Managing inbound call center operations is no easy task, but with the right tools and systems in place, you will be able to handle incoming calls from customers seamlessly.
Having your own inbound call center does offer a lot of benefits. You will have a huge advantage when you have call center agents speaking directly to customers, especially when you are launching a new product or promoting special offers. Satisfied customers are more likely to re-purchase and possibly become brand advocates in the future. By delivering top-notch support, an inbound call center can help you maintain a loyal customer base.
However, there are a lot of factors that can hinder call centers from running in peak performance. Let us take a look at common problems that companies face when it comes to managing their inbound call center operations.
3 common problems in inbound call center operations
Since call centers have one of the world’s toughest work environments, there are certain challenges that call center managers have to face on a day-to-day basis. These are three common problems that companies have to deal with when managing inbound call center operations.
Having unusually high call volume
When unexpectedly high call volume hits a call center, it becomes problematic. It frustrates customers and creates overall negative experiences. High call volume takes place when there is a spike in the number of phone calls being received by the call center. Based on a study by the customer survey research company SQM, 30 percent of phone calls received by a call center are callbacks from previous, unresolved issues.
Attrition, also known as employee turnover, is the rate at which agents leave a call center over a specific period of time. Losing employees is harmful to a call center’s bottom line and erodes productivity. It also lowers average call handling quality and could result in longer queue times due to inexperienced staff.
Poor onboarding can be detrimental to inbound call center operations because it hinders agents’ time-to-productivity and can result in a shorter stay at the company. This negative experience can also lead to lower employee morale, lower confidence among customer service agents, and missed targets.
7 ways Aloware can help manage inbound call center operations
Inbound call centers can be difficult to oversee because of numerous internal and external factors affecting the performance of agents. To ensure your call center runs smoothly and efficiently, you can rely on Aloware to help you streamline your processes. Here are some ways it can help improve your inbound call center operations:
1. Set up remote-friendly operations
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, most call centers transitioned from being office-based to working remotely. It has prompted the need to shift to cloud-based call center solutions that can support their operations from wherever agents might be without worrying about security and downtimes. As a provider of a cloud contact center software, Aloware can let you do the following:
- Provide your agents with a softphone equipped with unlimited calling and texting. As long as agents have an internet connection, they can take calls anytime, anywhere by logging in via the web browser or app.
- Maximize your agent’s time with a user-friendly platform that facilitates multi-tasking. They can read their scripts, log notes, update dispositions, and even send text messages from one place.
- Managers can also use the built-in dashboard to monitor call performance and agent activity. Aloware’s contact center solution includes call barge and whisper features that allow supervisors to coach agents in real-time.
2. Manage contacts and sync with CRM
Your contact list should be easily accessible and organized. Having a lot of prospects is overwhelming but with the right tools, you can easily manage your contacts and segment them accordingly. Aloware can let you do the following:
- Search or filter contacts by phone number, first name, last name, and email.
- Utilize communication tags filter so you can label contacts accordingly. For instance, you can create different tags according to lead status (converted, not converted, qualified, and spam).
- Filter contacts based on those with unread messages, those who have not yet been contacted, and those who have not responded. There is also an option to filter new leads and unassigned leads.
- Integrate with CRMs like Hubspot or Zoho so agents can pull up data such as open deals and their values.
3. Track previous interactions with customers
To provide outstanding customer service, it would be best to have a single tool that consolidates all interactions with customers. You can eliminate unnecessary repeat calls by checking previous touchpoints. Aloware can let you do the following:
- Automatically log all call events and provide agents with easy access to call recordings.
- Create call notes that can greatly help representatives to better understand the situation of the customer and provide better feedback.
4. Configure smart routing and queues
When there is high call volume, it is important to strategize and manage the spike in the number of phone calls. Creating a plan to route calls is essential in managing inbound call center operations. Aloware lets you do the following:
- Assign agents to Aloware ring groups. This refers to the team of agents who are working together to answer certain calls and text messages.
- Use Repeat Contact Call Routing to route a “repeat call” by connecting the customer to the agent who last spoke with this contact.
- Deal with missed calls by choosing one of these options: 1) Take a voicemail message from the customer 2) Route to other lines (Aloware-provided and external) 3) Send an automated text message informing the customer that an agent will contact him/her as soon as one is available.
5. Create a customer-friendly IVR
An IVR (interactive voice response) menu or phone tree is a part of an automated welcome message that helps callers navigate their way to the correct department or line. IVRs allow callers to self-serve so that their call can be categorized right away. Aloware’s IVR options let you:
- Route customers to the right department to optimize the time and productivity of your teams.
- Notify the caller about his/her position in the queue so that the customer will get an estimate of when an agent will be able to answer the call.
- Offer callback options so customers can avoid unnecessary wait times.
- Play music so that the customer will have a pleasant experience during wait times.
6. Monitor call center performance from a live dashboard
When managing inbound call center operations, there are a lot of metrics that can be used to measure the effectiveness of customer service teams. Agent productivity is one of the many aspects that must be monitored by a call center manager. Aloware can equip managers with a live dashboard that shows metrics such as the following:
- Summary of total calls and texts made
- Engaged and unengaged contacts
- Answer status and talk time
- Call dispositions
- Average call duration, wait time and response time
7. Provide better training and coaching support
The success and longevity of your inbound call center operations depend on your ability to provide comprehensive training and coaching to your call center representatives. This means that what you do on the production floor must also be reflected in your training sessions. Aloware allows call monitoring, call whisper, and barge in. These allow supervisors to listen to other users’ calls in order to coach and assist new employees:
- Call monitoring allows a supervisor to listen to a conversation
- Call whisper allows a supervisor to provide live advice but the audio is only delivered to the agent’s line.
- Barge in allows a supervisor to join the call, so he/she becomes part of the conversation with the customer.
There are numerous ways of dealing with the challenges involved in managing an inbound call center. As a call center manager, you can overcome them by equipping your agents with the right contact center solutions. Aloware’s contact center software can deal with most of your problems and make life easier for your support team.
Using a powerful call center solution like Aloware can boost the productivity of call center agents while letting them maximize its unlimited calling and texting features. Call center managers will be able to see analytics and data updated in real-time, allowing you to improve your call center performance. Book a demo so you can see our smart technology in action!