Are call centres profit centres or cost centres?
That negative perception has rapidly evolved as new technology and improved business processes have been introduced and adopted by call centre management. Now these centres play a pivotal role as the primary interface to manage customer relationships. Their call agents are charged with increasing revenue, enhancing the customer’s perception and experience with the organization and developing higher levels of customer loyalty.
The key to the change, in call centre roles and responsibilities, was the integration of predictive dialer technology into their operation. Predictive dialer software possesses the intelligence and call distribution capabilities that greatly accelerate the productivity of call centre agents. In fact, studies show that predictive dialer software can increase agent productivity from 150 percent to 400 percent per hour. That means that an agent using predictive dialer software can increase their customer talk time by approximately 33 minutes per hour.
How does predictive dialer software deliver these productivity gains?
Predictive dialer software dynamically balances the timing of the outbound calls that it makes to allow the customer to answer before turning the call over to an available agent. The software has the intelligence to anticipate how long it will take for the customer to respond and how long it will take for the agent to intercept the call.
It also "pre-qualifies" a customer by screening out dropped calls, unanswered calls, answering machine connections, busy signals, disconnected phone lines and other situations where call agent time would be wasted. Once a "clean" customer phone contact has been established, the software dynamically and seamlessly routes the call to an available call centre agent. This saves the organization a tremendous amount of agent time that is better used to drive new sales or resolve customer issues.
The software also saves call centre management time
Management needs call agent performance information to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their processes and personnel. Predictive dialer software captures, analyses and reports management information such as sales leads, call-backs, Do-Not-Call requests and many other important customer profile details. Armed with this information, management can prepare their agents to tailor their follow-on call routine. That will optimize talk time and focus on areas of specific customer interest.
Managers also receive detailed agent performance reports that help them to assess agent productivity and results. This information can identify the strongest call agents as well as those that need help to improve.
The software helps agents to better manage follow-up calls to their prospects and customers. Many outbound calls result in a request by the customer to return the call at a different day and time.
The predictive dialer technology allows the agent to enter the preferences of the customer into the system so they know how or if to follow up. Upon redialing the customer at their requested day and time, the software presents the agent with a history of the prior customer interaction. The agent is updated and ready to move the conversation to a sale or to resolve a problem.
Elijah Hemptonhas worked in the technology industry for the past 5 years, working at various agencies all over the UK. He is currently working with LeanCall as a freelance writer sharing his experience. LeanCall combines a sophisticated predictive dialer with an innovative call tracking solution.