Companies Facing Larger than Normal Call Volumes Post COVID: Tips on Automating Call Responses

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In the wake of COVID-19, customer service needs have skyrocketed. As a result, many businesses are flooded with callers and left without the proper resources to address higher-than-average volumes. Naturally, this can have a noticeable impact on customer satisfaction and can overall dampen the customer experience.

Luckily, with technological advancements, it’s possible to address caller needs with the aid of automation, improve customer satisfaction, and retool your call center to reach more of your target market without lengthy queue times. Here’s what you need to know about new call center enhancements.

Automation is critical for success.

One way call centers and contact centers have shifted is through the integration of interactive voice response, otherwise known as IVR technology. IVR technology relies on computer telephony integration (CTI), speech recognition, and incoming call routing to properly direct callers to the correct live agent. This is done by setting up a number of menu options and prompts that guide callers through the IVR system. The right IVR software enhances your existing phone system by gathering basic caller information, parsing voice responses, and directing customer calls to the right department.

Interactive voice response offers a higher level of automation and can help your contact center handle high call volumes with ease. This can lead to greater levels of customer satisfaction as well as an increase in conversions. Companies of all sizes, from small businesses to enterprise operations, can benefit from the incorporation of IVR into their contact center solution.

The right integrations smooth out the customer experience.

While IVR is a key component of any solid call center solution, there are other integrations that can benefit both agents and end-users. These include CRM integrations, automatic call distribution, and SMS integrations. By incorporating a few of these tools, your business is more agile and able to respond to customer needs. On top of this, CRM connectivity within your call center solution allows you to more effectively handle both call routing and nurture campaigns that can otherwise tax key resources.

Some of these integrations are more straightforward than others. Automatic call distribution, for example, helps maintain call routing to the right agent. This means that callers spend less time listening to canned greetings or sifting through menus. It makes customer interactions more intuitive and lessens the amount of time it takes for a caller to reach the appropriate agent. CRM functionality, on the other hand, requires a compatible CRM system, a robust web server, and sometimes a separate phone number to track call metrics. However, this level of omnichannel communication can greatly boost agent productivity, lower average wait times, and streamline call center operations.

Choosing the right platforms requires research.

When you’re looking at added integrations for your business, an omnichannel communication solution with a lower cost might seem ideal. However, you need to weigh costs against potential benefits for both end-users and your customer service representatives. If a system only benefits the sales team and not the consumer (or the inverse), you may want to research another vendor. It’s also a good idea to look for an all-in-one provider that offers call routing, voice recognition technology, an interactive voice response system, and callback features. When you follow these best practices, your business, by extension, is more likely to succeed.

While COVID-19 may have impacted inbound call levels, there are still some key best practices that will help your business weather the higher call volumes. Whether you’re incorporating an IVR solution for respondents, software menus for outbound calls, or auto attendants that simplify the customer service process, the right tools can make a major difference in your business’s overall outlook.

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