the shift swapping process:

The rigidness of the schedule in a customer support center can result in staff missing important external events and lower job satisfaction. As a matter of fact, customer support centers are hesitant to allow shift swaps due to the negative impact it may have on workplace cohesion, contact between supervisors and advisors and service quality. However, working towards lowering the rigidness of the schedule and providing an easy swapping of shifts can greatly enhance employee morale. This can eventually result in a reduced agent attrition.

Shift swapping
Shift swapping

 

 

 

 

 

Best strategies to curb agent attrition: II

1.Provide adequate training to all the agents:

Skipping or shortening the training period, based on the fact that some agents need intense training while others do not can lead to the omission of useful experiences. This may further result in feelings of exclusion, inadequacy, and disorganization and in the worst cases, the agent leaving your company. Therefore, you should consider training each agent equally. Make sure that all the agents are subjected to the same training period so they can acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, become acculturated to the company’s values, and cultivate relationships with colleagues. This training period will enhance team collaboration and bond and will further lead to the exemption of agent attrition to a large extent.

Call center training programmes
Call center training programs

2. Schedule the staff appropriately:

One of the most effective strategies in curbing agent attrition is focusing on the work-life balance of employees. This strategy works on the principle of mutual understanding, such that, employees need to understand that the business must meet its customers’ demands, while the business must understand that employees have external pressures as well. Thus, you need to develop a flexible approach creating a number of lifestyle schedule options that give employees more choices, whilst still meeting the business needs. Providing options is a great way of finding a suitable solution and satisfying all.

Work life balance
Work life balance

3. Leverage the power of skill development:

Providing skill development programs is yet another powerful strategy that can help curb agent attrition in customer support centers. As a matter of fact, agents who feel their on the job skill-set is not at all progressive are more likely to disengage with their work and are more prone to leaving. However, all these insecurities can be eliminated and job satisfaction can be increased with opportunities for agents to learn new skills and new technologies. This will help them be more competent and confident, perform their work-related duties and stay longer with your company.

Skill development programmes
Skill development programmes

Best strategies to curb agent attrition: I

An attrition refers to a common problem when call center employees feel stressed, unrecognized or underpaid. It can further be defined as the rate at which members of staff voluntarily leave the workforce over a given period of time. A thorough understanding of all of the reasons employees resign from call center positions can help determine which factors contribute to the call center’s attrition rate. Thereafter employing effective strategies can help combat this situation:

1. Optimized recruitment:

Hiring the right agents for your team is the very first step in curbing agent attrition. Implementing a referral program as well as allowing agents to work from home can help increase the quality of applicants. Consider personality, communication skills, cultural fit, team-oriented attitudes and the skills of the applicant, while hiring. A clear description of job roles, common tasks and performance expectations will help them know what is expected of them and can opt out of the job if it is not a suitable one.

Hiring the right agents
Hiring the right agents

2. Work towards the empowerment of your team:

Agents should have clearly defined expectations, receive feedback based on these expectations and should know who to talk to when they have an issue or concern. Moreover, they should be involved in business decisions, informed about company goals and strategies and be polled about their experience working in the company. Establishing clear communication channels and including agents in decision-making processes will make them feel more empowered and motivated. This will further reduce the problem of agent attrition.

Empowering agents
Empowering agents

3. Provide your agents with progressive software and applications:

Providing your agents with progressive call center software that is easy to learn and use, can help them start working sooner and be better at what they do. Providing them with adequate software and applications increases the agents’ satisfaction with their work and reduce agent attrition.

Tools and software
Tools and software

 

Benefits of ANI in customer support centers

As mentioned earlier, ANI is a feature of a telecommunications network for determining the origination telephone number on toll calls for billing purposes. This amazing feature provides a number of benefits to the customer support centers employing it. We have mentioned some of those benefits below:

1. Call forwarding without operator intervention:

An operator call forwarding will become aware of the caller’s phone number and automatically thank them for forwarding their lines as well as give them the option to go to an operator and arrive in check-in mode ready to get their messages. This will reduce the live operator time and subsequently the billable time.

