Most calls deal with straightforward-enough issues that they should only last about two minutes but they can last as long as 15 minutes. The customer service reps need to have the right technology to facilitate this.
Workers at large financial services companies can have up to 22 screens open at any given time. As such, monitors can be one of the biggest expenses. This extends and complicates the process. Instead, the reps need a screen that lets them solve the call easily with three features:
- Information on the most well-understood problems they're qualified to solve
- A view into what the customer has been doing up until now so they're not repeating the same questions
- The ability to co-browse on the same screen as the customer
This empowers the newer agents to tackle high volumes of the simple requests. Eventually, the business might be able to digitize these problems but there’s clearly no reason for more experienced staff to get involved.
Other times, issues are far too complicated to solve as quickly. They require experts who have the time to weigh in on unusual situations. What volume of work can these agents handle without diminishing returns? What’s the best way to identify what’s worth their time?
Natural-language processing enables detailed analysis of call recordings for a better understanding of what it was all about. Then AI could identify who was finally able to resolve that call. Pinpointing that helps determine where future calls should be routed so the next customer isn’t transferred four times.
Another reason the experienced agents will be more efficient is that they won’t need to fix issues that less-experienced agents handled.
Normally in call centers, call center agents handle everything on a first-come, first-serve basis. That means the business can take out 40 percent of the cost by saving experienced agents for complicated issues. If only the lowest cost agents handle the simple issues, they're going to do it much faster.
After addressing the initial inquiry, through “next-best-action marketing,” call center representatives should look at the remaining time on the phone as an opportunity to cross-sell: sell another product or service to the existing customer.
It would be wise to have several additional products connected to common problems so the representatives are prepared with a customer-centric offer. By selling the additional product, staffers can make the company a bit more money while helping the customer handle their issue more effectively.