How to Improve Call Handling

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Handling calls efficiently is essential for any business, regardless of size or industry. Customers want to know that there is adequate support for them after they commit to a purchase and they want to know that their case can be handled in a reasonable amount of time. Surveys from Hubspot and Salesforce came up with a few interesting findings:

  • 88% of consumers hold customer experience with the same value as the products and services they are receiving from the company.
  • 91% of consumers believe that good customer support builds trust.

Building this sort of trust encourages your customers to continue their customer journey with your brand. A longer customer journey means more chances for them to buy more products and services in the future. 

Let’s look at the advantages of cloud-based VoIP systems for PBX and the best practices for setting up VoIP systems in your organization. Take advantage of the latest VoIP features and improve your call handling.

Using Cloud Based VoIP Systems

Cloud-based VoIP systems offer a number of benefits that make customer support easier to manage. First, they increase efficiency by allowing calls to be handled more quickly and easily. This is because cloud-based VoIP systems are built on a scalable platform that can handle high volumes of calls and messaging. Additionally, they reduce cost and complexity by automating many of the tasks that are currently handled manually, such as routing calls to the most appropriate team members, getting back to customers about filed issues and managing customer records.

Another benefit of using cloud-based VoIP systems is that they also keep track of which team members have been assigned which calls so that wait times for customers are reduced significantly. This allows employees to provide an enjoyable experience for customers, which leads to higher customer retention rates over time.

Besides providing improved customer service, cloud-based VoIP systems also offer increased flexibility for remote employees. Employees can work from anywhere and connect to the cloud-based PBX seamlessly, which makes it easy to bring on more support staff for peak times. Cloud-based VoIP is easy to integrate with CRMs and other business applications so that you can keep track of all your customer support in one place.

Advantages of Automating Call Handling

Here are some of the advantages that automated systems have over manual systems:

1.  Customer support costs –  Automated call handling can save on expenses by automating common tasks and screening for possible abuse or fraud.

2. Efficiency in call handling –  Automated call handling can improve the efficiency of customer service by reducing the amount of time spent on routine calls.

3. Managing call volume –  With cloud-based VoIP, companies can handle a large volume of calls without running, scaling solutions with the volume. 

4. More time to invest in customer experience –  Better call handling means companies can better manage and monitor the customer experience throughout the customer support part of their journey. Make sure that customers have a positive interaction with your company at every point of contact.

5. Quality assurance –  By automating certain aspects of call handling, you can create an effective quality assurance tool for your company’s operations. This will help you detect issues before they cause problems for your customers and allows you to take corrective action quickly when necessary.

How to Improve Call Handling

First Call Resolution (FCR)

Customer support can be broken down into several stages but the most important is the first step, otherwise known as first call resolution. 93% of consumers say they expect to have their problem resolved within the first call to customer support. This is huge. Every time that a customer calls in with a problem is a chance to improve trust in your brand by addressing the matter in as complete of a manner as possible in order maintain their trust and satisfaction.

There are a number of operating procedures that can be taught to support staff to greatly increase call handling and in turn customer experience right from the start.

Use Intelligent Routing

Intelligent call routing, aka skill-based call routing is the process of routing calls to the best agent for the job, as opposed to whomever is available at the time. As inbound calls are received they are first screened for the purpose of the call and then forwarded to the right department or personnel for addressing that category of support. This is a good way of making sure that customer issues are resolved speedily and within the first call. This builds positive customer experiences as well as further trust in the brand.

There are still many businesses with a catchall or general customer support process. Troubleshooting problems with staff that may not be familiar enough with the area of support needed can leave customers feeling frustrated and unsatisfied with the level of support they are receiving.  Another problem with generalized call support is that it creates longer wait queues. Of course this can be offset by hiring more call support staff but this creates more needless overhead. 

With intelligent call routing customers are directed right away to specialized customer support, reducing wait times, problem resolution times and error handling.

By integrating customer data with intelligent call handling the process can be further optimized. Customer data contains a lot of useful information like preferred language, preferred call times for callbacks, call support history, products bought and any customizations to their received goods previously recorded. Unique customer IDs can allow for quick call forwarding to the right areas of support. In some cases calls may even be directed to specific support staff that the customer is already acquainted with for smoother customer support.

Develop Customer Profiles

For further intelligent call handling customer profiles can be formed in order to deliver more customized customer support journeys. These are profiles that encompass a sort of archetype for inbound callers. 

New customers – Customers that are contacting customer support for the first time may need additional hand holding to help them navigate your procedures. It may be beneficial to some organizations to have dedicated staff for receiving these calls before forwarding them personally to the right areas. Once these customers are taught about the areas of support related to their purchase and problems they are given the tools necessary for fast tracking them to that resource should they ever need it again.

Loyal or high value customers – These customers have a track record of multiple purchases or high level purchases or just an overall lengthy customer lifetime value. These are the people that are willing to continue with the journey with your brand for years to come and are treated with a deeper relationship than first time callers. They may have dedicated agents or execs that handle their cases personally.

High call customers – These are repeat callers. They might have a problem that requires ongoing investigation and repeat follow ups. They need to be assured of the progress of their case and provided with encouraging feedback at short and regular intervals over several hours or days in some cases.

Unsatisfied customers – These customers are disgruntled (either with the level of customer support or their product) and are seeking high levels of support or looking to end their customer journey with the brand. They should be forwarded to customer retention personnel for skilled agents to help ease their frustration and work together with them to bring them back into their customer journey.

Customizing VoIP Systems in Your Customer Support Needs

It is important to realize that VoIP is not just for voice calls. With the right integrations, VoIP can be used for video conferencing and prerecorded voice messages. When integrating other communications tools with your VoIP system, you can create a truly unified communication platform for your customer support team.

It is important to establish SOPs for using the VoIP system for call handling. This will ensure that everyone knows how to handle calls correctly and where to forward certain types of calls based on the user’s needs and staffing at the time. Assigning specific roles and responsibilities will also help to manage the system more efficiently. Train employees on how to utilize call handling and how to address the identified customer personas. Analyze call logs and customer tickets to find ways to improve call handling and customer satisfaction from customer support. 

Additional software can be integrated into the customer service management process to enhance the call handling experience for staff and customers alike. This can include your CRM for keeping track of where the customer is in their journey and to identify their customer persona. It can also include systems for tracking customer feedback and email campaigns to nurture feedback. 

Security threats posed by VoIP systems should always be considered when setting up an office phone system in your business. By following our best practices for VoIP security, you can safeguard your organization against security threats that waste the time of customer service reps and diminish calling experiences.

Making Sure Your VoIP Setup Enhances Customer Communication

If you run a business that doesn’t need a lot of the onsite infrastructure offered by more robust in-house VoIP solutions, then you will want to focus on a cloud-based VoIP PBX solution. This allows you to operate with remote staff using their own equipment. Cloud solutions are packed with tons of features  that can be managed easily from a management console by your internal IT staff or via a managed service provider (MSP). 

By understanding the advantages of automating call handling and using cloud-based VoIP systems, businesses can significantly improve their call handling capabilities. With these tools at your disposal, you will be able to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction in no time.

Kevin H.
Kevin H.

Kevin has been fascinated with the internet and technology since a young age. He progressed to a profession in information systems and later digital marketing which exposed him to new avenues through the businesses that he helped to support through their growth. Kevin breaks down topics related to improving business operations through IT systems.