Call forwarding
Call forwarding

 

2. Call blocking:

Your answering service can block all the unwanted, irritating calls with the help of automatic number identification.

Call blocking
Call blocking

3. Exemption of call screening bills:

Call screening is the process of evaluating the characteristics of a telephone call before deciding how or whether to answer it. The screening process can be excluded from your answering service bill by employing an ANI system. This highly effective technology can help identify their caller ID and dump these calls before an operator ever has to speak with them.

Call screening
Call screening

4. An increase in agent efficiency:

ANI ensures that the most appropriate number is always displayed. With automatic caller ID, the agents will never have to manually select a number. This exempts all the chances of errors. Moreover, it saves them time and effort, thus, increasing their efficiency.

Increased agent efficiency
Increased agent efficiency

5. Boosts call backs and connection rates: 

 ANI helps in increasing call backs and connection rates as using a familiar number will increase the probability that the recipient will return the call. Moreover, recipients are more likely to answer calls from familiar phone numbers or phone numbers from similar area codes.
Call back
Call back

6. Increases first call resolution on callbacks:

Using ANI recipients can be immediately connected with the most appropriate agent when they have missed a call and thereafter call back.

Increased first call resolution
Increased first call resolution

 

 

What is an ANI in a customer support center?

ANI is an abbreviation for Automatic Number Identification. It is a service that provides the receiver of a telephone call with the number of the calling phone. The method of providing this particular information is determined by the service provider (such as AT&T, MCI, Sprint, and so forth). Mostly, the service is provided by sending the digital tone multi frequency (DTMF) tones along with the call. This technology is commonly used by emergency center dispatchers to save the caller having to report the information and. It can further be used to help locate callers. Moreover, the telephone company’s 9-1-1 service to a public safety point usually includes the automatic number identification feature. It is extensively used in call centers.

In call centers, it displays the number of the calling party to the call center agent in real time. The call center can use the provided information to forward calls to different people for different geographic areas. Automatic number identification is also employed to describe the functions of two-way radio selective calling that identify the transmitting user.

Automatic number identification
Automatic Number Identification

In cases where the caller ID blocking is activated, the caller’s telephone number and line type are captured by ANI service. The destination telephone company switching office can relay the originating telephone number to ANI delivery services subscribers. Toll-free subscribers and large companies normally have access to to this information as follows:

i) instantly via installed equipment

ii) from a monthly billing statement.

In case of residential subscribers, access to ANI information can be obtained through third party companies that charge for the service. ANI is generally not transmitted when a call is operator assisted. In such cases, only the area code of the last switch to route the call is sent. If a call is placed through an outbound-only VoIP service or some calling cards will cause a non-working number to be sent as the ANI.  It is also not supported adequately for calls originated from four-party lines.

 

 

 

 

 

All you need to know about high-touch customer service

Customer service at a call center is defined as the process of waiting for people to call in with a question and then answering the question or solving the caller’s problem. A high-touch customer service can be regarded as an advanced version of the traditional approach. In this kind of approach, the basic aim is to anticipate what questions or issues callers will have at different instants of time. A high-touch customer service also means evaluating ‘first-call resolution,’ which is resolving the callers’ issue the first time they call. Simply put, high-touch customer service is a category of contact center interaction that requires human interaction. Some contact centers train specific agents to deal with high-value customers and complex problems in order to achieve maximum customer satisfaction.

High touch customer service
High touch customer service

Software technical support systems employ a grading system for customers. According to this system, the low-touch requests may be handled through mediums such as an online community FAQ section or a customer self-service portal. Such that low-touch customer service often enlists FAQ sections or knowledge bases of articles with how-to answers. On the other hand, the complex issues may require the high-touch approach of a customer service agent who is well-trained in resolving these kinds of problems. In other words, high-touch solutions almost always require human intervention and guidance from a customer service agent for query resolution.

