Voicemail vs. Callbacks: Impact on Call Center CX

    Customer experience executives in all types of organizations continually evaluate call center activities to determine what methods work best for their company. And that’s not an easy task given the flood of emerging solutions to improve call center CX.

    Call center professionals spend an abundance of time researching costly new technologies and engagement options to help improve call center customer experience. Some of the shiny new solutions include artificial intelligence, machine learning, speech analytics, live chat, social collaboration and other engagement tools.

    Albeit they all have merit in the right circumstances, sometimes call center managers must make decisions on basic functionality such as using voicemail or callback methods for customer communications. They may seem outdated when compared to emerging technologies, but callback services or having the option to leave a voice message have proven to be a more personal approach. Proactive call center & QA managers know how to effectively use these fundamental tools to their advantage, what their impact on call center cx would be, and when alternative solutions are more appropriate.

    Moving calls through the call center

    Obviously, the goal of each call is to maximize customer satisfaction along with CX as efficiently and effectively as possible. Any movement that puts a customer further away from a speedy resolution, is a danger that should always be avoided. However, in the real-world calls may slip past agents whose time is currently preoccupied with managing their queue of customers. We can all relate to that dreaded ‘flashing red’ switchboard of panic!

    There is a fine balance between moving calls through the center and optimizing agent time. Emerging technologies help facilitate waiting customers, but sometimes there is a greater amount of incoming calls than the agents can handle at one time. That’s when call center executives need to rely on their tried and true methods… Hmm, but is that -voicemail or callbacks?

    While agents might be helping resolve as many inbound calls as they can, there can still be customers waiting to be served. Most of which are unable or unwilling to stay on hold until an agent becomes available. Adding voicemail-dedicated agents can be one solution, but does that really provide a good customer experience?

    Just moving calls around is not a viable solution unless you always have an agent available for every call (an unfeasible goal and extremely pricey). Essentially your running the risk of losing customers who need to talk to an agent who are in-turn denied that opportunity. Not every caller is willing to wait for a call back and if a customer needs to call in multiple times just to reach a live person, the result is… you guessed it - a very poor call center customer experience!

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    Setting the tone for customer satisfaction

    When implementing call center call routing, it’s imperative to keep customers in mind at all times and design a plan that provides the best call center journey. Generally, best practices for routing customer calls are typically via inbound agents, outbound agents or a blend of both.

    With that being said; tasking inbound agents with responding to voice mail messages can be a very labor-intensive process. Furthermore, that also takes the agents out of queue responding to live customer calls. Hiring outbound agents to only manage voicemail messages can be costly and counterproductive. If voicemail must be an option for customer responses; then it’s critical to use a mix of both inbound and outbound agents.

    Customer callback sends the right message and improves call center CX

    Many organizations could be better suited by avoiding voicemail in their call centers - not only because they are time-consuming tasks for agents, but sometimes could be perceived as a negative experience for customers. As in: “Talk to the Voicemail cause I’m busy!!!”. No one wants to feel as if he or she isn’t important enough to rate a live call with a company agent.

    In essence, call centers should work as hard as possible to create a frictionless experience from each customer interaction. Callbacks can be great tools for improving perceptions when it comes to customer engagement with our agents. The very act of offering a callback creates convenience instead of being sent to voicemail or staying on hold for an indefinite period of time. This could likely be the offering that radically boosts perceptions of a call center.

    A callback option keeps customers happy in high traffic periods because it offers them a choice, and they can go about their lives without being tethered to a phone. Callbacks are great options for agents, meanwhile providing next-level CX for clients.

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    3 Ways that Call-Backs Improve Your Call center

    1. Raises customer satisfaction

    Eliminating “waiting on hold” or “being sent to voicemail,” which are some common customer complaints when interacting with a call center. By using callbacks, customer satisfaction and call center CX is improved.

    2. Reduces abandonment rates

    Callers are more inclined to use the service if offered a callback, as opposed to staying on hold or being sent to voicemail.

    3. Reduces expenses

    Phone lines are not engaged when callers are left on hold for long periods of time. Callback services not only reduce on-call times but allows for more accurate billing costs.

    Today’s customers are more demanding than ever, and our society is inclined to share their dissatisfaction with a swift click on social media. This type of customer dissatisfaction can have far-reaching impact on your organization’s reputation and credibility. However, by getting the basics right this can be easily alleviated by integrating callback options that will improve overall CX in your call center.


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