Thursday, July 4, 2013

Ideas to reduce your Agent talk time in an Inbound Call Center

In this article, we will discuss on how to improve agent productivity by discussing on various ideas with which Agent's Talk Time can be reduced. Call center software solution should look at reducing the agent talk time as much as possible. The premise for this discussion is that the Agent / Call Center Executive is the costliest resource in the system and every thing else works around them to help and maximize the Agent's efficiency.

Some of these are common sense and most common practices across Contact Centers. Some of them are specific to how the agent talks and walks the script with the customer. We have listed them down all here:
  1. Have Cheat sheets -
    • Ready made information like phone numbers of branches , Escalation numbers where you need to transfer etc. Some of this information can be stored in your contact center software itself like transfer number lists, conference numbers etc - This feature is part of our product 
    • Some data will be specific to your process, like if you are a cab operator you will find that having all the operator numbers listed ( easy to search) will shorten your talk time, or like having all numbers of bus operators will help in case you run a call center for a travel operator
  2. Your Contact Center software should be integrated with your CRM ( CTI integration) for giving a POP to the agent with the customer information. It has been observed that POP helps reduce Agent talk time by almost 30% in various processes.
    • Here at Cloud Agent , we ensure that all our customers experience this efficiency by integrating their CRM systems. We have integrated almost 30 different CRM systems till date.
  3. Incoming Number display - Agents will have ready made reference of the customer number and they need not spend time in asking the number.
  4. Script:  Having a script which is related to your process is another way to reduce your agent talk time. The agents can quickly get the problem addressed. Obviously, the script is an evolving phenomena and has to be changed based on feedback received periodically. Script reduces talk time by 10% especially in support contact centers
  5. Skill Based Routing:  Diagnosing the customer problem/ needs in the IVR itself by providing options in the IVR is another way to reduce talk time. The moment call lands on the agent screen, your agent is equipped with information on what the customer wants. This works best in tandem with Screen POP and is the most effective feature.

There are lot of ways to reduce talk time or eliminate the need to talk to an agent in the IVR itself. You can refer to our previous blog for this -

Hope to save some bucks for you ...Cheers