Customer service agents
Customer service agents

In order to anticipate the problems or issues that customers may have, a thorough study of the data accumulated over time needs to be done. This data is generally based on the types of questions for which the customers contact the call center. This can help identify areas of the program that require more detailed descriptions and information. This data can also be used by the call center employees for reaching out and educating members or customers in a more personalized and proactive way.

 

 

Studying data gathered over time
Studying data gathered over time

 

How to curb longest delay in queue

“Longest delay in queue” (LDQ) describes the longest time period that a customer in a queue waits before either connecting with an agent or hanging up.  LDQ is tracked through two categories in call center metrics:

i) Longest delay to answer:

This is the longest delay for a caller before being managed by a call center agent.

ii) Longest delay to abandon:

It refers to the maximum time a caller waited for agent interaction before hanging up.

Queue
Queue

Delay, whether long are short is not at all good for a company’s success and reputation as well. So, the managers handling the customer care section of a company need to identify and employ effective strategies to curb these issues. In this post, we have mentioned some of the most effective strategies that can be employed to keep customers happy during unexpected service delays, such as being short on staff:

1.Transparency:

The managers should give customers clear and conservative information that will help them estimate their wait time. This reduces their anxiety level caused by the uncertainty of the situation

2. Deliver more than you promise:

Delivering more than what you promise is a clever strategy. Let’s take an example of a restaurant where the host can give customers a longer than expected waiting time, say 25 minutes. If customers end up waiting just 15 minutes, they will be delighted as they expected a longer delay.

3. Try to keep your customers busy while they wait:

You can consider giving customers something to do while they wait. It can help cover the issue and keep them distracted and can seem like time goes by faster. Some examples of this strategy are offering magazines or free wifi access to your customers

4. Admit delays rather than apologizing:

When you inform the customers about the expected wait time beforehand, they can be mentally prepared for it. This is far better than apologizing to the customers time and again about additional delays as it will only piss them off.

 

Tips to reduce FCD in a call center: II

1.Optimize call queue settings:

It is a known fact that customers hate waiting when they want to get their queries resolved. The best solution to this problem is modern contact center software. It offers various features to optimize call queues, reduce the wait time and thus exempt FCD. Some of its features are:

i) Queue to voicemail:

Using this feature, customers can leave a voicemail instead of waiting in the queue. This helps in reducing FCD to a large extent as it exempts the need of waiting a single minute in the queue. This further helps improve the quality of customer service and agents’ efficiency as well.

ii) Queue callback:

This feature allows the customers to exit the queue and leave behind their details such as contact information so that they can be contacted back. Whenever the agents are available, they refer to the details provided and call back the customers so as to provide them the required information or solve their queries.

Voicemail
Voicemail

2. Optimize your staffing:

This does not mean hiring a lot of agents but planning the entire process adequately. Optimizing your staffing in order to reduce FCD calls for adjusting your team size based on predicted call volume, especially during the peak time. Workforce management and efficient call center software can be used to do this. Moreover, the historical data can be analyzed to better understand the peak times, and staff accordingly. You also need to consider making contingency plans for those times when employees call in sick.

Optimized staffing 2
Optimized staffing 2

3. Offer self- help service:

In today’s era, customers prefer to get help themselves. A self-service feature on your website or social media profile will help to cut down FCD. By reducing the call flow to your contact center, it will further increase the productivity and efficiency of the agents.

