Contact centers face several evolving challenges that include high agent attrition, average handling times, and customer expectations among others. These challenges are usually baked into the phone system configuration in ways that lead to poor customer care. In this article, we’ll go over five key components of phone system design and how to make sure they're enhancing your contact center, and not hurting it.
There are proven ways to improve customer phone support for businesses and call centers using the right features and design approach. But getting a handle on the design aspect is often more complex when the features are limited in terms of customization options and simplicity.
To meet today’s call center customer expectations of a flawless user experience (UX), administrators must have significant control of phone system design, management and call flow development. That means choosing the right contact center software and knowing how best to implement it to avoid common impediments to operational excellence like lengthy call queues and poor UX among others.
These impediments are symptoms of a bigger problem that can all be traced to call center system design flaws. To improve customer care and operational efficiency, contact center phone features must enable simple customization, scalability, agility, and adaptability. This is the only way to avoid phone system design flaws that lead to customer attrition, lower profits and higher customer support costs.
Proper IVR menu design for automated inbound call routing
Even in a multichannel world, the phone is still the primary means of customer service enquiries. As the first customer contact point, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system allows customers to input their intent. Proper IVR menu design will shape their entire encounter and deliver the following:
- Personalized customer engagement
- First Contact Resolution (FCR)
- Low AHT (Average Handle Time)
- Optimized CX
- Increased call center productivity
IVR systems can be programmed to communicate numerous customer options based on the prompt that a customer enters. The trick is keeping it simple for the customer while ensuring that complex routing is transparent. For example, contact centers often operate with a single phone number so the ability to handle high inbound call volume in addition to all outbound calls through simultaneous calling is an imperative. This ensures that no caller gets a busy signal or is diverted to a voicemail system prematurely.
Once they engage with the IVR, the options must be presented logically, simply and clearly. Their choice must automatically send them to their needed contact This is where things can get more complicated, which is why proper and queue automation take over.
A web-based call flow editor is a simple, modern solution for enabling proper IVR menu design. Telzio offers a visual and seamless experience for designing highly customized, multi-level IVR menus, enabling greater personalization, simple management and fast customer resolutions. This can result in the majority of simple interactions being successfully resolved in the IVR or via chatbot. Information gathered within the IVR, can direct calls to the right agent, department or specialist via agile call queueing to ensure fast resolution of the caller’s specific needs.
Efficient queue and call routing system to manage high volume phone lines
Call queue and call flow management is crucial to both an ideal CX as well as call center, agent, and companywide efficiency. The ability to quickly and easily change both aspects of the inbound call center system will enable features like programmable queue position announcements, time limits, maximum hold time, routing preferences, and much more.
Managing and changing these system features can be in response to many things including:
- Call load fluctuations
- Time of day and time zone
- Agent availability and specialization
- Skills based routing
Agile and real-time queue-based call flow with a highly customizable IVR work together to avoid phone system design flaws by enabling:
- Unified self-service and assisted service
- Intelligent customer segmentation and personalized treatment based on need
- Next-best action execution including routing to the best resource
- Single platform management for unified workforce optimization across the call center and the company
The Telzio Call Flow system enables real-time customization of queues online, enabling instant and remote configuration. By embracing intelligent IVR programming, real-time call flow, and queue management, companies can reduce wait times and call duration while increasing customer satisfaction and FCR.
Integrations with CRM and help desk applications
Call center efficiency and an ideal customer journey are dependent on universally accessible information and the means for holistic collaboration This requires the ability to integrate other applications with the call center system, such as:
- Help desk
- Project management
- Payment processing
- Team chat
These and other integration possibilities enable a true unified communications approach that drives a holistic, single interface communications across the business with the call center as a hub.
While your VoIP provider may not have a direct integration with a specific app you use, integration services like Zapier act as a middleman to enable integrations with thousands of other apps. Depending on your company’s IT development capabilities, you can also set up your own integrations via API.
Real-time call data and monitoring tools for quality management
Quality management systems with call recording and monitoring tools provide a way to manage, track, and report quality metrics. This can serve numerous functions that keep a call center system, agents, and CX operating at optimum efficiency. Agile, flexible, and intuitive call monitoring is crucial to meeting a variety of needs including the following:
- QC monitoring and feedback program to improve CX, and any aspect of the call center system such as routing strategy and message adjustments/improvements
- Compliance needs and record keeping
- Agent training and process improvement
- Analytics data for reports to closely monitor KPIs to measure impact and efficacy of queue, routing and overall call management
Telzio provides the following features for managing call center quality:
- Live call reporting - A live dashboard that displays call activity and agent status across queues, in real-time
- Call monitoring - Call whisper, barge, and monitoring capabilities for call center managers to use from any location
- Call recording - Unlimited call recording and storage, along with tagging and assigning capabilities to save useful recordings for training purposes
- Call analytics - Details on call durations, hold times, most active agents, abandoned calls, etc., over a period of time
Holistic and flexible configuration capabilities
The process of setting up a phone queue and call queue management with inbound call center software must be governed by a holistic design approach. Furthermore, it cannot be complex or static as it must meet the changing call center variables discussed earlier including:
- Agent skill and expertise needs
- Global departmental transfer needs
- Agent and departmental personnel availability
- Field service personnel availability
- Time of day
- Changing call loads and more
Cloud-based call center software is ideal for dealing with these changing variables in real time. For example, systems can be configured to route calls beyond the contact center to departments and experts across the business or even in the field.
Telzio’s call center dashboard enables administrators to integrate specific department or field services personnel into the call flow when needed and available. This creates a holistic and seamless CX and agent UX where calls can be routed across multiple locations for minimum response times and maximum resource utilization.
Overall call center call loads can be impacted by daypart and event fluctuations as well as operational changes like agent and personnel fluctuations. This is where agile and responsive call flow management become critical. Having drag and drop changeability of all feature and flow parameters via a web dashboard enables the call center manager to respond to these changes in real time.
The goal of any efficient call center system is to improve the customer experience, deliver heightened personalization and achieve maximum FCR. Having the right features, functions, agility, and reliability can improve operations for the entire business.
The first step in achieving that goal is to ensure that the critical technologies are in place to meet all customer agent and call center needs. Find out why Telzio Cloud PBX is leading the way in that regard with agile, scalable, and intuitive cloud-based call center systems that meet changing needs.
Victor Brown is an IT expert with significant experience in the healthcare, manufacturing, and construction industries. He currently spends his time as a writer and strategist specializing in B2B technology for organizations from startups to enterprises.