5 Trends Pushing Contact Centers into The Future
Depending on how long you’ve worked in this industry, you’ve probably seen it all. Twenty years ago, agents in call centers were dealing by hand and using rulers to pick through the public numbers in the phone book. Today? It’s an entirely different world.
Fast forward to today, and you’re dealing with software that’s more advanced than anyone could have anticipated. The issue though, is that technology moves far faster than call centers are able to. With legacy systems and security restraints, they can’t possibly keep up.
If you want to prepare your call center for the future, and stay ahead of the curve, here are 5 trends of virtual voicemail system you need to know about:
this is a massive undertaking for contact centres, but today’s consumers are expecting a smooth transition across every platform. For a contact centre to achieve this, all applications must be able to seamlessly identify, route, and switch interactions between various phone agents and channels — all while keeping the relevant data intact. A consumer may start their contact journey via your mobile application, but ultimately wind up wanting to connect to the virtual voicemail system, in order to get a call-back. They expect this transition to be easy and quick.
it’s essential that your customers have a positive online experience, but this expectation now includes the ease of use for your mobile application. Digital channel planning is essential to ensuring you’re continuing to meet consumer’s online expectations.
Complaints Still Want Voice Channels:
surveys continue to show that while consumers want various contact options, when it comes to complaints, they want to speak with a human being over the phone. Digital growth must be a priority, but don’t ignore this need. With functions like voicemails sent to emails, and virtual voicemail systems, voice channel planning should remain a part of your overall growth strategy.
Keep Measuring Everything (Phone Call Monitoring):
while you’re already analyzing things like phone call monitoring, it’s important you start analyzing the new numbers as your digital transformation progresses. With new options like web chat and business voicemail recording, there will be more and more things you need to monitor.
Don’t Ignore Social Media:
big businesses can no longer afford to ignore social media, and the contact center industry is no exception. Social media planning should be part of your overall digital planning and is an incredible way to both build your brand awareness and provide customer service.
As this industry is pushed into the future, there are a few key things to remember. Upset consumers still want to hear a human being answer the phone. With Nectar Desk’s software, you get all the functions your customers are expecting.
There are a few more useful pieces of advice on how to tract statistics and its benefits from Time Doctor:
Why You Need To Track Statistics
Tracking call center statistics is a good way to keep up with changing trends in the industry.
You can identify what your customers want and structure your services accordingly. This makes it easier to keep up with changing customer needs and maintain a positive customer service experience.
Call center statistics also give you a glimpse into what you can expect from the future.
You’ll be able to identify changing trends and future-proof your work processes to keep with them. This ensures that you’re always ahead of the curve and have one step over your competitors.
30 Important Call Center Statistics
These customer service statistics highlight how businesses are adapting to modern needs. They also give you a good idea of what the future holds for contact centers.
A) Call Center Customer Statistics
Knowing what your customers want helps you satisfy their needs immediately. If you want them to have a positive experience, you’ll have to address their needs and concerns directly.
Here are a few call center statistics from Microsoft’s State of Global Customer Service Report on what your customers expect.
- 58% of customers say that customer service is a very important factor that affects their choice of a brand.
- 61% of consumers say that they have stopped transacting with a business after a poor service experience.
- 59% of customers say that they have higher expectations for customer support than they had a year ago.
- 70% of global consumers have a favorable view of brands that contact them with proactive customer service notifications.
- 59% of customers prefer brands that respond to customer service inquiries and complaints on social media than those brands that don’t.
- Two in every three consumers think that omnichannel customer service is getting better.
- 39% of customers think that the process of engaging with customer service organizations and getting their questions answered is getting easier. 26% say that it has gotten harder.
- 33% of consumers say that the most important aspect of a good customer service experience is resolving their issue in one interaction – no matter how long it takes. 31% say that a knowledgeable customer service representative is the most important aspect.
- The most frustrating aspect of a poor customer service experience is an agent that lacks the knowledge or ability to solve the customer’s issue – according to 36% of surveyees. 31% say it is having to repeat or provide their data multiple times.
- 90% of customers believe that organizations should provide the ability for customers to provide feedback.
- Around 17% of all customers say that they never get the chance to provide feedback. 37% of them say they only get to provide feedback occasionally.
- 51% of all customers believe that most brands do not take action on customer feedback.
What do these stats mean?
These customer service statistics show that customers have raised their service standards. They no longer want to settle for a mediocre customer service experience.
Call centers have to provide top-notch service facilities to survive in 2019. Making customers feel that you value their time can do wonders for your success today.
B) Statistics On How Businesses Are Improving Their Call centers
Modern call centers are not what they used to be 20 years ago. Modern customers prefer engaging with customer service agents over omnichannel customer channels like social media, live chat, and email instead of calls.
