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Using CRM to boost Call Center performance

Call centers are the focal point of customer experience and can create a valuable competitive advantage. Is your team equipped with the right tools to consistently deliver beyond customer expectations?

Executive Summary

Building a business strategy aligned to customer needs ensures better acquisition and retention rates. Most call centers operate around the clock and can quickly increase customer satisfaction levels through effective call handling. Finding the right opportunities to sell products that are beneficial for customers is simplified with accurate information related to a customer's products, preferences and interactions.

Call centers often receive high volumes of incoming calls and managing interactions with their associated activities and tasks can create work overloads and impede internal communication. Also, navigating between numerous screens while interacting with a customer can reduce efficiency and first call resolution ratios.

Providing call center staff and their reporting managers with the right CRM tools for facilitating interdepartmental coordination, real-time pipeline visibility, a centralized solutions database and actionable intelligence improves overall performance and accountability.

Recommendations

  • Choose a CRM solution that is scalable and can adapt easily to your company's growth
  • Ensure user interfaces are not crammed with information making it difficult to pinpoint vital data during a call. Use fields that can compute data, display linked values and populate dynamically to reduce timespent during a call on generic activities and updations.
  • Streamline the lead conversion process to decrease turnaround time and rework by mapping fields and sharing customer information with all related stakeholders in real-time.
  • Ensure all customer information is available centrally through integration with all customer touchpoints for clear visibility of lead, opportunity, competitor and case pipeline. Track performance through forecasting tools and real-time dashboards.

Delivering a consistent customer experience

Traditionally, contact centers or call centers were considered as a hub for capturing customers' complaints and requests. It was also used for answering product related queries and logging new leads. Over the last couple of decades this has changed drastically, more and more organizations have become aware that call centers are at the core of their customer experience strategy. A positive customer experience translates to more opportunities for lead conversions, cross selling and up selling. On the other hand, a badly handled call with long handling time and inadequate responses to a customer's queries will inevitably escalate to negative feedback for your services amplified through social networks to others. The customer will also very probably switch to a competitor's products and services.

A CRM solution improves overall performance for conventional and futuristic call centers; it empowers users with the tools to ensure your customer strategy is realistically enacted and that displeased customers are handled efficiently to avoid escalations. Call centers when integrated with a CRM solution become enablers of positive customer experience and provide vital insights into the mindsets of customers, which is usually not achievable through an alternate touch point. Customer information from multiple sources is available centrally and ad hoc reports can be created for actionable intelligence.

Call centers are frequently addressing the above issues to become more profitable and numerous other growing challenges. To understand the effectiveness and efficiency of your existing call center set up and applications, answer a few simple questions-

  • With everyone's best efforts are you lowering average handling time (AHT)?
  • Can you avert top queries and complaints?
  • Are you able to accurately measure service quality?
  • Have you successfully implemented service-tosales processes?
  • Are you employing multi-channel integration to avoid duplication?
  • Are you servicing your customers according to the potential or value they add to your business?
  • Does your call center honor service level agreements (SLAs) or enforce them for processes that span across departments?
  • Have you maintained the optimal visibility and quality for information while enriching customer data?

CRMnext's role in a call center

CRMnext empowers a call center by generating a comprehensive view of all its customers - this assists in setting progressive strategies and designing unique processes. Our solution facilitates multi-channel integration and proliferation - it can integrate with the dialer, identify inbound callers and make outbound calls. By employing vital features such as predictive dialers, automatic call distribution and intelligent skill based routing, the user's interface provides a single window for all operations - application hopping is avoided and efficiency is increased. Our CTI integration unifies customer data into a single repository by incorporating upstream and downstream applications plus unifying all customers facing processes - marketing, sales and service. It also enforces unified TAT and SLAs across stakeholders, thus improving accountability and performance.

The goal of every business is to achieve the highest possible quality at the lowest cost without hampering customer experience - metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) play a critical role in achieving this. As rightly said - "you cannot improve what you cannot measure", simply put - improve what can be quantified

First Time Resolution (FTR)

The single biggest driver for customer satisfaction is higher FTR rates, this has the following benefits-

  • Efficient use of agents' logged-in time
  • Customers' invaluable time and effort is saved
  • Positive feedback from customers is warranted

The key to increasing FTR rates is to empower customer service executives with complete customer information, employing intuitive call scripts and a sufficient knowledge base, resulting in higher customer satisfaction levels.

