21 Jul How Call Deflection Works
As a contact center, you probably receive a lot of unnecessary or low-impact calls that take up a lot of your company’s valuable resources. These calls clog up the system and eventually affect your contact center metrics like call distribution, service level agreement (SLA), and average handling time. That’s where call deflection comes in.
What is a call deflection?
This is a process of redirecting calls in an effort of maximizing your agent resources. This is usually achieved by directing callers to digital self-service solutions using the integrated voice response attendant included in most software, for example.
A call deflection is oftentimes confused with call avoidance. The latter is a proactive step contact centers use to avoid taking calls altogether, usually for operational reasons. It has a more negative connotation which is why its usage is more uncommon.
Call deflection can save a call center a lot of time, especially when some calls don’t require a live agent’s assistance. This greatly enhances the chances of some callers getting assistance faster, which in turn leads to a quicker call resolution.
Common tools used to create call deflection
It is important to note that the goal of a call deflection is to always to improve the customer experience. What tools/techniques allow for this?
Integrated Voice Response (IVR)
As previously mentioned, an IVR attendant is a great feature included in most telephony software. In the case of Nautilus, we create a dial plan for our clients, confirm the call flow, and attach the audio files they prefer to integrate into their IVR. It is an easy, intuitive, and very customizable feature that we encourage our clients to utilize.
A website for self-service solutions
Directing customers to a website where they can solve their own simple inquiries is the ideal scenario. This saves you and your customers valuable time, resources, and lets you direct your attention elsewhere.
Having an updated helpdesk or knowledge center is a great avenue for your customers to seek answers for themselves. More often than not, customers would rather read something than talk to a customer service agent — especially for inquiries that even they know are pretty simple! What’s important is to also keep this knowledge center constantly updated with everything from internal memos to technical manuals.
Another niche feature included in some telephony solutions. This lets you set pre-recorded responses to inquiries that an answerbot may encounter. Furthermore, you can incorporate some of your helpdesk articles here as a response to basic questions.
Why you need a call deflection strategy in 2022
There’s a Forbes article that predicts that “A great employee experience will be the leading indicator of business success in 2022.” This is rather surprising, as most business expectations circle around the customer experience, not that of the employee. The pandemic has, however, given rise to unexpected scenarios where employees are walking out of their places of employment seeking better opportunities elsewhere. The results of this is two-fold: the Great Resignation, and a higher expectation of better work-life balance.
It is no secret that customer service as an industry is one of the toughest and most stressful industries around. Agents are constantly being bombarded by calls, and the pressure to perform is always high. Any measure you can take to alleviate these pressures can help you keep both your agents and customers happy!
But how so? Let’s look at some benefits you as a company can gain with a properly-placed call deflection strategy.
- A better customer experience — as we’ve previously discussed, the primary goal of every customer interaction is to get resolution. When you can redirect certain calls to the proper channels (ideally one where they can find their own solutions), you can maintain a higher level of customer satisfaction that way.
- Better metrics — the fact of the matter is that your contact center and its overall performance always will be dictated by numbers. The more calls are deflected, the more your agents are freed up to handle the right inquiries.
- Better employee performance — this ties in to the prior benefit; when your team is allowed to handle the right inquiries at the right amount, the better your chances are at optimizing their individual performances.
- Optimized staffing — contact centers often have the tendency to over hire when they are faced with overwhelming calls. This can be easily mitigated when you can deflect basic call inquiries, and thereby freeing up the agents you already have. This saves you time and a lot of resources!
The idea of call deflection is not a new thing, but there lies a real need for it in this day and age. And with the continued evolution of customer service, customer expectations also rise with it.
As a contact center, efficiency is always part and parcel of your daily operations. Eliminating deficiencies helps you run a smoother business and lets you reach call success faster! Mastery and an advanced level of product knowledge also plays a significant part in cutting down the amount of time your agents spend on the phones. Call deflection allows for that and more!