Big data is the biggest thing in business. But without the right tools, being able to extricate every single byte of data from your company’s processes just leaves behind a pile of raw, unstructured data.
You need the algorithms and machine learning tools to go through the information. Here are five ways to start converting all of your customer calls into data that’s useful for every department.
1. Pull invisible trends out of your data.
Analyzing phone calls helps your department learn what to expect after a business shift. A new product, a patch release, or a data center outage across the country can all cause a sudden influx in your number of calls. While you have no way to prepare the first time an emergency happens, knowing the trends gives you a heads’ up the second time.
Not only do the managers know to increase the number of scheduled representatives right after a version release, they can know how many people they need. When fiscal and tax years come to the end, you can plan ahead so you have the right number of expert employees who can be dedicated to complex calls and which ones should be directed to newer employees.
2. Make a playbook of explanations.
Scripts are a great resource for call centers. Research centers across the world have spent millions of dollars researching the best ways to efficiently establish a caller’s identity and word questions for maximum clarity. Scripts also ensure that HIPAA regulations and PII policies are being followed for absolute compliance.
However, scripts don’t always work. Your call center employees need to know how to provide answers when things go off-script, especially if it’s about something technical. Start rating calls at various degrees of success and tag the sections according to the subject matter; depending on your software, smart programs might be able to do this over time. This indexable resource gives employees a place to go to find answers. Even if they don’t repeat the call word for word, they can use the reference to better direct the caller without increasing the frustration level.
You can also use raw phone files as just the starting point. If calls about similar subject matter are breaking down into customer frustration and complaints, bring in someone from the relevant department for a meeting. They may have more insight into the customer-facing portal and the underlying functionality so you can see where the prepared scripts start to go wrong.
3. A/B test different answers.
Sometimes industry standards aren’t specific enough for your business. There may be easy scripts for verifying personal details and double-checking payment records, but distinct products need distinct support resources. Start filling in the gaps in your scripts methodically. Brainstorm likely good answers to specific questions and situations. Then start having different employees test the different answers for effectiveness.
Your goal is to provide quick, clear customer service on the first call. So start researching your options so you can reduce call lengths and callbacks. Every answer you can prove with research is going to be better than every employee trying to improvise an answer to an angry audience.
Use your VoIP files to measurably prove success. Without analyzable files, you would just have to measure the total call length and the representative’s opinion on the customer’s final mood. But better raw files let you analyze the length of the relevant section, search for keywords that are associated with satisfaction or frustration, and back up your changes to the script.
4. Build up a training resource.
New employees are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to working in a customer support call center, especially if they are an entry-level employee. They don’t know your products and services, and they’re unfamiliar with how to handle callers. The more resources you can put at their fingertips without overwhelming, the better they can perform once their initial training is over. Automatically transcribe model calls into searchable text so employees can look for answers.
VoIP files are also useful during the first few weeks of an employees tenure. Your company’s files will include both good and bad call examples. Now that you have easily accessible audio files, new employees can hear the wrong and right answers for themselves. They can also pick up on the patterns of how you want representatives to answer, from the first hello to the final call to action.
More than that, raw data is a training resource for your machine learning algorithms. Programs that are learning how to categorize data usually need supervision; that is, they need a “study packet” of already categorized data so they can study those patterns and make educated guesses. The sooner you start using VoIP files as more than an archive, you can get machines to categorize calls to the appropriate representatives, flag calls in the moment, and predict gaps in training resources.
5. Tie customer tickets into the CRM.
The importance of big data doesn’t stop in the customer support department. Your company’s marketing and sales departments also rely on data to optimize company revenue from each client. They start collecting data before the clients start calling you. If you have business to business products and services, then those two departments are amassing data on everything from their location to their predicted growth. They build relationships, reach out to contacts, and keep their accounts in the green.
But how the customers interact with the products and services of a sale matter just as much. Recurring customers are much more profitable than new customers, even just through the man hours of nurturing leads. So if a client (and their employees) are regularly confused, irritated, and unable to use the product, that tells their account manager if the customer will renew or if they need more attention. Customer calls about a certain functionality could tell salespeople that the client is ready for an up-sell.
It’s not the customer service department’s role to push these opportunities down the pipeline to sales. But when the files can be easily organized and attached to their total account profiles, salespeople and marketers can find the information for themselves.
Having that sort of insight even after the sale is complete matters in 2018. Customers are increasingly basing their loyalty on a good experience. Competition in every industry is fierce, and it’s even more important to retain clients than it is to search for new ones. Find customer service software that can help you get started at Vision Helpdesk here.