Deloitte conducts a global survey of call centers every few years; here are a few of the findings from their last report:
- 71% of companies mentioned customer expectations as a factor for growth in 2015. In 2017, the amount rose to 88%.
- Growth of business has taken a plunge since 2015. Only 43% of organizations mentioned it as a driver of growth in 2017. 78% of all businesses mentioned it as a driver of growth in 2015.
- Only 57% of businesses mentioned the improvement of service as a factor for growth in 2015, but it rose to 73% in 2017.
- It seems that businesses are more interested in perfecting their current offerings than expanding their services. Only 36% of call centers wanted to expand their services in 2017, compared to 59% in 2015.
- When asked what of cost, revenue or customer satisfaction will be most important in two years, 46% of businesses answered that customer satisfaction would be most important while only 3% of businesses replied that revenue would be most important.
- 80% of all businesses surveyed mentioned that customer feedback is “core to their DNA” or “core input to business decisions.” When asked the same question back in 2013, only 45% of businesses held this view.
- Businesses rely heavily on customer surveys (77%) and call monitoring (64%) to record customer feedback. However, there has been an unprecedented rise in social media listening (45%) over the past few years, and it is believed to overtake other forms of feedback.
- 66% of telemarketing call centers believe customers will place a high priority on the accuracy of the data provided, while 62% believe that customers will consider ease of interaction as a top priority when dealing with agents.
What do these stats mean?
The focus of call centers has shifted from just revenue and agent productivity to customer satisfaction. Businesses now rely on customer feedback to improve their performance and value their customer’s insights.
With changing technology trends, voice interactions are now on the decline. Other channels like social media, live chat, and emails will continue to see an increase in their usage, paving the way for an omnichannel customer service strategy.
C) Statistics On The Future Of Call Centers
Call center software is changing the way we deal with customer interactions. A modern cloud-based contact center has software like speech recognition and live chat to optimize their customer interactions.
Here’s a look at some statistics on what to expect in the future.
- Customer satisfaction will remain a crucial metric. 73% of organizations believe that customer service should be on the “quality” scorecard.
- 64% of organizations in the industry believe that customers should have access to a live agent.
- Organizations believe that artificial intelligence should complement human agents instead of replacing them.
- Increasing digital engagement capabilities is a high priority for companies in the foreseeable future.
- A limited number of organizations are focusing on installing a C-level customer experience team to enhance the customer journey.
- Voice interactions are expected to drop from 64% to 47%. Chat and messaging interactions are expected to go up to 16%, and 31% of organizations think that approximately 8% of customer interactions will be conducted via video chat.
- Social media will emerge as a mainstream customer support channel across the industry, bringing about the omnichannel customer handling revolution.
- 33% of all executives interviewed think that Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will have grown to a level that will justify strategic investments by 2019.
- 66% of call center businesses are looking forward to investing in Advanced Analytics to provide a better customer journey.
- 62% of organizations think that the biggest challenge in making future investments will be integrating with current call center software.
What do these stats mean?
These stats predict that the call center industry will expand beyond inbound and outbound calls in the near future. By the end of 2019, more than half of all customer interactions will be done through non-voice channels.
Customer satisfaction will still be the key focus of call centers going forward, and agents will utilize AI to help customers better. Social media and analytics will also play significant roles in the future to help consumers resolve issues quickly.
Why You Need To Measure Call Center Metrics
Performance indicators help you understand what’s going on in your inbound call center. You need to know how many of your calls bring are profitable and how many of those inbound interactions are successful
An inbound call center supervisor must find the best call center solution to reduce costs, improve customer retention, and convert more leads. You’ll need to measure the productivity of your customer service representatives to ensure that you’re meeting expectations.
Treat each of these metrics as a KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and use them to gauge how successful your call center management is:
The Best Call Center Metrics To Track
1) Average Call Abandonment Rate
You want to provide great customer support, but how is that possible when your customers disconnect before they reach an agent?
Call abandonment usually happens when customers are kept on hold for too long. When you increase the wait time of the customer, you’re making them feel unappreciated.
Call abandonment causes your customer to lose faith in your organization and costs your service representatives the opportunity to help them. This will have an adverse effect on your customer retention rates.
2) Percentage of Blocked Calls
A blocked call occurs when your caller is met with a busy tone. More blocked inbound calls mean fewer opportunities for your customer service representatives.
But why does this occur?
Usually, it’s because you have an inadequate number of agents at the time. Alternatively, your agents could be spending too much time on each call.
To combat this, consider increasing the number of service representatives per shift. You can also set guidelines for talk time to ensure that your agents are efficient. This will help reduce the number of customers being turned down and increase your customer retention rates.
