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How to Reduce the Demand on Your Customer Service Telephone Operators

By Special Guest
Alan Hardson
April 24, 2020

Customer service is one of the most time consuming and therefore expensive functions that your business has to perform. This is especially true when you’re dealing with customers over the phone.

Thankfully, modern technology has made it easier to offer customer service to your customers without them having to speak to a live person. This relieves the pressure on your telephone operators and makes it simpler for your customers to get the information and support they need. 

According to BenchmarkPortal, the average length of a call to or from a call centre is just under 6 minutes. If you factor in your overhead and direct costs, businesses that handle 50,000 calls per month will cost you in excess of $1 million. 

It’s easy to see how much of a saving could be achieved, not to mention the morale boost staff would get from having some of their workload reduced. 

Even if your business operates on a much smaller scale, reducing the number of phone calls you have to handle can free up resources to focus on other areas of the business. 

FAQ Sections & Knowledge Bases

FAQ sections have been a part of websites for a long time, although they have become a lot more technically advanced in recent years. They can be great for providing pre-sales and aftersales customer service. Great examples of this include Amazon, which has an FAQ section that answers questions about how to sell on its platform and PokerStars which provides guides to help troubleshoot technical problems without having to speak to a person.  

This may seem like an unfriendly way to handle your customers, making them do the work and find the answer for themselves. However, research by Zendesk has shown the opposite. 

According to them, 67% of customers prefer to use a knowledge base or FAQ section to get the answers to their questions. Most crucially, their study found that a whopping 91% of all customers would use some sort of knowledge base if it had the information they were looking for.  

By implementing a system of this kind, your telephone operators can be freed up to deal with more complicated issues or revenue-generating calls. 

Chatbots

Chatbots are another tool that can help direct customers in the right direction without having to speak to a real person. They make up one of the ways that AI is being used to aid customer service

There are plenty of different solutions available that can be installed on your site in minutes. A great solution for this is Tidio since it has both free and paid versions and can also be used for live chat. Many helpdesk solutions also have a chatbot feature, which will help you create a fully integrated system.

Research by Usabilla conducted in August 2018 has shown that consumers actually like chatbots, with 70% saying they have used them already and the majority of those that hadn’t, saying that they would be happy to do so.

Chatbots can be a faster way for customers to get the information they need, retaining some of the conversational elements of a real human while providing answers instantly. More than half of consumers would choose a chatbot over a human if they could save 10 minutes, demonstrating the value that many place on time. 

Automate Quoting and Buying

If your business model requires you to provide bespoke quotes to your customers, you may find yourself spending a long time talking through options with customers on the phone. 

As an alternative to this, you can create automated tools that customers can select options from. The tool can then make recommendations for a particular product or generate a quote based on their selections. 

There are many software solutions available to achieve this, and you may even find you need to create something bespoke. However, Formidable Forms is a great option as it contains many dynamic calculation tools and can even integrate into payment platforms like PayPal and Stripe. 

While you will never be able to service all your customers through automated channels, you can help some save time in finding the answers they need. In turn, this can reduce the amount of pressure on your telephone operators and cut your costs. 

Author:  'Alan Hardson'



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