In an increasingly digital age, customers expect brands to raise the bar if you want their business. When it comes to gaining a competitive advantage, customer experiences are the new battlefront. And sometimes, providing an excellent customer experience is about stopping them picking up the phone in the first place.
Seem counterproductive? According to our Moments That Matter survey, nearly 40% of customers say that waiting in long call queues has been their leading source of frustration with brands. It stands to reason that strategic use of call deflection in your call centre can help you increase customer satisfaction and provide outstanding experiences.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what call deflection is, the benefits for your call centre, and how you can use call deflection to empower and delight your customers.
What is call deflection in customer service?
Call deflection is a strategy which involves handling simple customer enquiries, such as an online FAQ, to keep their call centres free for sales enquiries or more complex customer service needs. Call deflection isn’t about bad chatbots that drive customers up the wall, if you’ve got the right intel, it can help customers get the support they need faster and provide more positive experiences with your business across channels.
What are the benefits of call deflection?
Call deflection isn’t necessarily about reducing call volumes – although less pressure on your call centre is a benefit – it’s about ensuring you prioritise the right calls to enhance the customer experience.
According to research, 50% of customers rate an ‘immediate’ response as essential when they have a customer service question. ‘Immediate’ is defined as 10 minutes or less for 60% of those customers. Call deflection makes faster and better customer service possible, by enabling customers to skip the queue and make use of other channels when they have a query that doesn't really require them to speak to an agent.
When done right, call deflection can provide the following benefits:
- Better customer experiences – they can get the information they want when they want
- Reduce call centre operational costs by utilising other channels
- Decrease overall AHT including wait times, transfer times and ACW
- Increase FCR for customer enquiries by gathering real-time feedback
- Reduce call volumes, and pressure, for your call centre agents
- Decrease call centre agent turnover and improve efficiency
- Create a better overall customer journey
How to implement call deflection in your contact centre
So, how can you implement call deflection in your contact centre to provide better customer experiences? Here are three steps to improve call deflection.
1. Understand why your customers are calling
The first step to increasing call deflection and improving customer satisfaction is to understand why customers are picking up the phone. If you can identify common trends and queries in your calls, at scale, you can start to extract insights that will inform your call deflection strategy. Speech analytics is the best place to start.
Call intelligence software, such as Conversation Analytics, can monitor conversations to flag keywords or trends before you’re even aware of them and tie these trends to positive or negative call outcomes. With this intel at your fingertips, you can pinpoint those golden words and phrases that transform hesitant callers into happy customers and identify common queries that can be handled on other channels – like landing pages and online FAQs.
2. Build a knowledge database for your agents
Once you know why they’re calling, you can start building a knowledge database in your call centre. Use customer intel gathered from Conversation Analytics to handle enquiries faster, decrease wait times and average handling times, and reduce pressure on your agents with more efficient deflection.
With customer data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to pre-empt and ideally, solve issues before they even pick up the phone. This means you can more effectively make space for the calls that matter in your contact centre, whether that’s driving more sales or handling more complex support enquiries. Plus, you’re better equipped to perfect your objection handling, using customer intel to create scripts that will drive the outcomes you want.
3. Roll out better self-service options
Last but not least, give your customers the choice of solving their own problems. Research has shown that 40% of customers prefer self-service options over human contact and a further 91% of customers say they would use an online knowledge base to if it were available and tailored to their needs.
Boost the customer experience by taking all that knowledge you’ve gathered using call intelligence software and building excellent self-service options such as a comprehensive FAQs section or a chatbot that is using real intel to efficiently answer questions. The conversations tracked and analysed in your call centre can be used as fuel to supercharge your call deflection strategy.
How can Conversation Analytics help with call deflection?
Successful call deflection is all about collecting and analysing the right data, to inform your strategy and increase customer satisfaction. But a common challenge for business is the ability to extract customer insights from each and every phone call at scale. With Infinity’s Speech analytics suite, Conversation Analytics, this is no longer a problem.
Conversation Analytics captures the data needed to build smoother customer journeys, resolve issues faster and reduce manual work involved in handling multiple calls. With Conversation Analytics, you can evolve your tactics based on real data from your customers, instead of relying on intuition.
Ready to take your contact centre to the next level? Book a demo with us today.