COVID-19 has thrown call centers into what is arguably one of the most testing times the industry has ever faced. A quick scroll through the social media pages of some of the world's biggest brands reveals streams of complaints from customers whose calls are automatically hung up on or diverted down a long and winding path.
A recent TrustPilot review of BA reads:
"After roughly 15 calls to customer service (at £0.02/minute, which adds up) in which I was given a recording and hung up on, or it rang endlessly with no pickup, I called the international number and selected the Avios option (#2). I finally reached a human being."
Understandably, the coronavirus crisis has caught many, if not all, businesses off guard. Customer service representatives are, by and large, unprepared for the nature and volume of inquiries coming in. Policies are continuously changing as companies try to respond to new information and developments in real-time, resulting in prolonged call queues and customers being passed along from one department to the next.
Organizations across the world will be remembered for how they handled and responded to the pandemic, so your customer service delivery must remain a priority. 41% of customers claim to have partly or completely stopped using a brand due to poor customer experience (CX) – and these figures are likely to fluctuate as consumers grow increasingly conscious of where their money is being spent.
But what if you're already doing everything possible to help and assist your customers, despite a reduced or remote working team? What if your telecommunications are letting you down?
Recent statistics from our existing customer base highlight:
- Call failures due to carrier issues have increased 5%
- Call failures due to increased call volumes have increased 7%
- Overall error alerts from ETS have increased by 14%
While a level of empathy and understanding is required on all fronts as we try to come up with quick solutions for our customers, there are tools and actions you can undertake to improve the quality of your calls and roll out changes to IVR systems faster and with greater accuracy.
This proactive attitude is necessary as organizations shift into a remote working model to ensure the safety of their employees. Call centers employ some 1.3 million Britons, and since these establishments are going to be one of the primary contact points for customers who are self-isolating, it's essential for the industry to find successful ways of enabling its workforce to operate remotely. This model isn't new for many businesses, about 10-20% of call center employees work from home. For others, however, the transition is going to be tricky and not without its challenges.
Not only do you want visibility over your staff to ensure the upkeep of service delivery, privacy protection, and that workers are taking the necessary breaks, but you also want to make sure that your systems are functioning and performing optimally.
At Occam, we've been working closely with our clients to boost our service and support call centers as they adapt to this new and unique situation.
Free monitoring service for contact centers
If your team is now working from home, your technology needs may have changed.
To help you, we are offering a specialized service to ensure that you can carry on with the business of delivering excellent customer service, even if your workforce is no longer in a centralized location. At a time when many companies are looking to cut spending, we're pleased to offer our monitoring service free of charge.
Free monitoring with Occam includes:
- FREE monitoring of up to 5 numbers in your contact center infrastructure – from carrier to agent.
- Automated testing – from once a day to every 15 minutes of any toll or toll-free number.
- Free setup of test cases from our Professional Services team.
How monitoring helps remote contact centers
Since your call center agents are now operating from home, it's vital to anticipate and identify any snags in the system.
It's likely that you are experiencing high call volumes and that those calls are following a new channel to the home-based customer service agent. You'll want to keep overseeing the success rate of your connections and having insight into how your carriers are coping with the increased stress on the system.
Since your call traffic is now moving to new locations, your priority is to make sure that those callers are getting answered timeously and that the audio quality is clear.
By employing Occam's sophisticated monitoring tool, you can deliver a consistent customer experience, despite the behind-the-scenes reshuffling of your infrastructure.
As an organization that prioritizes customer service, we understand how important it is for your business to maintain good relationships and remain helpful and supportive to its clients. With this in mind, our offer of a free monitoring service is precisely that: free – you're under no obligation to continue with the service after the three months are up.
To take advantage of our service, you'll simply complete a form and supply us with the necessary information to start monitoring your remote contact center's performance and providing you with invaluable insights that could make all the difference to your CX at this time. Don't hesitate to send your questions our way if there is anything further we can do to assist.