If you’re running a thriving and successful business, it is going to be nearly impossible to avoid having customers experience wait times when they call your inbound call center. That said, the fact that customers expect to wait to connect with an agent doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking for ways to trim wait times to reasonable lengths. Here, three simple strategies you can use to optimize wait times and increase customer satisfaction.
Maximize Call Quality
Call quality is purposely a bit vague—the first step is determining what constitutes a successful and quality call. These could be things like first call resolution, short total call time, sale made, or something else. Once you’ve determined your goals for what makes a quality call, you can take steps that will help your agents meet those goals. But how exactly does call quality impact wait times? Customers will be willing to wait longer if they know that their issue is going to be resolved when they finally do reach someone. If they experience a long wait time and then are unsatisfied with the resolution to their call, that hurts the company’s reputation and the chances of that customer becoming a repeat. High call quality should not be used as justification for long wait times, but it can and should be taken into account when determining the ideal wait time that keeps customers happy without costing the company too much in resources and manpower.
Optimize Agent Availability
Once you’ve set the hours for your call center, you need to make sure as many agents are available at any given moment as possible, which will help reduce customer wait times. The simplest way to do this is to make sure you have enough agents working in your call center (and that they are all well trained and equipped to offer solutions). If your customers span different time zones and different parts of the world, you need to make sure you have enough agents available during peak times for all your customers, which may mean outsourcing certain hours or shifts. Another way to optimize agent availability is to cut down on, automate, or streamline other tasks your agents need to complete outside of dealing with customers directly. The less time they need to spend on tasks like this, the more time they will have to speak with customers and the less time customers will have to wait.
Offer Alternative Paths to Solutions
If a customer’s only way to get an answer to a question is to call your call center, volume is going to be huge and wait times will be long. That’s why it’s imperative to offer alternative paths to help customers find the answers to their questions before they call the call center. This might be a library of content available on your website that helps them troubleshoot their issues on their own, or maybe it’s another mode of communication they can use to reach you for less pressing problems. Empowering the customer to determine the method that is most likely to lead to the speedy and satisfactory resolution of their issue will help weed out the calls that don’t actually need to be made, cutting down on lengthy wait times.
One strategy that will support your company’s and your agents’ ability to achieve all these goals is to utilize a call center platform like CallShaper that makes them easier to achieve. For more information on how, contact us today.