Callback Requests: Implementing Smart Technology
By Chris Recio, Director of Contact Center and Advanced Applications
It’s really important to understand from an organizational standpoint, “What does my team actually go through, and how is that working?”
What needs to be done in order to improve our customer experience and our day-to-day operations? How can implementing smart technology eliminate potentially irritating situations for our customers and staff?
In a way, your system is tactically responding to situations, whereby obviously, there are always cases where you need supervisors, floor leads to be tactically responding to things that happen in real time.
Your system can also help fill in those particular gaps when things are negatively impacting your customers. Let your system take the reins, and let it figure out what the best solution is for that.
Over the last 10 years we’ve started to see the rise of things like chat and email support.
How well do we multitask really?
A lot of that has come from this standpoint of, “If I pull up a chat to communicate with my cell phone vendor, then I can multitask while I wait for the response,” and so forth.
But we all know that multitasking, in this day and age, it’s kind of shifted, where multitasking is something that technically is probably not possible.
Our brains can’t really focus on more than one thing at once, and so it’s really something where you’re pulling up this chat window, and you’re having this conversation, trying to focus on other things, but you’re not really focused on either thing very well.
If instead, you’ve got a call center where someone can engage and say, “Hey, you know what? I want you to call me whenever you’ve got time to focus on me.” That’s great. I love that.
I would use my phone so much more with certain vendors if that was the option that was presented to me, because that’s so much easier.
Technology has gotten so much smarter in recent years, and you need to use that to your advantage to better serve your customers.
They will appreciate it. They will value their engagements with you so much more if the technology is helping with these kinds of situations. That’s getting the right information to the right people.
Callback Features & Goal Setting
Is the callback feature only available through Contact Center?
It’s pretty much a Contact Center functionality, and more specifically, it’s part of the IVR processing, so look at several different Contact Center solutions and work with four to five different ones. They all offer it on the Contact Center side.
That’s not to say that’s the only place that I could position it; we can always be creative, but 9 times out of 10, it’s in the Contact Center perspective.
How do you set a goal? A goal’s going to come from on high. “What are our big operational rocks and goals for this given quarter?” and “Is this the right goal, and is this actually driving a successful impact for our team?”
I’ve got basically a six‑step process that I like to think through and refine my way through when I’m working with a team who’s trying to set a goal.
This process is a circle, and I want you to understand that out of the gate, because this is something that you are going to walk step‑by‑step through, and then rinse and repeat.
The first step in an SLA process is figuring out what is the actual goal that you are working on defining? What is the impact or the high‑value target that you set?
Step two is taking that particular metric and looking at, “What’s our SLA right now?” You’ve defined, “We want to improve our speed of answer,” or, “We want to set that particular goal appropriately.”
First things first. What’s your current SLA? How do you have that set right now?
Then you want to move on to your next step, step three. Use that metric. Take a look at, “How are you performing against your current SLA, and then define a more achievable SLA. How do you do that?
Here’s what you’re going to find out. We’ve set our goal at 30 seconds, but on average, we’re picking up our phone in 45 seconds.
The second thing is you want to evaluate, “I’ve got this goal, but is that actually the best goal for my team?” You might look at something like, “How long is it taking before my abandoned callers hang up the phone?”
When you have a caller that waits, and waits, and waits, and hangs up the phone, when do they typically jump off that call? Maybe you find out that that’s at a minute.
That’s where, then, we get into some of the more tactical metrics. That’s where, once you’ve identified that, “OK, we’ve set a goal, and we’ve done this strategically.
“We’ve said, ‘OK, we know that our callers, on average, are willing to wait about a minute for us.
The goal cycle
Feed that into your tactical analytics. Have thresholds and triggers that alert any time you breach that new goal, and tell your managers about that, your managers and your supervisors. Communicate that down to the team.
Then what you want to do is start to re‑evaluate that goal. Poll your managers. “How often are we breaching this goal? How is your team doing at this?”
You can look back at the data and see this, but it’s really important to get that anecdotal perspective, as well. You can see on a trend, “Hey, are we meeting up to this?”
You want to set achievable goals, things that are steps on their way to the broader perspective and goal you’re trying to get to.
Poll your managers, “Is your team succeeding in this? Are they feeling a little bit frustrated by this?”
Cycle back through that feedback loop. “We’ve taken this information. We’ve figured out that maybe this goal was a good goal, maybe it wasn’t a good goal. We’re going to redefine what our goal is going forward.”
Here’s the other thing that happens a lot of times. People will run through this process, take time to answer, again, as the example, they’ll set their new goal. They’ll get it down to their goal.
This SLA process is something you want to be consistently and fluidly concerning, thinking about, and adapting to.
It’s not always something where just setting a goal and working with your team to try to make your agents achieve that goal is going to be the thing that solves the problem.
Sometimes the answer or the solution is, rather than working with your team to be tactically responsive to an alarm that’s going off, work with your system to be tactically responsive to those alarms.