How to cut caller wait times in multi-skill contact centres

/ Contact Centres

Optimising call centre wait times for inbound customer communications goes far beyond just connecting each call to an agent as fast as possible.

In multi-skill contact centres, you also need to ensure the caller is routed through to an agent with the relevant skillset – but still with the minimum of delay.

A recently published research paper by Mamadou Thiongane of the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, and Wyean Chan and Pierre L’Ecuyer of the Universite de Montreal, looks at some of the ways to reduce wait times in such circumstances.

Their analysis notes the complications that arise when multi-skilled agents need to serve several different types of callers.

“If the agents that can serve the arriving type are too busy serving some other types, then the arriving customer can wait much longer,” they explain.

So what call centre technologies exist to improve customer satisfaction in multi-skill contact centres?

IVR and ACD for multi-skill contact centres

One example given in the research paper is a bank in Israel that serves inbound callers using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.

The researchers found that almost two thirds (65%) of all callers were served entirely via IVR, without needing to speak to a human agent.

For the rest, a simple first-come, first-served call queue was used. But there are ways to improve the queueing experience too.

IVR is just one step in routing inbound calls to the correct place, either via voice recognition or keypad presses for the caller to express their intentions.

An Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) works alongside IVR to route incoming calls to an agent of the correct skill set, and can also prioritise calls from high-value customers and other groups or individuals.

Together, sophisticated ACD and IVR technologies help to ensure all inbound calls are connected to a human agent with the minimum of delay, based on the value of the call, and maximising the use of agents’ specific skillsets.

Both ACD and an extremely strong IVR system are key features of Daviker Predictive Dialler, allowing you to optimise the user experience for inbound calls of different types.

Workforce Management for multi-skill contact centres

Daviker Workforce Management tackles this challenge from the other end – while Predictive Dialler improves the customer experience, Workforce Management optimises your staffing levels.

This is achieved by analysing comprehensive data from real customer interactions with your multi-skill call centre, to identify where a particular skillset is overrepresented or underrepresented in your scheduled workforce.

By adjusting your scheduled agents’ skillsets to match inbound caller demand, you avoid overspending on staffing, while ensuring you have the capacity to connect calls as quickly as possible.

This can help to tackle more complicated scenarios, such as the one mentioned above where a single agent must take calls from multiple types of customer, while cutting staffing costs by as much as 30% or more in some cases.

Workforce Management does all this while enabling flexible working patterns, including occasional hours, flexi-time and part-time agents, allowing you to hire individuals with niche skills and schedule them when they are available.

Between Daviker’s Predictive Dialler and Workforce Management platforms, even complex multi-skill contact centres can be optimised across the board, minimising caller wait times, optimising user experience and satisfaction, and crucially cutting costs at the same time.

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