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Making your call centre more efficient using customer feedback

Whilst in the grips of the global pandemic, we have all had to adapt to new ways of working. For many, this has meant working from home and this has been particularly challenging for call centres used to handling hundreds or even thousands of calls every day.

With Call Centre agents working remotely, Customer Service Managers have lost their “court gallery” view of proceedings. How is it possible for these managers to monitor performance when working at arms-length and no longer have that one-to-one interaction with their agents?

Traditional quantitative methods of monitoring such as tracking call wait times, silent times and call abandonment rates are not sufficient to ensuring a great customer experience. Listening in to calls is important but, if you want to make sense of what’s being said during the calls, converting speech to text for analysis is often financially prohibitive and tricky to analyse when there is so much data. So what’s the answer?

Just ask the customer

A more cost effective monitoring solution is simply asking customers for their feedback. A simple survey sent to a customer after their call will tell you all you need to know to make your call centre more effective and efficient.

These surveys can be sent by email or SMS and can be a simple “How did we do” ratings question and “why did you give that rating?” open ended comments field. This simple “1 minute survey”, not a lengthy tick box survey, will get a higher response rate and, by using automated text analytics, more insight can be gleaned as to what is and what’s not working from the customers’ perspective.

Room for improvement?

From a study of 37 Housing Associations and ALMOs, we found the following statistics:

Total number of managed homes: 705,003
Total number of customer calls per year: 5,943,177
Average number of calls per home per year: 8.43
Amongst the 37 organisations, the number of calls per home per year range from 1.48 to 14.17.
The C-Sat scores range from 70% to 99%.
The average C-Sat score is 87.35%.

What is shocking is the variation in these statistics.

But WHY do they vary so wildly? Why does one organisation have almost 10 times the amount of calls than another?

Are they worse at resolving problems first time?

Are their agents giving out inadequate information which means tenants are having to call back?

Are maintenance teams not reacting to issues quickly enough which leads to more calls?

To find out the WHY, you need to ask the customer. You need to pinpoint areas that need improvement. You need to understand which agents are performing well and which require more training. Once you have those answer, you can focus your improvement efforts on the areas that need it most.

Finding out the WHY can easily be done using text analytics. Just imagine having these insights readily available, at your fingertips, in real time! Imagine taking action on those insights and watching the efficiency of your operation increase and the number of calls per home reduce.

Timing is key

With call centres being the key customer interaction point for Housing Associations and ALMO’s, obtaining customer feedback as close as possible to real time is critical to making company-wide improvements and driving up customer satisfaction levels.

Immediate feedback has the following benefits:

1. Accuracy: It is a fact that our memory of events diminishes over time. If we wait until a quarterly survey response, do we capture what really happened?

2. Ability to affect change: Issues dealt with immediately have improved customer perception;

3. Recognising staffing issues: We all have bad days and sometimes this can spill over into work. But when that worker having a bad day is the key interface to customers, it does not reflect well on your organisation. Recognise staffing issues and address them through coaching, training or disciplinary action.

4. Spot which issues get mentioned most: Affect the most change!

5. Spot outstanding issues: Customers may have complaints (e.g. been racially or sexually abused over the phone) but don’t necessarily want to call back to complain. Send them a survey which gives them an opportunity to air their complaint without the fear of facing more abuse on the phone.

6. Improve efficiency quickly and resource appropriately once improvements have been made.

Make your call centre operations more efficient. Simply Ask, Analyse then Act.

Further reading: Download our White Paper "Use Customer Feedback To Motivate Call Centre Agents".