Seven tips to make your call center mobile-ready

Spoken | August 9, 2016

mobile phone call centerIn recent years, we’ve seen explosive growth in mobile technology. So much so that it’s truly affected how the majority of us approach life. Thanks to the smart phones and tablets we carry with us, we now can access information on the spot. Gone are the days that we are required to wait until we get home to contact a business or place an order because we needed to be seated at our desktop to do so. Mobile technology enables us to do all this and more while we’re out and about. This shift has made it necessary for businesses to ensure that their websites are now mobile friendly.

For those of us who make our living in the industry that services these calls, the mobile shift has brought with it a new set of challenges. In fact, in 2010, we hosted a webinar on The Mobile Game-Changer–check out the audio and slides. And let’s not forget that caller expectations in the age of Siri have vastly increased and have a great effect on what customers expect from the caller experience.

As the customer becomes more mobile, the call center has to adapt in order to best service this new mobile customer. So, how does the call center do this? In an article published earlier this year, Gary Schwartz, President and CEO of Impact Mobile, offers some insight:

“At its core, the call center will continue to focus on availability, information accuracy and consistency. While voice communication will remain the call center’s pillar, here are a number of key next-generational services that can complement and enhance the live operator experience.”

Seven tips to make your call center mobile-ready

  • Mobile triggers to reach the call center The quick mobile access of # or * needs to be available everywhere.
  • On-hold omnichannel selection Take advantage of on-hold time to offer mobile callers options that can help decrease abandonment rates, such as redirecting to a website, a smartphone app or even email or social media service options.
  • Disconnect mitigation strategies Make sure a trigger is in place to re-enter the caller into the priority line (such as a push to text service, call back service or instant SMS notification) in case the call is dropped.
  • End of call information push Send virtual “sticky notes” via opt-in SMS to mobile callers with tim-sensitive information.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys Always move a live call into a mobile CSAT survey customers can complete at their convenience. Tip: Text-based surveys yield much higher response rates than IVR surveys for the mobile customer.
  • CRM push follow-up Acquire an opt-in to future communication from the caller to enable timely follow-up using the customers preferred channels.

How to modernize your voice channel

In the age of smartphone and Siri, callers expect the voice channel to be just as simple and elegant as a smartphone app or an SMS message.

Siri and smartphone virtual assistants like it have affected the modern contact center with the promise of Star Trek: the dream of Star Trek was the elegance of saying “Computer, shields up!” and having the command carried out instantly. But most Interactive Voice Response systems fall short of that promise, which is one reason why additional communication channels are on the rise.

But that dream of an elegantly effective voice channel is still alive today: in a Forrester survey, 79% of respondents reported they still prefer the phone to other customer service channels. Ten percent actually reported preferring using the automated speech recognition system. In short, we cannot forget the voice channel when talking about making your call center mobile-ready!

How to make your voice channel mobile-ready

  • Don’t assume that the old 80/20 rule still applies. Most of your callers will have attempted to self-serve online first, so it’s more likely that their issue falls outside the FAQs.
  • Find out what your top 100 queries are. Don’t assume you know why your callers contact you; rely on actual data. And don’t limit to the top 10 queries anymore—that’s so 1990. Instead, compile a list of the top 100 queries your front line agents address daily.
  • Train for the long tail. Since the queries are becoming more complex, you’ll discover that among your top 100 topics, there is significantly more variety than there was ten or even just five years ago
  • It’s not either/or. It’s no longer a choice of either speech recognition automation or 100% human, and never the twain shall meet.