“Your call is important to us” is a phrase commonly used by call centers right before they put you on hold and make you wait. Making customers wait for whatever reason can be a frustrating experience, even if it’s just for one minute. Like any other person, customers too have responsibilities and possibly jobs to attend to. If you make them wait or put them on hold, you’re wasting away their precious time.
It’s also quite understandable that in some situations call waits can’t be avoided. However, they shouldn’t get to a point where customers are put on hold every day because it will frustrate them and also ruin your business.
So then how does one reduce call wait times? There are a couple of ways to do so and we’ll be sharing them in the next sentences.
1. Have an updated information base
Call wait times can be reduced if the agents can quickly access the required information to help them answer questions from clients. To achieve this, you will need to create a robust database, and develop shortcuts to your website which can be accessed in real-time as the call goes on. If the agents can access the information in a short time, then there won’t be a need for call waits.
Alongside this information, create a desktop version for when internet connections are slow or not available. That way they will still be able to access information and respond to customers.
Also, make sure that customer information is up to date in your CRM software. This will make it easier when an agent is searching for what they need. Try to use software that directly integrates the information once a new one is fed in. There won’t be a need to use or open several applications. Furthermore, remove and correct information that may be wrong or inaccurate.
A step like this one does not only reduce call waits and lengthy call wait times but also ensures that agents provide the best customer experience.
2. Pre-record information
In this case, a customer doesn’t have to speak with the agent directly. Pre-recording information helps for when you’re not around or when call agents are having a huge number of people calling in. it normally involves playing the same kind of information during each call such as what to do, what to press, where to find, standard greetings, and a lot more. Designing standard messages for customers and then playing it when they call reduces on-call waits and saves agents time while keeping messages consistent.
3. Get a better hold on messages
Instead of using a boring line such as “Your call is important to us, please hold on the line….” Try using something different. According to NATA, callers who hear music on the line can wait longer than those who don’t. Also, just don’t go picking whichever music you find because it will impact how long the customer is willing to wait. Do some research and find out what kind of music customers would be more likely to listen to. However, as a general rule, keep the music upbeat and cheerful.
Another hold-on message option is to create scripts about your products and services, it might convince your customers to subscribe or pick interest in a new product. See it as another advertising while being able to reduce the number of call waits.
4. Outsourcing to a facilities management company
Reducing call wait times is a job that can be handled by qualified call agents. Today there are several companies from which you can contract to handle all your call wait issues and more. The agents do more than just able to make great communications. They make sure to maintain a consistent service.
Additionally, they provide businesses with expert-level support meaning communication isn’t limited only to the phone but also other means such as live chats. Why, because today people decide on how they want to engage with you.
Apart from delivering these services, they also help you to decide on what’s not appropriate or not to help you avoid wasting your resources. The best time to hire call agents is especially during certain times of the year like around the holidays and the months of summer when most people are traveling and communicating.
5. Staff adequately
Staffing adequately is one of the best ways to reduce on-call wait times. First, have a budget in mind and calculate if it can support a few more other agents. Also, you’d want to analyze your call center data first and as well gauge your high volume periods i.e. during holidays or special seasons. This will help determine whether you need more call agents and how many. Remember if there are more people to attend to customers, there won’t be many people on hold, waiting for an agent to speak to them.
6. Try telephone conferencing
One other way to resolve the call wait time issue is to encourage the use of conference calls. This idea is of great assistance to an agent who is having difficulty resolving an issue or maybe they don’t have enough knowledge about it. In telephone conferencing, another agent can be connected to assist further rather than putting a customer on hold. Connecting a more experienced agent to the call will reduce on-call wait times and prevent the customer from being frustrated when they can’t help. Conference calls eliminate the need for the customer to explain themselves over and over every time they’re reconnected to a different agent.
To sum this up
We are living in a technology-driven world where customers expect to get assistance the moment they call in. For this reason, your customer service agents should be able to balance providing information to customers quickly and making them happy at the same time. These six ideas shared are enough to get you started on your journey to reducing call wait times and give your customers an amazing customer service experience.