Self service
Self-service

 

 

Tips to reduce FCD in a call center: I

As we mentioned in our earlier post, FCD refers to a scenario where a caller hangs up the call after listening to the notice that ‘our customer care agents are currently busy, your call is important to us, please hold the line’. Fast clear down is a result of the fact that such customers are not ready to wait even a minute or two. This makes it a little harder to tackle FCD in an effective way but by making use of the following tips, it can be curbed to a large extent:

FCD
FCD

1. Consider employing advanced call center software:

All your call center needs can be met using the different types of advanced call center software available in the market. They help achieve productivity and benefit you in the long run. Using highly efficacious software, your agents will be able to provide exceptional customer service and resolve the customer’s issue in a very short time. This is because advanced software enables the agents to have all the information at their fingertips. So, the moment they start their interaction with the customer, they can refer to the available information and provide the fastest query resolution. Moreover, the software will help to optimize the after-call work of an agent hence, further increasing customer satisfaction and reducing FCD.

Call center software
Call center software

2. Train your agents adequately:

When the agents are not adequately trained, they are not completely familiar with a process and this impacts the call. In such cases, the agents are not able to troubleshoot properly. Also, they may have to get help from the seniors on the call which would prolong the overall call time. As a result, the customers may get frustrated with the inefficiency of the agent and ask for the supervisor. In order to avoid all this, and reduce FCD, you need to train your agents thoroughly.

Training call center agents
Training call center agents

 

 

All you need to know about FCD and its impact on call centers

A fast clear down is a call center term for a caller who hangs up upon hearing a delay notice. FCD is basically used for callers who hang up immediately after they come to know about the delay in reaching a customer care agent. This is a scenario where a caller hangs up the call after listening to the notice that ‘our customer care agents are currently busy, your call is important for us, please hold the line’. Fast clear down is a result of the fact that such customers are not ready to wait even a minute or two.

Fast clear down
Fast clear down

In such cases where a caller hangs up before the agents get a chance to talk, the call centers are likely missing the opportunity of making them satisfied and happy. For an exceptional experience, a customer should be able to reach an agent and get his/ her queries resolved without any delay. But this is not possible when the call volumes are high and customers have to wait in queues. There can also be many other reasons responsible for a lengthy or even short call center queues. Some of them, are:

i) Sub-optimal staffing: If there are not enough agents, it could lead to the calls getting piled upii

ii) Agent incompetence: It means, the agents may not be competent enough to finish the calls on time.

Unhappy customers
Unhappy customers

FCD has an adverse impact as it is directly related to call abandonment rates. Since customers call into a contact center to get immediate support and answers to their queries, so, they are less likely to be in a mood of wasting their time waiting in the queue. Also, due to a negative experience, they hang up and never call back. Hence, abandonment rates are related to customer churn.

Call abandonment
Call abandonment

 

 

A complete guide to call center analytics: III

1. Cross-channel analytics

Customers today, have been provided with multiple channels through which they expect to be able to reach and interact with call center agents. The data flowing in from each of these channels contains valuable insights. This call center analytics enables organizations to identify and evaluate the data so gauged and choose the best channels for interaction with customers. Cross-channel analytics provides a way to determine what channels any of their customers are using at a given moment, and tailor their service options accordingly. Agents can provide a personalized and exceptional customer interaction if they have the required information at their fingertips.

Cross channel analytics
Cross-channel analytics

2. Self-service analytics:

This is yet another call center analytics that enables the users to access and analyze corporate data even if they are not trained as a data scientist and do not have any working experience with business intelligence and data mining. Self-service analytics helps to do so through the use of tools that simplify the ease of understanding. It further enables organizations to solve the problems and needs of a large number of businesses that too without the need for data professionals. Self-service requires minimal human involvement and helps cater a larger number of customers efficiently.

Self-service analytics
Self-service analytics

3. Performance analytics:

Performance analytics exempts the dependency of call center managers on daily reports and roll ups so as to know how well things are going. It basically offers online reporting and dashboard views of critical performance data, both real-time and historical, in context. This call center analytics enables the organizations to gauge and update relevant information and insights. Based on this information and insights, it further enables the organizations to take pro-active steps to ensure the best possible service to their customers. Thus, it actually helps enhance the customer experience to a large extent.

