Call avoidance in call centres is a common issue. It mostly happens because call centre agents are under a lot of pressure. While it may hurt customers and bring down customer satisfaction, it may have some advantages too!
This guide gives you new insights into the avoidance question and the causes of call avoidance. We also try to give you some proven methods to avoid calls in favor of the business and decrease the work pressure for the call centre agents.
What is Call Avoidance, and How It Happens?
If you have ever worked in a contact centre, you have probably dealt with more than your fair share of angry customers. However, people can be furious for a variety of reasons.
Put yourself in the customers’ shoes. You have probably had horrible service experiences and understand how frustrating it can be.
At the same time, it is critical to consider the contact centre agents. However, dealing with angry customers looking for someone to vent their frustrations on is a tiring and depressing experience.
Talking with angry customers all day can severely affect the agents’ mental and physical health over time.
It is no surprise that some call centre agents find it too much; some feel the temptation to avoid calls.
So the call centre agent avoids taking phone calls in many ways, including:
- Takes excessive breaks,
- Removes the phone so no customers can make a call,
- Use voicemail to avoid calls,
- Transfers call to other agents,
- Spends too much time on one customer to avoid dealing with other issues.
However, when call centre operators refuse to take specific calls, it fuels the fire for the companies that employ them.
Customers who already have a bone to pick with the business are unlikely to be impressed if they cannot reach the contact centre.
Call avoidance in call centres is the term for this issue. However, it is not enough to assume that the contact centre is immune to temptation and that all of your employees will reject it.
How to Deal with Call Avoidance in Call Centres
Now that we understand the importance of call avoidance in call centres, it is critical to take proactive measures to address it. For example, every business needs a call avoidance strategy.
Many companies have implemented rigorous call-handling procedures. In addition, it must ensure that clients receive the best possible service.
The necessity of a call avoidance policy is well acknowledged. However, few would dispute appropriate standards, guidelines, and requirements for ensuring customer experience uniformity.
Phone agents can benefit from a well-designed call avoidance policy. It defines their expectations and the types of requirements they must meet.
On the other hand, call avoidance policies can be highly rigorous to the point of being counterproductive.
Human mistake always is here. Therefore, any call avoidance approach must account for this issue. Furthermore, you must be aware of the pressures that your call centre agents face daily.
The way to your call avoidance strategy into action makes all the difference. It will go a long way toward determining if the plan achieves its goals of reducing call avoidance and ensuring that customers’ concerns are resolved quickly and efficiently.
Call avoidance strategy should be comprehensive and transparent, but it should also allow flexibility.
Every call avoidance strategy must understand the necessity of maintaining contact centre agents’ morale while avoiding excessive pressure.
How to Encounter Call Centre Agents?
call centre agents are frequently put under a lot of stress. Some people believe that this only applies to outbound callers.
Repeated phone calls attempting to sell things are, understandably, stressful. However, service calls are not always pleasant.
Dealing with a large number of unfavorable calls with agents is not pleasant. After all, just a tiny percentage of consumers phone a call centre to express their gratitude for the exceptional service.
Then there is a reasonable probability they break under pressure. The entire call centre’s atmosphere will likely suffer as team members fear retaliation and detest taking calls.
As a result, call avoidance methods must include the welfare of employees. However, call centre agents cannot perform to their full potential if call avoidance policies are overly strict and restrictive.
Agents, who have centre managers breathing over their necks the entire time, practically expecting them to make a mistake, will not perform to their full potential.
As a result, customer service standards will suffer, defeating the very purpose of employing the call avoidance approach in the first place.
Make sure to talk to call centre agents about their experiences. They had better share what they think a call avoidance strategy should look like openly and honestly.
They will be able to apply their expertise to assist you in developing a strategy that fulfills the needs of both employees and customers.
call centre personnel must be handled with care and respect to perform at their best. In this way, the customers and the business will benefit.
How to Prevent Agents from Avoiding Call Centres
Preventing call centre avoidance among agents is simply striking the correct balance.
Call avoidance policy should give agents clear instructions on how to take calls and what is expected of them.
