27 February 2019

Callback: The contact centre’s secret weapon in the battleground that is, customer experience.

By: Charlotte Houston


Greater competition and growing consumer power have eroded traditional product- and service-based differentiation factors, forcing firms to seek new, more durable forms of competitive advantage. Many businesses, (and rightly so) have turned their attention to the customer experience, making it a top priority in their fight for consumers loyalty.

“It’s estimated that by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator”. – SuperOffice, 2019.


But if customer experience is the new battleground, then what is the best weapon for contact centres to equip themselves with? In this blog, we explore callback and why we feel it’s the best choice.


The wait is over!

If you were asked what you hate the most about call centres no doubt you would straight away think about long wait times, annoying hold music and those frustrating, repetitive automated messages:


“Your call is important to us please wait for the next available agent…”


What makes callback technology so valuable is that it totally eradicates any of that. Customers have the option to request a callback instead of waiting - as soon as an agent’s available or at a time that suits them best. Given that 60% of customers feel that even one minute of hold time is too much it seems sensible to have such a system in place to improve those all-important customer satisfaction ratings.

 

Reduce spikes in call centre traffic

Spikes in call centre traffic are a common problem, mainly because it’s difficult to forecast how many agents you’ll need on a given day. Forecast too many agents, and you’ll be overspending, forecast not enough, and you’re sure to receive complaints. Multi award-winning telecommunications and internet service provider, Zen Internet experienced exactly this problem. Unpredictable spikes in call volume in their contact centre led to long queue times and high abandon rates. Having tried and failed to manage the problem in-house, Zen invested in callback as the solution. You can read the full case study and learn about how callback turned things around for Zen here:

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Improve your metrics.


People don’t like waiting, so in a typical situation they will hold on in the queue for a while and then end the call, this increases the contact centre’s abandon rate. The caller then might try to call back later which increases the number of calls made to the contact centre. Then, when the customer finally speaks with someone, the chances are that person is upset as they’ve had to call back. The call then takes twice as long to deal with which increases the average handle time metric. So as you can see, long wait times have a knock-on effect for many different metrics throughout the department.

Introducing a callback system means customers have no wait time; this significantly reduces abandonment rates as customers no longer feel frustrated and hang up. What’s more, when you call the customer back at the time agreed they’re left feeling impressed at the high level of service they have received.


What’s good for customers is good for you.


Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Yes, callback does come at a cost; it’s usually around £0.06 per callback minute in the UK. However, it’s important that businesses stop looking at the contact centre like it’s a cost centre and start looking at it like it’s a profit centre. It’s estimated that 40% of organisations focus on reducing costs rather than investing in the customer experience. This, we feel is where they’ll fall short, opening up the playing field and giving an advantage to those that are willing to arm themselves with tools like callback.

We believe what’s good for customers is good for business. If your customers have a good experience because of an investment you’ve made in the contact centre, then it will pay for itself in satisfaction ratings, referrals and positive reviews. Here’s a stat from SuperOffice that completely validates this point.

‘86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience’ – SuperOffice, 2019.


Increased conversion rates and more sales

Callback is particularly rewarding if your contact centre manages sales related calls. If you wanted to work out the return on investment of a callback solution all you’d need to do is work out what the ‘opportunity cost’ is of a missed call and multiply that by the amount of calls saved with callback (minus your costs of course). You’d be surprised at how much you can increase conversion rates and improve the sales numbers when you’ve got the opportunity to talk to more people.


What else can it do?

In-queue callback isn’t the only type of callback either, like many other technologies its capabilities have grown rapidly over the last few years. Now, callback can be offered from practically any channel the contact centre might offer and its extended capabilities mean it’s a wider asset to any business. Let’s look at some examples of how callback can be used, outside of the typical in-queue application.



Callback for outbound campaigns.

SMS campaigns that include interactive callback requests are one of the extended uses of callback. Customers can simply reply to an SMS message to request a personal callback as soon as an agent is free, or they can schedule a callback at a time that suits them best. To find out about the many benefits of SMS with callback you can watch our short explainer video.



Callback with surveys.

You can gather feedback from customers via SMS and automated interactive voice calls (IVR) but what if a customer leaves negative feedback? With integrated callback technology it’s no problem, the solution lets you reach out swiftly to that customer, giving you the chance to address their concerns and turn a negative customer experience into a highly positive one.


What you need to know before investing in callback.

If by now you’ve realised that callback is the secret weapon in the battle between brands to capture consumer attention, then you might be considering implementing it. We just want to give you some tips/things to consider before you do. This next section is our guide on what to look out for in a callback solution.

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Look for a ‘platform agnostic’ callback solution.

Platform agnostic means that the callback solution works with phone calls coming into the contact centre instead of working with, and being dependant on, the contact centre software itself. You’ll find a lot of contact centre solution and telephony providers will offer callback as an extension of a built-in application but in this scenario, it might be tricky to transition if you want to change platforms in the future. Also, as platform agnostic solutions are cloud-based, another benefit to consider is that it’s extremely fast to deploy which means a quicker return on investment. It would also be more effective with multiple site businesses as it only takes one deployment instead of one per site. Finally, you’ll tend to find that platform agnostic solutions carry more features, so it’s well worth thinking about before you jump straight in.



Choose a solution that provides callers with an escalation path to voice from any channel.

As we mentioned before, it’s consumers and their demands that are responsible for this push towards improving the customer experience and part of their requirements are that they need to be able to communicate using their preferred channel. 80% adults and 91% of teens use messaging apps every day, so choose a solution that lets you offer callback from any and all channels instead of just voice.



Choose a solution that gives you enough flexibility and granularity with timeslots.


You’ll want an intelligent solution that lets you have granular control over timeslots. The worst-case scenario using a callback solution would be people not getting a callback at the requested time. You’ll need to be able to manage this within the settings of the platform; choosing a solution that has an easy-to-use interface and tight timeslot controls will mean you’ll never have to worry about this being an issue.



Well, that’s the end of our guide, but please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions. You can use our Buzzeasy callback service!  Simply dial: +441789330103 and we'll call you back at a time that suits you. 

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