3) Average Time in Queue
Average time in queue refers to your customer’s wait time before they reach an agent. This metric is directly related to your customer experience and customer retention rates. Long wait times usually result in a negative customer experience.
Consider telling your call team to improve their time management to reduce your customers’ wait time.
Alternatively, consider investing in a callback system so that your customers will not have to waste their time in queue.
4) Service Level
The service level of an inbound call center is the percentage of incoming calls answered within a certain period of time. These key performance indicators are used to determine if customer service representatives are dealing with calls quickly.
Most contact centers set this target service level as a ratio. For example, an 80/30 service level means your agents try to answer 80% of all inbound calls within 30 seconds.
5) Average Speed of Answer (ASA)
This is one of the best performance indicators you can use to analyze your outsourced call center agents’ productivity. The faster you answer your customers, the better their customer experience will be.
The shorter your ASA, the higher your service level. If your average speed of answer is high, your service representatives need to improve their efficiency when moving from call to call. Once your agents improve their schedule adherence, this issue can be easily resolved.
6) Average Handle Time (AHT)
Average Handle Time is one of the most important metrics to measure call center productivity. It’s the average talk time an agent spends on each customer call.
An agent’s handle time is usually compared to a pre-set handle time range. If an agent continuously exceeds this range when handling a call, he may be struggling to respond to customer requests.
On the other hand, if an agent continuously falls short of the talk time range, he may be rushing through the call. Both situations deserve attention to ensure that your customer retention rates don’t drop.
7) Average After-Call Work Time
Call center agents will be left with after-call work, like writing call notes, updating data in a CRM, or sending an email to the caller.
Managers must set a specific time for agents to work on this relevant after-call paperwork. However, if your agents spend too long on this, they could be wasting potential time spent on calls.
Using a time tracking tool like Time Doctor will help here. Your employees can easily log the time they spend on after-call work to ensure they’re not exceeding the guidelines. All they have to do is start the timer when they start work and pause it when they’re done.
As Time Doctor is accurate to the second, you’ll have an accurate record of how long each agent spends on after-call work.
8) First Call Resolution (FCR)
FCR is one of the most vital key performance indicators for your call center. FCR measures if customer issues were resolved the first time they reached out or if they had to call back repeatedly.
This metric also measures if incoming calls were transferred or handed to a supervisor for resolution. Keeping FCR rates high is crucial to ensure higher customer satisfaction and lowered costs.
9) Occupancy Rate
The occupancy rate refers to how long your agents are involved in work-related activities. If an agent is involved in work activity for 7 hours in an 8 hour workday, then their occupancy rate is 7/8.
A low occupancy rate indicates increasing unproductive work. Keeping a check on agents’ schedule adherence can help maintain efficient work processes.
You can use Time Doctor’s reports to keep a check on where your employees are spending their time:
1. Timesheet Report
What it shows:
The total hours worked by your agents per day over a given time period.
How to use it:
It’s a good way to check if your employees are putting in the recommended number of hours on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
2. Time Use Report
What it shows:
A breakdown of all the tasks your agents worked on over a given period. You can see which tasks were worked on and how much time was spent on them.
How to use it:
With this report, you can easily identify how much time each employee spends on different tasks such as after call work.
3. Timeline Daily Report
What it shows:
It gives you a chronological breakdown of the time spent by your employees. You can identify the sequence of tasks they attempted in the day.
How to use it:
You can use this report to verify if your employees are following the right sequence of tasks. For example, if they are regularly updating CRM data after every call.
4. Web and App Usage Report
What it shows:
This report breaks down every site and app accessed by an employee during work hours. It also logs how much time they spent on each site or app.
How to use it:
Use this report to verify if your employees are only spending their time on work-related sites and apps. It makes it easy to identify if an employee is accessing unproductive sites like social media during work hours.
5. Poor Time Use Report
What it shows:
This report highlights all the distracting sites and apps and employee accessed during work hours. While TimeDoctor automatically categorizes social media sites as “distracting” you can customize this list of blacklisted sites.
Every time an employee accesses one of these sites, the site and the time they spent on it will show up on this report.
How to use it:
Use it deter employees from accessing unproductive sites during work hours.
10) Customer Satisfaction
The goal of measuring all the earlier performance indicators is to provide your customers with better customer experience. That’s why customer satisfaction is the ultimate KPI to measure call center performance.
Customer satisfaction can be measured through after-call surveys that include Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES).
Hope this hacks will be useful for you in managing your business as the call customer service is changing instantly as well as the call center industry 🙂
See the Nectar Desk Call Center Dashboard reporting examples to monitor your company’s workflow in this article.