By Michael Haisten
Enterprises that decide to offer a callback option enable their customers to avoid quite possibly the most frustrating problem with call centers, excessive hold times. In cases where the callback option is presented via the company’s website or mobile application, customers are also able to skip navigating an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, another frequent source of frustration. By allowing customers to choose whether they want to wait on hold or receive a callback at a convenient time, enterprises are providing a sense of empowerment which results in increased levels of satisfaction and loyalty.
On the other hand, the enterprise is able to more evenly spread its demand throughout the day. Agent productivity and service levels are improved by shifting calls from busy periods to the slowest periods. Idle time in the call center is reduced. Callbacks also reduce the number of abandoned calls which can increase sales and revenue.
So how is callback technology best implemented? Here are some rules of thumb, many of which are slightly modified concepts from regular inbound calls. Continue reading
By Michael Haisten
Waiting on hold to speak with a real person in a call center is a common complaint among consumers. So common that television shows and companies alike have capitalized on our collective pain by making fun of these frustrating experiences. Saturday Night Live performed the Julie skit, and Discover created its line of advertisements starring Peggy. A British study, commissioned in 2011 by the mobile network giffgaff, went so far as to indicate that waiting on hold for longer than 5 minutes and 58 seconds could actually lead to minor health problems due to increased blood pressure and anxiety.
Some companies are starting to listen to their customers, however, and are offering callbacks as an alternative to waiting on hold. Callbacks can be offered in a phone menu, website, or mobile application. I think most people and businesses would agree that a 10 minute wait time is generally a poor experience – a call center failure. But the first time I used such a service, I received a callback in exactly 10 minutes, and I thought it was a customer service breakthrough. I even told everyone at work the next day how great it was! It certainly beat the alternative of being captive to my phone line waiting on hold. It got me thinking about the fun or productive things people could be doing every day rather than waiting on hold with the companies we patronize.
Here’s my top 10: Continue reading
By Edwin Margulies
(Part I of III)
Mobile apps are evolving. And the thrill for practitioners of customer service is they are becoming more service-aware. At first, Smartphone apps were mere stripped-down web sites. But now, the Smartphone modality shows great potential for taking a front seat in customer care.
So what’s missing?
What’s missing from most customer-facing enterprise mobile care applications is real collaboration. That is concierge services, feedback loops, and even private, secure communications.