Top Seven Benefits of a True Blended Call Center Environment
The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) once reported that true blended or two-way communication “between the call center and the customer can enable a positive impact on the customer experience and operational efficiencies.” The organization also found that most survey participants view blended call center environments as an integral part of adding revenue, increasing customer satisfaction and improving inbound and outbound metrics such as service level and abandonment rates.
ICMI’s findings highlight the importance of accommodating modern-day consumers, who expect to reach a business at any time, on any channel and on practically any device. This “anytime, anywhere” mindset makes a blended call center approach paramount for businesses seeking to efficiently and effectively attract new customers and keep existing ones.
But meeting customer expectations is only one reason to consider deploying a cloud-based blended call center technology. While the platform will allow your agents to reach and be reached by customers at any time and anywhere, the real reasons to invest in it are the benefits it provides to your customers, agents and business.
Below are the seven top benefits of a blended call center environment.
What if you could assign agents to inbound or outbound calls based on the volume of each? That’s precisely what call center managers can do with a holistic cloud-based call center solution. Inbound agents are automatically transitioned to outbound calling when incoming calls are low and vis versa. When inbound call volumes are high, outbound campaigns can be paused as agents make live inbound calls a priority. Even better, the transitions are automated within the solution, increasing your visibility into the ebb and flow of calls and agent work performance.
Agent and overall operational efficiency certainly receive a great deal of attention. Efficiency increases in a blended call center environment, primarily because of the flexibility noted above and technologies like predictive dialing. Optimizing agents’ time by seamlessly switching between inbound and outbound calling, more effectively routing calls to qualified agents, integrating with popular business solutions and even the ability to include agents who work remotely helps drive efficiency across the board.
All of those efficiency gains result in increased productivity. An example can be found with automated call distribution or tiers. When an agent isn’t available for a particular call, it’s automatically directed to the next available agent. This not only decreases wait time but also increases customer satisfaction and the number of calls handled by every agent.
With truly blended call center environments, managers also have access to much-needed insights with real-time reports, charts and analyses that can be evaluated to drive productivity further.
4. Customer Satisfaction
Speaking of customer experiences and satisfaction, blended call centers are key to improving both. ICMI has already found that two-way communication does wonders for the customer relationship. Not only are customers able to access representatives more quickly, but call center agents have the answers they need at their fingertips with custom scripting and manager-agent chat capabilities. With improved communication behind the scenes facilitated by cloud-based call center technology, satisfaction should always increase because customers receive the answers they need precisely when they need them.
5. Workplace Satisfaction
Customers aren’t the only beneficiaries in the blended call center. Employees are, too. Because the technology features a blend of inbound and outbound calls, agents have the opportunity to learn new skills. Advanced reporting can even help managers identify agents who might need extra training to improve their existing skills, so workers feel supported and encouraged rather than discouraged and left behind if they’re struggling to meet performance metrics.
Blended environments also allow agents to see various calls in a day, which can help keep them interested in and engaged with their work. Finally, cloud-based call center technologies offer comprehensive support for inbound and outbound calls, meaning agents spend less time looking for information and more time sharing it with the people who need it.
6. Increased Revenue
It may come as a surprise, but blended communication is the secret to cross-selling and upselling. When customers feel that they’re heard, they’re more likely to listen and act upon what your agents have to say. They become amenable to the idea of increasing service, purchasing a value-added offering or renewing a contract.
7. Strategic Forecasting
Without cloud-based call center technology, it can be difficult to forecast demand accurately and implement strategies. With it, you can examine internal and external trends, establish metrics, monitor results and refine your operations accordingly. Plus, you can use the technology to improve almost anything, be it individual agent productivity or overall operational effectiveness.
As an added bonus, you can scale up or down to meet demands once you know when you need more agents. For example, if you experience an increased number of inbound calls from customers paying down a balance on their account during tax season once they receive their refunds, or you notice that your agents are able to connect a high volume of outbound calls in the late afternoon, you can staff your call center accordingly.
These are just 7 of the many possible benefits your call center can experience with a blended cloud-based solution. You’re also likely to see higher service level ratings, fewer abandoned calls and lowered wait times. The first step to achieving those results is making an investment in cloud-based call center technology that enables a truly blended call center.
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