Performance analytics
Performance analytics

 

 

A complete guide to call center analytics: II

1. IVR analytics

IVR analytics is a highly effective end-to-end call assessment solution that is a part of customer experience strategy. As a matter of fact, the customers who are greeted by linear thinking IVR systems instead of human voices already assume that their self-service experience is going to be less than favorable. Conducting IVR data analysis helps produce valuable insights that answer many important questions. With insights to these questions, organizations can improve their IVR systems, make them more clear, efficient and user-friendly in responding to callers. Thus, IVR analytics contributes to the success and profitability of companies of all sizes by helping to reduce costs, increase and enhance self-service options, improve first contact resolution, and boost customer satisfaction by providing an exceptional customer experience.

IVR analytics
IVR analytics

2. Predictive analytics:

Predictive analytics consists of a number of statistical techniques from predictive modeling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events. Using in-depth review of past performance in call volume, service level, handle time, and customer satisfaction, the predictive analysis makes it possible to apply past solutions to upcoming problems. This information can also be used in training to boost call agent effectiveness and enhance the customer experience. Predictive analytics help organizations determine which operational changes would be the most effective at improving the call center’s overall performance. As an added bonus, it also reduces handle time and operational costs by providing more effective communication.

Predictive analytics
Predictive analytics

3. Call center desktop analytics: 

Call center desktop analytics enables companies to capture inefficiencies, improve security, and explore potential coaching opportunities for phone agents. By viewing the phone agent’s activity during the call and capturing all activity on the agent’s desktop, a company can ensure that the agent is using their systems most effectively, and that the systems themselves are functioning properly. Using comprehensive desktop analytics, an analyst can find and remove redundant tasks that increase call handle time and frustrate both agents and customers alike. This would further help in providing exceptional customer service.

Desktop analytics
Desktop analytics

A complete guide to call center analytics: I

In order to measure the performance of a call center’s customer service representatives individually and as a whole, call center analytics is used. Also, this is used to gauge a call center’s overall approach to customer relationship management (CRM) in a quick and responsive manner. Call center management uses this analytics to evaluate interactions, spot patterns, identify knowledge gaps, and make corrections through more training or other means.

Call center analytics
Call center analytics

1. Text analytics:

The term text analytics refers to a set of linguistic, statistical, and machine learning techniques that model and structure the information content of textual sources for business intelligence, exploratory data analysis, research, or investigation. It is extensively used to respond to business problems, whether independently or in conjunction with query and analysis of fielded, numerical data. Also, the communication with customers these days is not limited to just the written documents. It is also carried out through email, secure messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and other text-centered media. Text analytics, as call center analytics, can review and monitor not only the messages sent to customers but also the message they send to the company. This helps in having a thorough knowledge of customers’ issues.

Text analytics
Text analytics

2. Speech analytics:

The process of analyzing recorded calls to gather customer information to improve communication and future interaction is known as speech analytics. This process is used by customer contact centers to extract information buried in client interactions with an enterprise. Using speech analytics, companies can monitor calls in real time and unearth inefficiencies in their current model, and make process improvements, such as moving to a call script or developing systems for call center agents to utilize in order to achieve the desired outcome. Moreover, the technology can pinpoint cost drivers, trend analysis, identify strengths and weaknesses with processes and products.

Speech analytics
Speech analytics

 

Cross-media queuing and its components

The term “Cross-media queuing”  refers to a call center methodology in which all incoming messages, be it a phone call, an e-mail, fax, interactive voice response (IVR) message, website submission or an instant message, is routed in the same way. As per a resource, Intel provided a whitepaper which states that the cross-media queuing application needs five components. Cross-media queuing is achieved with the help of technology tools that help in creating a queue engine, media interaction modules, agent application modules, configuration and administration modules and a statistical and reporting module.

Incoming queries
Incoming queries

The specified components and their functions have been described in detail below:

1.A queue engine:

The cross-media queuing requires a queue engine to act as a central coordination point. A system manager configures business rules. This coordination point negotiates all interactions with customers based upon these business rules.