It also needs to spell out what happens if people do not follow the policies. For example, sanctions may be necessary in some cases for those who violate your call avoidance policy.
These must, however, be implemented relatively and pragmatically at all times. On the other hand, using punitive actions should be a last resort.
It would be beneficial to remember what your agents face daily at work.
call centre agents will receive a fair, consistent, and reasonable call avoidance policy. A harsh approach, on the other hand, will backfire.
The call centre manager should be able to find the underlying cause of the problem and find acceptable design solutions if they take this method.
For example, you could train a chatbot to manage password resets. Then, implement a complete software update as an alternative. Whatever the case, your agents will appreciate your genuineness in approaching them and seeking their input.
Once your call avoidance strategy is in place, consult with team members frequently. It will provide real-time data on how successful it is and whether other parameters have changed.
How to Avoid Calls Without Losing Customers?
Businesses commonly use call avoidance to relieve agents of excessive workloads and reduce personnel costs.
Non-essential phone calls, such as inquiring about a company’s hours or location, can waste an agent’s time and cost the company money.
Consider the following methods when developing a call avoidance plan.
1. Automate Responses
An automated call response system may categorize calls and answer client inquiries. For example, simple inquiries that answer basic customer questions like your location, business hours, return policy, or special events might be asked.
If the automated message does not answer a customer’s question, you can still provide them the option to speak with a human.
However, because the automated voice system handles all low-priority or easy-to-answer calls, you can ensure that only more priority calls reach your agents.
2. Use Live Chat
A live chat solution can cut down on phone calls and improve customer service.
Some customers prefer to speak with businesses rather than use a live chat option, mainly if they are already on their website and see the “chat with us” call to action.
It is a cost-effective solution that can help agents minimize overall calls, just like texting.
You may pair your live chat with automated messages to answer FAQs like the phone tree.
3. Texting for Business
Texting software solutions can drastically reduce the number of calls your agents receive.
A text message allows an agent to handle two to three times the number of conversations that a phone call allows.
Texting is more cost-effective than making a phone call. For example, support teams might spend upwards of USD 12 per call session, whereas SMS costs cents.
Customers enjoy texting, and with business texting, they can communicate with your staff as quickly as they would with their friends and family.
It includes exchanging photographs or links, just as they would in a personal conversation.
4. Consider Self-service Features
A self-service page, such as a FAQ page, support centre, or company blog, can answer most consumers’ questions.
It is up to your company to make these self-service tools available and easy to use so that customers are aware of their existence.
You can link to your support centre or FAQ page, which will include your phone number and other contact information.
If clients text you outside of office hours or when all of your agents are busy serving other customers, you can send them an automated text message that directs them to self-service pages.
5. Display just SMS Number and Email address
You can reduce the number of calls you receive by gatekeeping your company number. Instead, make your company SMS number or email address public on your social media profiles.
If your company texting number is the same as your phone number, advertise it as a texting number with a call to action like “text us!” to encourage people to text rather than call.
6. Contact Customers in Advance
Another strategy to cut down on phone calls is to notify clients by text or email that you are accessible to help them via those channels.
Customers can text or email you after they buy your product or service, and they can utilize such channels to ask questions or express concerns.
If you know there is an issue that will drive customers to call, you can also reach out to them. That way, you can handle the situation ahead of time and avoid a flood of similar calls.
Make sure your customers have given you their permission to text them. Check out our post “Business SMS opt-ins: What they are and When You Need to Use Them” for additional information on what they are and how to get them.
The better your customer contact standards, the more effective your call avoidance program will be. If you can find a call avoidance solution that works for both your agents and your clients, you will have put your company on a lot more solid footing for the long run.
Customers must be satisfied, but an unhappy and demoralized crew will find it difficult to assist them. A practical strategy against call avoidance can assist agents in better satisfying the demands of clients.
From agent self-evaluation to performance metrics, to scorecards, a QA program can elevate your call centre team like never before.For more information about Scorebuddy - visit the Scorebuddy Website
Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.