A study by Whistl has suggested that up to 38% of customers value a quick resolution the most when contacting a call centre. But despite customer service technology improving across the board, many call centres are still using separate telephone and computer systems, and flicking between the two can increase the handling time of each call.
Improving both agent and customer experience can be achieved by implementing integrated call support. This technology allows telephone systems to connect with computer software. Not only does this mean agents can make and receive calls with just the click of a button, integrated call support can also provide agents with a range of handy tools that allows them to deliver a far greater level of service.
The result? Happier customers and more engaged, efficient agents.
What is Integrated Calling?
When it comes to running a call centre as smoothly as possible, it’s essential that computer and telephone systems seamlessly connect. The reality is that customers expect a lot from customer service lines. They want their calls answered quickly, their issue resolved as efficiently as possible, and a knowledgeable, helpful advisor who doesn’t need to pass them on to another agent.
Integrated calling, or computer telephony integration (CTI) as it’s otherwise known, is the method of connecting a telephone system to a computer. It eliminates the need for a telephone at all, and instead allows agents to have fully desktop-based interactions with customers. Agents can receive calls and complete call-related tasks using the same system.
CTI gives call handlers access to a wide range of personalised tools that’ll help improve call handling and subsequently customer experience. Tools include interactive voice response, automatic number identification and call recording.
Additionally, integrated calling allows agents to have all the information they require on one system. They’ll no longer have to juggle contact centre software on their desktop, while making calls on their separate telephone. All information can be accessed using their desktop, allowing agents to make and receive calls at just the click of a button.
Evaluagent offers integrations which are compatible with a variety of call centre softwares. Our integration systems feature:
- Call recording
- Contact centre as a service (CCaaS)
- Customer surveys
- Ticketing and help desks
Benefits of Integrated Calling
Integrated calling can bring enormous value to contact centres, reducing costs, increasing job satisfaction amongst agents and leading to higher level of customer service.
More efficient call handling
Undoubtedly, the main benefit of integrated calling is that call handling is made more seamless. Agents no longer have to juggle between two systems, nor flick through an enormous database of customer information to access the correct data. Calls can be made and received directly from an agent’s computer, controlled via a uniform dashboard. Click-to-call can reduce the time spent by agents manually dialling a number.
A ticketing and help desk integration can allow team leaders to structure calls and organise them in tiers. The more complex issues can be automatically assigned to an agent with the appropriate training. This leads to a smaller number of customers being transferred to another agent for their query, which will improve their overall experience.
Improved relationship between caller and handler
Providing agents with tools such as an automatic screen pop up will improve the relationship between caller and handler. If there’s one thing customers dislike, it’s repeating their information more than once. Despite this, studies have shown that up to 34% of call centre agents don’t have access to the right customer data at the time of request.
On screen pop ups will deliver important caller information to an agent’s screen before they even take the call. This allows the agent to answer the call with a friendly, personalised greeting, coupled with knowledge of any previous exchanges with another agent. Callers can be automatically identified, meaning fewer checks will be needed.
More refined quality assurance
Automated call reporting and recording can be used to refine your quality assurance. Without call monitoring and recording, it can be difficult to keep track of progress. By recording each and every interaction an agent has with a customer, problem areas can be pinpointed, with accurate and helpful feedback be given.
CTI is able to record and log each call, saving the data directly within the call centre CRM. Sometimes, a customer simply has a bad day, and if a call centre receives a complaint from a customer about the level of service they received, a manager or team leader can easily access a recording of the call to see if the service was up to standard. In the event of a dispute with a customer, the call can be revisited so team leaders can see what was said and when.
Agent training can also be facilitated by integrating CTI into a call centre. Call recording and call monitoring can be used to help train inexperienced agents. Trainees will be able to listen to the conversations and mannerisms of more experienced agents in real-time or after the exchange has occurred.
Team leaders can also listen in on calls to provide agents with feedback. On-screen pop ups can help guide inexperienced agents through calls.
EvaluAgent’s customer survey integration can give call centres valuable insight into how customers feel about the service they received. Automatically sending a survey to customers post-call can help call centres to improve scripts, provide better training and implement the technologies that customers actually want.
More employee engagement
Many call centres overlook the value of having engaged and motivated employees. CTI will make it as easy as possible for call handlers to do their job, improving their satisfaction and boosting confidence. Having just one easy-to-navigate computer system will help employees to manage their workload and conversation. The result is an improved, results-driven experience that helps staff meet KPIs and feel motivated at work.
Reduced operating costs
Through more efficient call handling, better training, and more positive exchanges between customer and agent, overall operating costs will reduce. Agents will feel more engaged with their role knowing they have all the tools they require, leading to a lower staff turnover. A lower turnover means less money is spent on training new staff members.
The improved call handling will likely lead to an increase in customer loyalty. Screen pop ups displaying customer information means there’s less for the customer to repeat, leading to a more positive experience overall.
Finally, CTI can allow contact centres to run with a smaller team, which will also reduce costs. Inefficient call handling means a larger team is needed to provide the same level of service. More succinct call handling will enable centres to run with a smaller yet more efficient (and happier!) team of people.
Why is integrated call support needed?
In an oversaturated marketplace, it’s essential that businesses deliver a consistently good level of service. In fact, it’s thought that 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company. Numerous studies have suggested that a high percentage of customers will move to a competitor following a poor customer service experience with a brand.
Not only that, it’s thought to be between 5 and 25 times more expensive to attract new customers than it is to retain existing ones. While a sales team is important, maintaining a great level of customer service for existing customers is arguably even more so.
Implementing integrated call support can give a business the edge over others with the same product. Customers will be more likely to stick with that brand thanks to the good service, well trained staff and personal treatment. Improved efficiency will also ensure that the cost-per-call is kept to a minimum.
The reality is that businesses need to offer more than their competitors, and integrated call support can improve the customer experience tenfold.
Wanting to integrate call support in your contact centre? Arrange a free trial with EvaluAgent or get in touch for more information on our platforms.