Improve Call Center Efficiency: Process Management is The Key
04/05/2020 |

Improve Call Center Efficiency: Process Management is The Key

Call centers may handle several hundred inquiries every day.
Learn how you can make your processes more efficient and thus increase customer satisfaction.

phone on black desk in a call center using OTRS

Welcome to the call center. The phones ring all the time. When one hangs up, the next caller is already waiting in a queue. Everybody is talking at once; you can hardly understand a word. This is how you imagine an open-plan call center office. Nowadays, almost every company has such a communication center, adapted to its own requirements.

Did you know that a person speaks an average of 16,000 words a day? Well, a call center agent should be able to top this without much effort, because not only does he handle customer inquiries, but he also addresses customers proactively. The goals, of course, are to form a greater connection with the customer, increase customer loyalty and retention, and improve customer satisfaction. These goals also raise the question: How can a call center work more efficiently? After all, with many customers, the number of enquiries increases and with it the risk that the quality of processing will deteriorate if it is only a question of “processing quickly”.

So, it doesn’t help you if you simply think your call center agents are working successfully. You need to know! The performance of a call center can be improved by implementing processes and defining KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) as we’ll highlight in more detail.

While focusing on processes is a key part of improving call center efficiency, your processes must make room for flexibility so that you can quickly adapt to customer needs.

Flexibility Impacts Call Center Efficiency

While focusing on processes is a key part of improving call center efficiency, your processes must make room for flexibility so that you can quickly adapt to customer needs. For instance, it is important that a call center not just concentrate on pure telephone calls. Nowadays, customers communicate via a wide variety of channels, each one according to their personal preferences. Customers may call, write emails or make inquiries via social media. So stay flexible when it comes to communicating with your customers because this increases how efficiently a request can be first addressed.

Another example is the way in which OTRS offers you process flexibility. As you begin working with the system, our consultants take all the time in the world to build an incredibly efficient application based on your individual requirements by using the core of OTRS and many individual building blocks, like features and the process management module. Once the first implementation is successfully completed, the Customer Solution Team takes over. Just as a call center must always adapt flexibly to new circumstances, the same requirement applies to OTRS. This means that the software can be continuously adapted by the Customer Solution Team (or your internal team when you prefer). Therefore, throughout its use, incredible potential for improving business processes can be identified time and again and incorporated seamlessly into OTRS. This always follows our guiding principle: Software must fit the business processes and not the other way around.

An Example of How OTRS Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Call Center

OTRS is already successfully helping several call centers to effectively optimize their processes for more efficiency. These companies had problems keeping track of all kinds of incoming requests. As a process and service management suite, OTRS created solutions for them: It became their solution desk. The solution for each call center was that requests coming in through different channels are now handled in a meaningful, partly automated and clearly structured way. The software records each request and converts it into a ticket. Each ticket is then assigned to a responsible person who will process it reliably thereby increasing customer satisfaction. So, what makes this work?

Have you ever asked yourself how many customers were really successfully helped during the very first contact? This is definitely one of the most important call center KPIs.

Reporting Improves Efficiency.

Have you ever asked yourself how many customers were really successfully helped during the very first contact? This is definitely one of the most important call center KPIs. The first call resolution rate can be easily determined in OTRS by using the First Level Solution Rate and monitoring the first response time. When this falters, further steps to better customer care can be implemented.

Knowledge Bases Make For Faster Answers.

For example, a knowledge base can be integrated. Here, important best practices or information can be stored. While the customer is still on the phone, the call center agent can quickly see relevant knowledge entries from the database that are being displayed based on recognition of words within the case. This can increase the first resolution rate many times over, as sentences such as “I’ll find that out for you” will be a thing of the past.

Templates Ensure Clear Consistent Replies.

In addition, standardized templates, which have been predefined, offer the possibility to answer customers as quickly as possible. It does not matter whether the contact is made via an e-mail or phone call. Special forms prepared for recording telephone calls make it easier to document the call itself, so all call center agents can always see by which channel contact with the customer should be made.

The agent himself has quickly dealt with the reported incident, and fixed processes ran automatically in the background so that no actions were missed.

Let’s take a look at a more specific example:

A customer reports an incident to a company in the food industry, such as defiled yoghurt. In this case, a company must react immediately. The workflow would look something like:

  1. Call taken. The information is received and a call center agent documents the issue immediately. The agent selects the customer in the system, so that all relevant information about the customer who reported the incident is clear to everyone involved.
  2. Process automation begins. From now on, automation is the key to everything: The process management module can now “continue working” automatically.
  3. Customer reply and resolution. Now, OTRS automatically sends a response to the customer and at the same time orders a refund which is sent directly to the customer
  4. Automated reporting. At the same time, the information is sent to the quality or complaint management team through automation.

The agent himself has quickly dealt with the reported incident, and fixed processes ran automatically in the background so that no actions were missed.

OTRS is in many ways the perfect solution for a call center. Anyone can say that, right? But here come our facts:

  • Customer inquiries are reliably processed.
  • Time is saved through predefined forms.
  • Workload is reduced through automation.
  • First response time measures the amount of time before someone first touches a request.
  • First level solution rate measures the percentage of cases solved directly upon first contact.
  • The knowledge base offers the customer help within seconds.
  • Customers can reach your team through multiple channels: email, phone, social media, and a customer service portal.

Now that you have read so much about OTRS in action, we’ d love to hear from you. Ask about how setting up and improving your processes will make your call center operations more efficient. And remember that we always keep the goal in mind — satisfied and happy customers.

Text:
Photos: Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

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