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Call peaks & service level management are costly pain points that can push customer service to its limits. Intelligent automation systems can help increase efficiency and reduce costs.

The 7 most expensive service center challenges – and how to overcome them

The fact that customer expectations and service center offerings are often miles apart is nothing new. Studies show this time and again. And no, this won’t be an article about hotline bashing, because that wouldn’t get anyone anywhere. Both as a private person and as the CEO and founder of a constantly growing company, I prefer to see myself as a solution-oriented forward thinker. After all these years of working with our customers, I know that service centers have to overcome many hurdles – and I also know that it is possible. If company leaders manage to meet their customers’ needs by integrating intelligent automated systems, everyone will be helped. But which pain points are the most expensive for a service center?

Call peaks

Customer service call peaks are difficult to predict – let alone plan ahead in terms of staffing. The cost pressure is immense, especially because many companies do not consider their service centers to be “sales” relevant and therefore do not (yet) provide them with the budgets that customer service actually deserves. Which for customers then means they either don’t know what’s happening, can’t reach anyone, or have to wait far too long for their problem to be fixed. And quite a few of them then decide to go to the competition. Intelligent telephony control can smooth out contact peaks. The efficiency of individual processing increases by up to 20%, and customer call abandonment rates drop by as much as 70%. Clear numbers, right?!

Sudden stress tests

  • A storm covers rows and rows of houses.
  • Due to IT outages, agents are faced with overtime and many angry customers.
  • Channel hoppers enter their data first via the website, then via the app, and finally they call the hotline.

These are just three examples of unforeseen events that a service center has to deal with. And, as far as possible, in such a way that the loyalty of the customers remains and they can be sure that they will be helped in the foreseeable future. Service centers must therefore first ensure that they avoid multiple contacts. The best way to do this is through automated contact management, which immediately frees up agents, conserves resources, keeps customers informed, and mitigates costs.

Durable high performance

When companies grow or market situations shift, the number of customer contacts also increases. Then it needs permanently experienced service employees who can handle complex customer inquiries efficiently. But where can you find them in a hurry? Especially at the moment, the situation is very difficult for many.

The good news is that it is often not necessary to hire many new employees for the customer center. By contrast, increasing efficiency in dealing with customer inquiries – with the help of intelligent automated systems – is more cost-effective and more promising in the long term. Agents experience less stress as a result, fewer mistakes happen, and employee retention increases. Customers are picked up where they are and therefore do not have to press redial x times.

Lack of support in sales through service

I have already mentioned above that call centers are definitely “sales”-relevant. At the latest when sales representatives/brokers have questions about the product, or when customers are on the verge of making a purchase decision on the website but still need support. It is precisely at such times that a company can attract positive attention if it shines with its high quality of service. Whether via a sales representative or in a direct conversation: If you get informative answers quickly and experience pleasant encounters on the phone, you will buy. Those who are left alone here will go to the competition. Intelligent control of the call center therefore not only reduces lost calls, but also increases sales.

Underperformance and KPI pressure

Expensive fun: Agents call customers back, but they can’t be reached. Service centers with 1,000 employees and 2 million customer contacts waste a lot of resources. If a service center acts as a service provider and has to achieve predefined KPIs, it cannot afford this waste, because failure to achieve the targets could result in penalties , high costs or loss of revenue. Calls and (!) callbacks must therefore be planned and supported by digital solutions so that the required KPIs are achieved.

Control of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd service level

If a 1st level agent cannot conclusively resolve a customer concern, they must manually pass the customer’s information and callback request to the 2nd or 3rd level. Not only is a lot of time lost in this process, but the potential for error is also unnecessarily high. Service centers, on the other hand, which have integrated optimized and software-based workflow processes into their systems, trigger internal contact control automatically. All information is retained, the limited 2nd and 3rd level agents available are deployed highly efficiently, and the customer experience remains at a high level thanks to transparency and reliability.

Interaction of many different channels leads to confusion

Companies offer website chats in addition to their hotlines. Conversations between employees and customers often become complicated in chat, and the transition to face-to-face conversation on the phone is not subject to a set process. Chat-to-callback functions provide a remedy here. In concrete terms, the focus is always on the customer’s wishes, and the entry into telephony is plannable and reliable for both sides. This also prevents impatient customers from jumping ship.

Of course, customers want personalized service, so we can’t have AI and virtual assistants performing all call agent steps in the future either. But everything that happens before and after a customer meeting can be automated – with benefits for both companies and customers. Perhaps I have overlooked some pain points in my list here that can be eliminated or at least mitigated by software?

Can you think of anything to add? In your observation, which challenges are particularly costly?

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Lisa

virtuaQ – ist die eine Datengeriebene und smarte KI die automatisierende Rückruf-Lösung für Unternehmen & Organisationen anbietet. Die Ihre Sales- oder Service- Verbindungen zu Ihren Kunden glättet. Dadurch können Sie relevante Business-Effekte erzielen:

Efficiency Booster

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Lead Engine

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Loyalty Driver

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Peak Helper

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Alle Lösungen

Anwendungsfälle

Peak Management

Curn Reduction

Cost Reduction

Effizienzsteigerung

Dauerbelastung / zuviele Anrufe

Mitarbeiterzufriedenheitssteigerung

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