By Christopher S Ray
Customers contact call centers for multitudes of reasons. Nobody wants to wait fifteen minutes only to discover that another transfer is necessary to get them to the right person. And does anyone really believe that you are experiencing "unusually high call volumes?"
Customers want quick resolutions to their problems, and want to resume their daily routines as soon as possible.
Fortunately, technology has advanced to provide call centers with Automated Call Distribution, or ACD, solutions to swiftly put callers through to the agent most qualified to help.
At the same time, call center outsourcing is a cut-throat process, and it is critical to get the most bang for your buck. You certainly don't want to pay representatives to spend a half hour on the phone with a customer, only to have to transfer them around to other agents.
Multichannel ACD systems enable users to connect with your company by multiple means, including telephone, instant messaging, email, and text messaging. By utilizing a hosted ACD system, your company can adeptly integrate several channels into your customer service mix, and respond to consumers on their terms.
Multichannel ACD solutions can:
Route calls, emails, and text messages to idle representatives
Monitor agents and customers in real time
By simply installing an ACD solution, your call center can:
Economically respond to all types of customers
Ensure timely handling of queries, calls, and concerns
Collect extensive information regarding your customer base
Help customers complete purchases without the need of a phone call
Accurately track customer contact history
Many solutions provide the option to blend both inbound and outbound calls. This means that during peak hours, or a sudden surge in activity, urgent calls can be routed to outbound customer service reps. If hold times continue to be too long, a note will be sent to an agent to call the customer back, eliminating the need for her to wait on the phone.
This guarantees that your customers will constantly be served both swiftly and effectively.
Most ACD solutions typically handle calls on a first come, first serve basis. Yet, quality ACD's s can identify callers based on number called, time of call, or any of a number of parameters you set, and route them to the appropriate agent. Many services can even integrate voice based recognition into the mix.
The end results of integrating an Automated Call Distribution system into your contact center's technology package can be substantial, and the benefits two-fold. Your company can save money by utilizing agents more efficiently, and customers will be pleased by avoiding the hassle and time consuming process of bouncing from one agent to the next, and explaining and re-explaining their dilemma.
Technological improvement can be a great way for your center to improve customer service, and reduce expenses.
Chris Ray is a call center consultant and sales guru. He has helped companies and call centers implement hosted ACD systems, and improve customer service.