In a world where Big Data, Omnichannel and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are frequently used buzzwords, the voice channel of companies is often neglected. This is surprising insofar as the voice channel is directly connected to these current topics and concerns many different areas of a company. From sales to customer care and the internal business telephony – phone calls play a vital role in almost any company. Not only is excellent customer service one of the strongest marketing tools a company can have, but proper use of the voice world offers an endless array of other benefits. Integrations of your company’s voice channel with tools like Freshdesk can bring your ticketing and data integration to a whole new level and call data can supply your BI department with the missing piece of a puzzle. Today, we would like to give you 6 tips on how to bring your company’s telephony into the future.
1. Omnichannel: Merge all of your favorite business tools
Companies usually work with a large variety of different business tools, for example ticketing tools, CRM solutions, shop systems and BI tools for data analysis. While some of them work perfectly well on their own, others have certain connecting factors with each other and the voice channel that should be made the most of. A great example for this is Freshwork’s customer service tool Freshworks. As a ticketing software for customer service requests, the tool offers the most benefits when all relevant customer care channels are integrated, e.g. e-mails, chat and – you’ve guessed it – phone calls. With a little help from a CTI integration (Computer Telephony Integration), you are able to create voice tickets for all your incoming support request via phone. These tickets work the same way as any other support ticket and even offer a few extra possibilities:
- Tickets are automatically matched to an existing customer through the caller’s phone number
- Tickets can include relevant statistical data fields such as waiting times, call duration, handling time, etc.
- Tickets can be matched with existing agent groups or products in the relevant ticketing tool
A CTI integration can offer you different options for various business tools. For a sales tool, for example, a CTI integration usually includes Click2Call functions. Which means, you can simply click on any phone number in your business tool and initiate a phone call automatically. This can be useful for handling sales campaigns as well as calls to new leads. Find more information on the CallOne Freshdesk integration and other integrations on our website.
2. Business Intelligence: Make your phone system part of your data warehouse
Most modern companies are highly invested in data analysis and pursue marketing and sales activities that are driven by their data insights. Interestingly enough, anything to do with the voice channel is frequently not included in those analyses. With the voice channel still being one of the top 3 contact channels for customer service and an important channel for most sales teams, an in-depth analysis of call data can be extremely helpful for any company.
A state-of-the-art phone system and call center software should be able to provide you with raw data and extensive statistics to analyze your incoming and outgoing calls. Furthermore, with BI tools like Tableau you are able to merge all your data in one tool and integrate all relevant phone data and KPIs from customer service and sales, for example:
- Average Handling Time (AHT)
- Average Waiting Time (AWT)
- Average Speaking Time (AST)
- Success of outbound campaigns
- Lost call rates
- Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
With this data you are then able to create dashboards and tables from various different perspectives and relate data from other areas of your company, as for example e-mails and tickets. Analyzing your data will eventually make it possible to increase efficiency in customer care and sales, to make waiting times shorter and improve your workforce deployment.
3. Smart call routing for a smooth customer experience
In private conversations, nearly everyone has a tale to tell about an attempt to call a company and being stuck in a seemingly never-ending waiting queue. However, many companies still work with open-ended waiting queues that give the caller no information on how long they have to wait to be connected to an agent. With a smart solution for automatic call distribution (ACD) and integrations with your other business tools, this can easily be a thing of the past. Here is an overview of popular call routing tools:
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response): Let your customers pick their issue via keystroke or voice recognition and route them directly to the right agent for their topic of interest.
- Query of customer-specific numbers: Enable your callers to enter order numbers or customer keys before they are connected to an agent. This saves your agents time and makes it possible for them to already view all relevant customer information from your help desk once the call is connected.
- Waiting queue administration: If you cannot avoid a waiting queue, make it as smart as possible. By restricting the waiting time to a certain time frame, number of callers at the same time or calls per available agent, you can make sure that your customers waiting time is as short as possible.
- Offer alternatives to waiting: Choice is everything! Make it possible for your callers to leave the waiting queue and accept a callback instead. Callbacks can be initiated automatically in slots defined by you and your team.
- Integrate your customer data: By integrating your phone system with your other business tools, such as your CRM or help desk software of choice, you are able to retrieve any customer information as soon as the customer calls you. This information will be available through the automatic recognition of the caller’s number or by querying their customer number.
- Inform your customer: If waiting times are unavoidable, transparency is everything. You can play announcements that inform the caller about the estimated waiting time or indicate the current waiting time on your website as well as an alternative form of contact such as a callback button.
These are only a few of many possible routing variations. A suitable call center software provider will help you to identify your requirements and offer you the right features to build your call flow exactly the way you need it. Find out more about the CallOne call center software here.
4. Use the freedom of Voice over IP (VoIP)
Voice over IP technology has made phone calls as easy as any other web application. Phone systems have moved to the cloud and are fully virtualized. This offers many possibilities for new and improved business telephony:
- Easy administration and scalability
- Highest security and quality standards
- Features on demand
- Easy updating and no maintenance
- HD-Voice phone calls
- Ready-to-go solutions
- Worldwide telephony
- Use of apps and softphones at any place of work
Using a cloud Voice over IP phone system makes it possible for your company to set up a fully functioning voice solution in a few days. The interfaces are usually very intuitive and easy to use and enable you to fully scale your set-up the way you need it. You could start with a handful of users and expand the system to 1000 users and more. Many providers also offer scalable features, which means you only have to buy what you really need for your current use case. Functions such as call recording, individual announcements, waiting queues, etc. are only one click away and there is no need to contact IT for most change requests – you can just do it yourself! Last but not least, an IP phone system makes it possible to use various forms of phones. Make use of WebRTC technology and simply use your browser as a phone, combine VoIP with any softphone on your computer or smartphone or stick with the good old phone on your table.
5. Smart Sales with CRM and dialing options
Next to customer care, your sales team is probably one of your company’s departments that uses the voice channel very frequently. Make use of a smart solution to improve your sales calls:
- Flexible number transmission: Show any number from your portfolio when calling your leads
- Click2Call from your lead tool: Use a CTI integration for Click2Call from your sales system
- Track your calls: Track your incoming and outgoing calls and their success directly in your lead tool
- Call recording: Record calls if necessary and play the relevant announcements – can be activated automatically or manually by the agent
- Analyze your calls: Integrate with voice recognition and speech analytics
- Dialer function: Initiate calls and campaigns automatically from your business tools
Use your voice solution to make your sales team more productive, improve your customers’ experience and analyze all relevant data in one place. Either with a CTI integration or within your call center software itself. Here you can find more tips on setting up your phone system for sales.
6. AI, Voice and chatbots
Artificial intelligence and chatbots have become two of the main buzzwords in customer service during the last couple of years. And for a good reason: What could be better than to allow a bot to process basic and reoccurring customer enquiries while your customer care agents work on the more complex cases? In times of chronic staff shortage, automating processes is a logical step.
For customer care specifically, the question you should ask yourself is: Which are the most frequent requests we receive and can they be automated without lowering our service quality? A quick way to find out more about your company’s support request could be the implementation of call codings and general service codings that the agents set for each support request.
For example, in many e-commerce companies 10-20 % of all request are questions concerning a specific order: status of delivery, returns and refunds. For these requests you could automatically check your order system and give feedback via Text2Speech, automatically initiate refunds or connect to relevant logistics suppliers. Find out more here.
These were only 7 out of a countless number of possibilities you have to make more of your business voice channel. Feel free to contact CallOne for further information or to discuss your specific project. We also keep you up to date on our blog.