It might sound like a dream – everyone wants to call your contact center and place an order, or enquire about its status.  In reality, it can be your worst nightmare.

To have all your customers and potential customers make calls to your contact center could easily swamp your agents and inevitably cause major queues with long wait times.  The result would be frazzled agents, disgruntled customers and a reputation that nose dives.

Some organisations are quite open about such situations and clearly tell callers that are experiencing high call volumes and the caller should try again later or use alternative methods of communication.  Others are far cagier from the start and make it very difficult for customers to call the contact center by deliberately hiding telephone numbers and making alternative routes of contact more obvious and accessible.

Customers have such choice of communication these days and their expectations are continuously getting higher.  But equally, you need to stay in business and keep costs under control. Providing and promoting a choice of contact methods that are timely and effective will alleviate the workload.  Such alternatives not only complement your agents but can reinforce the positive impression of the organisation.

Providing a soft-landing for customers rather than a hard exit will benefit everyone.  A website that clearly lets customers know the best ways to access information is a good place to start.  Providing FAQs with concise user-friendly answers enables customers to self-serve information on simple queries. Offering a chat service that utilises an effective chatbot can reduce the load on agents.  Likewise, encouraging customers to complete an online form or submit an email that can be passed through a text processing engine will enable it to be answered automatically, or at least route it to the most suitable queue for handling.  And whatever methods of communication you offer the customer it is important they are not siloed.  If a customer contacts you by chat and subsequently calls in by phone the agent must be able to access the previous communication.

The worst experience for a customer is to be left floundering with no information on how to get help or enter in to communication with you.  If that happens you can expect the customer to exit your world slamming the door hard behind them.


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