Average Handling Time (AHT)

TAHT is the average duration of a transaction, typically measured from the initiation of a call and includes any hold time, talk time and related tasks for a transaction. It is dependant on factors like-

  • How long does it take to retrieve information?
  • Number of applications to switch between for accessing all relevant information?

With CRMnext's 360° view of customers, access to related records and information is simple and quick. Agents can easily dispense additional information stored under workspaces or the document management system, thereby delivering a consistent user experience and increasing efficiency.

Quality Monitoring (QM)

Perhaps, an indicator of customer satisfaction greater than "How quickly?" is "How qualitatively?". QM is used to measure the quality of service provided by an agent over a call. Quality ratings are dependant on factors like-

  • Compliance with script
  • Soft skills
  • Product knowledge
  • Active listening

CRMnext's intuitive call scripts with a built-in scoring engine and its centrally located solutions base reduces response time and improves preciseness. This allows agents to focus on delivering a consistently positive customer experience. A 'postservice call survey' can be incorporated to measure the service quality and reports can be generated to spot bottlenecks.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

SLA is the contracted delivery time for a resolution and is crucial when analyzing call center performance. It often has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. Meeting SLAs are dependant on factors like-

  • Time duration for providing a resolution
  • Relevance of the resolution provided

CRMnext can facilitate achieving SLAs through conditional alerts, dynamic field visibility and by performing vital escalations. Our CTI integration ensures that call center efficiency is at its optimum and that resolutions committed to customers are also honored.

Accuracy Rates

It is often seen that in order to reduce AHT, agents miss capturing vital customer information causing incomplete and inaccurate profiling of customers. Improving Accuracy Rates is dependant on factors like

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Pre-populated information
  • Reminders and notes

This issue can be tackled effortlessly using 'enforcement rules' whenever agents input information regarding customers on CRMnext.

Benefits of CRMNEXT

Increase call center productivity

  • Use a balance score card approach through CRMnext to track the overall performance
  • Monthly break-down of data to take insightful decisions.
  • Bucket your calls into predefined categories.
  • Increase inter-department co-ordination using CRMnext.

Reduce call center costs

  • Save training costs by using call scripts and sharing training material through CRMnext.
  • Average handling time can be reduced by call routing and case assignment through automated skill-based rules.

Increase customer satisfaction

  • Service experienced by a customer can either reinforce or revoke the prior impression held by the customer towards the company. Hence, consistency across touch points becomes imperative - use 'call scripting' to deliver a quick and consistent customer resolution.
  • Quick access to customer's data helps in resolving issues faster.
  • Pre-populated records when executing call scripts help increase accuracy and rapport.
  • Access to social network profile information helps understand customer expectations and preferences.

Process understanding & correction

  • CRMnext helps you analyse and build an effective process.
  • Record valuable customer feedback on calls.
  • Avoid duplicity using CRMnext, update records when executing a call script and simultaneously create activities.

Boost revenues

  • Capitalize on satisfied service interaction to cross-sell and up-sell.
  • Data on products with customer currently increases lead conversions for new products.

Increase agent productivity

  • Use ready-to-send templates and increase efficiency.
  • Deploy actionable knowledge banks and solutions templates to enhance productivity.
  • Use the call script scoring engine to decipher relevance of leads.

Conclusion

A single interface for consolidated customer information from multiple touch points greatly increases the performance of both sales and service call center agents. Easily accessible information related to open activities and a history of interactions can be very helpful when building rapport with customers.

CRM systems facilitate sharing real-time information related to customers captured by call center staff, IVRs and dialers with other teams through a user-friendly interface. Multifold escalations, alerts and enforcement rules can be configured based on the different teams, roles and products within an organization to ensure no one is compromising on your brand's promise. Additionally, automated call scripts, service level agreements, widgets and minimalistic interfaces can be incorporated in the CRM implementation specifically for call center employees. These myriad CRM features and customization tools facilitate optimal customer experience and more beneficial relationships for your organization.

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