Is Your Contact Center Wasting Time?

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Brian Spraetz's picture

When a customer is on the phone you have to make every second count and optimize every moment. The benefits are fairly obvious: your customers are getting through the interaction quicker (a high priority for many callers), customer effort is minimized, and agent productivity is increased so they can move on to other interactions with other callers. In order to optimize every moment it’s important that contact centers conduct a 360 degree “value add” audit of your top five call flows to identify where your customers and agents are wasting the most time.

Contact center agents should be looking for ways to add value to every call. If something isn’t adding value to the interaction then it’s important to weed those behaviors/actions/inconsistencies out in order to save time and improve the overall experience for your customer.
A customer might feel their time is being wasted if they have to:

  • Restate information
  • Re-authenticate
  • Educate agents on basics of products or services

Bear in mind that each of these circumstances is NOT the fault of the customer, yet the customer’s individual effort is actually being increased. Chances are these time wasters are due to agent errors or internal processes getting in the way.

A call center agent wastes time when they have to:

  • Re-key information or cut and paste from one form or system to another
  • Navigate more than 3 systems
  • Excessively search knowledge bases for SOPs

Notice that these time wasters aren’t necessarily the fault of your contact center agents, but more likely wrapped up in the intricacies and inefficiencies of your call center software and training programs.

By analyzing your top five call flows (approx. 50 calls each) call center managers can get a good idea of what the biggest time wasters are. For instance, if you find there are a lot of times where your agents are forced to re-key information or manually lookup routine customer help issues those are both problems that can be solved with desktop automation software. You might also be able to indentify application add-ons that slow the rest of your system down (without providing any real value) and waste even more precious seconds. Or if you find that customers are routinely having to educate your agents on the basics of your products and services that’s a clear indication that better contact center coaching solutions need to be put in place.

The bottom line is that every second your agents spend on the phone with a customer has to be dedicated to addressing their issues. Wasted time turns into wasted money and unhappy customers.
 

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