Working for a call center can get a bad rap. You often hear the same typical story… employees feel drained spending long hours on the phone and joke they can’t even run to the bathroom if it’s not on the schedule so as not to miss a call. And employers? They’re even more drained. With high employee turnover rates, they’re too busy training a new employee or looking for a new employee to invest time in caring about their current employees… which in turn feeds their initial problems and creates a never-ending cycle.
Luckily, this narrative doesn’t have to be the case for you. Further, there is technology and software that improves the experience of call center employees to avoid problems like these altogether.
Call center automation allows companies to use software to filter responses and gain information from callers to send to agents before they answer the phone call. This helps the agent be better prepared to know what the caller needs and meet the demands of the caller before even picking up the phone. Call center automation also saves agents from asking the same routine questions over and over and allows them to instead get straight to the problem.
With call center automation your employees feel more useful, which in turn creates a better experience for the customer and greater job satisfaction for you and your employees. A win-win-win! But is it really that easy?
We’re taking a minute to dive deeper into discovering what is call center automation, the pros and cons of call center automation for your business, and how Hiya can help you know the best metrics to uncover through call center automation.
What Is Call Center Automation?
Call center automation refers to specific call center software/technology that automates part of a customer's call to come from pre-recorded audio. This automation takes away the mundane questions that agents normally ask each individual customer and instead sends those questions through voice or number-generated algorithms. These algorithms capture information on customers who call in. Think pressing 2 for English and 5 for transaction history whenever you call your bank. But specialized for each individual company’s purposes.
But call center automation can do so much more than simply determining two things for a customer. Below we’ll dive deeper into a few different powerful and productive types of call center automation that can help your business to flourish.
Automation for Onboarding Customers
By the time a customer gets through all the generic personal information questions with a call center agent, neither one has much desire or energy to make the phone call longer. People go go go, the quicker they can get their answers and move on with their lives the better. However, ‘onboarding questions,’ or simple questions to get a company familiar with its customer, are necessary to understand the customer and their needs.
Call center automation can ask the customer these questions through automated questions and series of entries from the customer to both move through the questions faster, and create more correct data entries. After a customer gets through the automated onboarding questions, they have more time and patience to listen to the agent at the other end of their call. This can in turn help the agent focus on the sale of the call, rather than the motions of collecting information.
Automation for Improving Workflows
Call center employees have a lot on their plate. With keeping track of multiple customers a day, it can be hard to remember to follow up with every customer or follow through with promises made over the phone. Likewise, if tasks aren’t done promptly it is hard for a call center agent to remember exactly what they promised to do and if they already followed through or not.
Call center automation can help employees increase their productivity and lower stress by helping them manage their workflows. And, your agents don’t need to be computer geniuses to figure it out. Automation will remind your agents to follow up with task reminders and checkboxes that pop up for them to fill out after each customer call. Your agents can then simply click on a few buttons that tell the automation software to send follow-up emails, phone calls, and reminders to your customers. This helps reduce stress for your employees, increases customer satisfaction, and improves business productivity.
Automation for Business Forecasting
Call centers are no strangers to data collection. Without even realizing it, call centers collect tons of data on their customers every day that can be used to help companies make informed decisions in the future. Call center automation can help your business store this data, as well as sort through the large amounts of data received each day in order to make correct forecasts for your business.
Call centers can use data from customers related to the type of business call to better understand what pain points customers have and make better decisions in the future to avoid those pain points. Call center automation can also keep track of how many calls occur in a day, the average amount of time a customer is on hold, how long phone calls generally take, and if there are certain spikes in amount or duration of calls depending on the time of year or type of products that are being launched.
All of this data can be stored and organized to help a company forecast and plan for the number of employees that they will need at any given time of year in the future to handle the amount of calls and better serve their customers.
Automation for Scheduling
No business can function successfully without proper management and planning. Call centers are no different. A large part of a call center’s success comes from its ability to create and manage multiple complex tasks and schedules in a cohesive manner.
Scheduling call center automation software helps a company schedule its tasks and employee schedules so that nothing overlaps, and so important tasks take precedence and priority in the company’s schedule.
Scheduling software can also save time, resources and funds for a company. Automation software is designed to be efficient and replace tedious tasks that normally have to be done manually by employees. Automating scheduling allows for fewer input errors and overlap in schedules. This can also allow for more complex algorithms and tasks to be entered and organized correctly, therefore freeing the company from the monotonous hours of scheduling manually themselves.
Pros and Cons of Call Center Automations
The benefits of call center automation have been seen across multiple industries. Not only is call center automation proven to increase employee satisfaction, but also is proven to save time and energy. This in turn increases efficiency and overall saves your company money. Evidently, customers are also more satisfied to give mundane information to a recorded audio transcription than to their live agent, and also feel the benefits of the time saved doing so.
Disadvantages of call center automation come in the transition from in-person regulation of calls to tech-regulated calls. Efficiency increases, but businesses often go through growing pains that can be difficult to navigate if not prepared for. Sometimes workers are unsure about having a portion of their job taken over by technology, which can lead to worker distress. However, overall company satisfaction and business efficiency increase after transitioning and accustoming to automation. Also, automated technology has the potential to provide important information to help your company grow, but needs to be used correctly to do so. Below we’ll help you see how Hiya’s call center connect ebook can help you know how to make the most of your automation.
How Does Hiya Fit into Call Center Automation?
Now that you know all about the different types of call center automations, you’ll want to be able to measure the impact any automations have on your operations. Every call center is unique, so the metric you optimize with your automation tool will depend on your goals. You have individual needs, concerns and goals that are intricate and important to your growth. Download our Call Center Metrics eBook today and learn which metrics your call center needs to be optimizing.