2. Media interaction modules:

Customer queries may be received through a number of channels. In order to accept incoming customer queries from media channels and send the queries to agent applications as directed by the queue engine, media interaction modules are needed.

3. Agent application modules:

Customer queries arrive every now and then at call center agents’ desktops. Therefore, in order to enable automatic management of these queries, agent application modules are needed. The modules could be built by the system developers. Agent application modules can even be modified to be integrated into specific desktop applications.

5. Configuration and administration modules:

Configuration and administration modules are the ones that system administrators can use to establish business rules for routing media configure and manage queuing features.

6. Statistics and reporting module:

This type of module is required for recording and reporting purpose in a cross-media queuing system. A statistics and reporting module records and reports upon the flow of communication. It also lets you measure the system’s performance and record it as well.

 

Screen pop and its importance in a customer support center

A screen pop is an enticing feature of a computer telephony integration (CTI) application. It automatically displays all of the relevant caller and account information on a call center agent’s screen during a call. In order to match the incoming call against a customer database, caller ID , voice response or an automatic call distributor (ACD) may be used. This is done to identify the caller before the connection is made to the agent.

Screen pops
Screen pops

In other words, a screen pop is a feature that automatically displays caller information on call center agent screens when a call rings into the system. It is also known as automatic screen pop, automated screen pop.

CTI

How it works:

i) A customer or prospect reaches out via a phone call

ii) As soon as the call center software receives the call, it alerts the agent.

This alert includes information that there is a caller on the line and other relevant caller information found in the system. A screen pop can pull the data from a number of sources. As an example, some of this information can be pulled from public databases like data.com. However, the main information present in a screen pop should come from a company’s robust database as accessed through their call center software and helpdesk systems.

Screenpop
Screenpop

A number of advanced call center software solutions allow for customized screen pops, where companies can choose specific information to be displayed. Generally, this may include the caller’s name, phone number, address, email address, company, job title, information entered in your IVR, and other relevant information.

The screen pop feature is of utmost importance for a customer support center as it is a way to ensure that call center agents are primed to help customers even before the call is answered. Also, it is easy and automatic. Moreover, it allows agents to personalize conversations from the get-go, which improves customer satisfaction. This personalized service speeds up call resolution and helps your company stand out of the crowd.

 

Why issue tracking system is important for a call center

As mentioned in our earlier post, issue tracking system is a software application that allows an enterprise to record and follow the progress of every problem or issue that a computer system user identifies until the problem is resolved. An ITS enables the user to:

i) report an issue

ii) track progression towards its resolution

iii) know who is responsible for resolving the issue.

Moreover, it allows the manager of the system to customize the tracking procedure so that unnecessary documentation on the part of the problem solvers does not become a waste of time.

Issue tracking
Issue tracking

An Its is of great importance to any customer support center as:

1. It facilitates the communication:

Using an issue tracking system within a customer support center helps facilitate the communication and lets the staff know what happens with each issue. As a matter of fact, when there are numerous ideas and issues, there is a high probability of these issues or ideas being misplaced. Moreover, due to a poor communication, staff may even perceive they are not being heard or being ignored. This may further result in the employees quickly disengaging and the project being damaged.

Poor communication
Poor communication

2. It enables you to keep a track of issues:

An efficient issue tracking system helps keep track of every issue that has been raised. Apart from this, staff may suggest new ideas or may request new functionality. An issues tracking system allows you to keep a track of these ideas and issues and also to keep a history of these suggestions.

Tracking issues
Tracking issues

3. It helps keep track of the action taken:

As soon as an issue is submitted, some action is going to be taken on the issue. These actions may include- under consideration, completed and closed, needs more info, etc. An issue tracking system allows you to keep a track of any actions taken on an issue.

Keeping a track of action plans
Keeping a track of action plans