Looking for ways to optimize your call center queue management and improve customer satisfaction? If not, you probably should be!
Because customers hate waiting on hold. PRWeb reports that 32% of customers are not willing to wait on hold at all. Eighty per cent say they want quicker responses from companies. And 69% of customers say they’ve abandoned a brand after a single bad customer service experience.
These numbers are alarming, but as they say, knowledge is power. If these stats illustrate the importance of queue management and the perils of keeping customers waiting on hold, then you’re on the right path.
Fear not! We can help. In this blog, we’ll explore the best practices for call center queue management. We’ll also provide tips for contact centers that manage customers – and queues – on other channels, including text, social media, and chat.
Best Practices for Call Center Queue Management
Use intelligent call routing
Intelligent call routing uses advanced algorithms to direct incoming calls to the appropriate agent based on things like language, skillset, and call history. This ensures that customers are connected with the agent best suited to respond to their problems. It results in faster resolution times and improved CSAT scores.
Deploy call-back technology
Robust call-back technology like Fonolo’s suite of call-back solutions allows customers to request a call-back instead of waiting on hold. This reduces wait times and gives customers the freedom to continue with their day while waiting for their turn in the queue. This technology has become even more important during the pandemic, as many people are working remotely and may not have the time to wait on hold for extended periods.
Monitor queue analytics
Call center managers can identify trends in call volume and wait times, and adjust staffing levels accordingly by monitoring queue analytics with queue management software. This ensures that there are enough agents available to handle peak call times and prevents customers from waiting in long queues and abandoning their calls. According to a study by Deloitte, optimizing staffing levels can reduce wait times by up to 80%.
Offer self-service options
Self-service options like FAQs and chatbots can help reduce call volume and wait times by letting customers find the information they need quickly and easily. Customers love self-service (one Forrester study says 72% of customers prefer it to a live call), which means it’s an opportunity to provide great CX while reducing costs and easing queue volumes.
Implement real-time monitoring
Real-time monitoring is another queueing solution that allows call center managers to track key metrics, such as call volume, wait times, and agent performance, in real-time. This allows managers to identify issues as they arise and make adjustments to improve service levels. Real-time monitoring is especially important during peak call times, as it allows managers to quickly respond to changes in call volume and prevent long wait times.
Use workforce management software
Workforce management software can optimize staffing levels, forecast call volume, and even create schedules. It helps managers match staffing to call volume and prevent long wait times. Workforce management software can also help improve agent performance by providing coaching and training opportunities.
Continuously measure and improve
Automation and self-service tools do not monitor themselves. Call center managers should continuously scan key metrics, including wait times, abandonment rates, and customer satisfaction scores, and make any needed adjustments to ensure great customer experience.
5 Queue Management Tips for Contact Centers
Customer service centers that respond to customers via text, social media, and other digital channels face unique challenges when it comes to queue management. Here are some tips for optimizing queue management beyond the phone queue:
1. Use automation to prioritize messages
Automation (such as prioritized ticketing) can help sort messages based on urgency and relevance, ensuring agents respond to the most important messages first.
2. Consider the customer journey
Your digital queue management system will vary depending on your customer journey. Is it a line for an appointment for a virtual doctor’s appointment, or a customer service call? Do you need a simple solution, or do you want to prioritize certain customers? Contact centers can use intelligent call routing and real-time monitoring to manage digital queues efficiently.
3. Integrate channels
Integrating channels can help prevent customers from being sent to multiple agents for the same issue. With an integrated system, agents can view a customer’s entire history across all channels, providing a seamless and efficient experience. Web Call-Backs are a great tool for seamlessly integrating digital callers to the voice channel by offering mobile or online customers a simple, self-serve interface to request a voice call-back.
4. Bring on the ‘bots
Chatbots can be used to automate responses to common customer inquiries, freeing up agents to handle more complex issues. By using chatbots, contact centers can also provide 24/7 support, even when agents are not available. Smart ‘bots can answer more complex queries, too.
5. Use social listening tools
Social listening tools can help contact centers identify any customer questions or problems that may not be directed at the company’s official social media account. By monitoring social media channels, contact centers can proactively address issues before they escalate.
Effective queue management is key to great CX, whether it’s a phone queue or a digital channel. These tips will help contact center managers improve service levels, reduce wait times, and increase customer loyalty.