When most people hear the term “call center,” they think of a massive maze of cubicles, filled with hundreds (or even thousands) of people answering call after call in a sales or support department for a major corporation. Though these large call centers do exist, (American Express has a single call center in Phoenix, AZ with over 5200 people in it), they are not the norm for most businesses. There are far more companies with just a few employees answering the phone that have a need for some more sophisticated call routing. Let’s face it, if you have a business in which more than one person answers the phone, or you have more than one department, you can benefit from advanced call routing and other Unified Communications (UC) features. This is the beauty of Switchvox – it gives you advance features that enterprise companies use in their large call centers, but at a price that small or medium-size businesses (SMBs) can afford.
In part 1 of the Power of UC blog series, we introduced you to ABC Widgets and looked at their marketing efforts to get leads in the door through two campaigns: a roadside sign and a radio ad. We saw how Switchvox can handle and quantify those marketing campaigns, and help management staff understand the ROI of those efforts. While ABC Widgets is a fictional company, it serves as a good example of how similar companies can benefit from a business phone system with UC features. Today, we will show you how Switchvox helps ABC Widgets become an effective call center, and produce satisfied customers and growing revenues.
ABC Widgets is a small company with 20 employees. They have a new product sales team of two people, a customer service team of two, a support team of three (who regularly answer the phone), and a receptionist. The receptionist currently handles all incoming calls and then transfers the calls to whomever she thinks might be available. This has been very ineffective. The company has received many complaints as the receptionist is far too busy and customers have to wait too long to talk to someone – although ABC Widgets has no idea how long customers actually wait. Management has determined they need a better customer experience for people calling in to ABC Widgets.
The challenge that ABC Widgets is facing is a common one: How can the company more efficiently and more effectively handle valuable customer calls? The solution lies in a modern UC system like Switchvox. Even though ABC Widgets is a long way from American Express in size and call volume, it can still benefit from the same UC features. Using ABC Widgets as an example, here’s how Switchvox can help your business – and any small business – take advantage of the benefits of a call center environment:
Save the Receptionist
The first issue to resolve is to save your company’s receptionist from overwork and burnout by lightening the call load. Here’s how:
- The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) application can automate many of the incoming calls and relieve some stress from the receptionist. ABC Widgets has control over the messages that are played and the options that the caller can choose. ABC Widgets creates a ‘Sales, Customer Service, and Support’ option, as well as a ‘Press 0 for the Receptionist.’ Now, callers get to the place they need on their own and calls to the receptionist are reduced by 80 percent overnight!
- The Switchboard is a web-based user productivity tool that gives ABC users a “birds-eye” view of what is going on in the company, as well as desktop call control. The Switchboard allows their receptionist to see who is on the phone and that person’s availability through the ‘Status’ indicator. He or she can also chat or video chat with other employees and easily transfer calls with a click.
Line Up the Queues
The key to creating a successful experience for your customers is to create queues. Queues are logical groupings of employees, and each group then has special answering and routing features set up. Using the example of ABC Widgets, they would create three queues (Sales, Customer Service, and Support). Your company might have a similar approach. Here’s how those types of queues help ABC Widgets create a smooth and effective call flow:
- Ringing Strategies allow ABC Widgets to either ring all the employees in the queue, ring individuals randomly or in a pre-determined order. Sales has a superstar employee that management would like to have the first crack at all sales calls, before routing to others. To achieve this, they will use ‘In Order,’ which allows the company to put the superstar at the top of the list. If he’s not available, the next person in the list will be rung.
- Queue Member Settings allow ABC Widgets to determine how many times each person’s phone rings, allows time for wrap-up to log information into their CRM, and to auto-log off, if the member forgets to log out of the queue.
- Caller Experience Settings let management control what callers hear while waiting to speak to someone. ABC Widgets picks their favorite hold music, as well as takes advantage of that on-hold time by adding a message about their new product.
- In-Queue Call Routing is set up to ensure that callers don’t get stuck in an endless queue. Simple settings are in place so that ABC Widgets can determine what their excessive wait time limit is and ensure that anyone waiting longer than that time is routed to another person, group, or manager.
Report the Findings
Now that the queues are in place and calls are being handled much more efficiently, ABC Widgets can sit back and observe the fruits of their labor . They can check out all the great reports as discussed in Part 1 of the series, but there’s one more report that is perfect for companies of any size:
- Real-Time Queue Monitoring both on the Switchboard and on Digium IP phones allow their managers to view call flow and call statistics in real time. They can see current calls that are waiting and how long they’ve been there, individual call stats for each queue member, and overview statistics for the entire queue! Never again will you be in the dark on the performance of your teams!
As you can see, even though ABC Widgets isn’t a massive call center like American Express, it can still take advantage of modern call center technology to improve it’s customer experience. Your company can do the same! The best part is that Switchvox brings these features at a price SMBs can afford-and delivered in the Cloud, on-premises, or a hybrid of the two. Sign up for a demo of Switchvox and see the difference in your company.