Call centres, like all other areas of business, have undergone substantial and disruptive change in recent years, with new technologies becoming available all the time to help raise efficiency and productivity, as well as to reduce instances of human error – an important consideration to ensure legal compliance and avoid litigation.
From installing a next-generation call centre dialler, to still-emerging options like cloud computing, there’s an ever-increasing range of technologies to consider.
But what are the best practice approaches to improving call centre productivity, and how can you make sure you keep pace with technological developments – and with your competition – in the months to come?
1. Embrace Big Data
Big Data is the term used for all the different information streams that are currently available to businesses; according to Aberdeen Group, half of all contact centres are collating data from eight or more channels.
Embrace this trend, because it’s not going away, and make sure that your call centre is working consistently alongside other methods of customer communication.
2. Move into the Cloud
As you embrace more customer channels, you might want to look into cloud computing as a way to work efficiently across all media types.
This is not something everybody is doing, by any means – the figures from Aberdeen Group show fewer than one in three (31%) call centres are currently cloud-based, and only just over half (52%) are likely to join the cloud by the end of 2014, making this one way you could get a head start on the competition.
3. Use a Predictive Dialler
A predictive dialler helps to reduce wasted time, maximising efficiency without compromising on compliance.
With a call centre dialler like Daviker’s TouchStar Predictive Dialler, you can achieve:
• 400% increased productivity;
• 600% increased data penetration and utilisation;
• 60% reduction in staff costs;
• Increased best practice and compliance.
Call centre diallers reduce the number of answering machines and unanswered calls that staff must deal with, while helping you to manage campaign information more effectively.
4. Prioritise Workforce Management
Aberdeen Group’s figures show 72% of companies prioritise call centre agent performance and productivity – which means more than a quarter of firms are failing to do so.
This again makes relatively easy-to-implement options like a call centre dialler into potentially transformational improvements, which can place you out in front of the competition.
5. Focus on Customer Wants
While new technologies are transforming contact centres, it’s important to remember to serve customer wants and needs first and foremost.
Gartner recently noted that, ultimately, customers simply want you to be there and accessible – making an effective multi-channel strategy a key first step towards making a sale or retaining an existing customer.
6. Innovate in Your Own Right
In the same Gartner blog post, Robert Hetu warned against simply imitating the opposition – instead urging retailers in particular to innovate in collaboration with their customers.
Again, this is about putting your clients first – and that is a sentiment that is likely to work well across all industries.
7. Keep an Open Mind
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment – identify a budget to invest in trying new technologies, analyse the results, and hang on to the changes you make that have a positive impact.
The year ahead is likely to bring an upturn in the economy as a whole, making it the ideal time to implement new technologies and methods, and give your contact centre staff the best chance in a competitive marketplace.