How self-service automation can reduce call centre inbound calls
Reducing call centre inbound calls can be a boon for your business — here are customer engagement methods that help lower call volume and increase satisfaction.
It comes as no surprise that customer support teams were stretched thin during the pandemic. In fact, 75% of service professionals say the pandemic made managing case volume more challenging.
But customer engagement and customer service remain as important as ever. A whopping 90% of customers believe it’s important to receive an immediate response when they have a customer service question — which means call centres need to be free to answer questions.
However, many business call centres are still understaffed. How can they face this high demand for support with limited resources?
Proactively reducing call centre inbound calls is one useful approach, which you can tackle by implementing self-service automation, streamlining communication workflows, and increasing customer engagement. These strategies will not only reduce call centre costs and lead to significant operational savings; they’ll also improve customer satisfaction.
Here, we’ll discuss why customers contact support and how customer engagement can help keep call volume down.
Why are customers calling?
Businesses that provide real-time tracking (like Uber, Amazon, and Deliveroo) have influenced consumer expectations for field service. Customers now expect a high level of engagement, and they’re unlikely to be satisfied with less. So when real-time updates and communication aren’t available, their anxiety goes up — and so do call centre inbound calls.
More than 85% of customers want to talk to their technician directly on the day of service — and if they can’t, they’ll likely end up calling customer support for updates instead.
Three common calls that support centres receive include:
- Chase calls: Without engagement features like automatic notifications, real-time tracking, place in queue, and two-way communication, customers are more likely to call to inquire about technician ETAs.
- Appointment change calls: Whether they realise they provided the wrong model number for a repair or that they’ll no longer be available at their appointment time, customers sometimes need to make updates to their appointments. Without self-service automation to do it themselves, they’ll need to make a call.
- Feedback calls: Customer insight is invaluable, but call centres often get bogged down with follow-up calls when there are no other tools in place to collect feedback. This can increase hold times and negatively impact the inbound call centre experience.
How can self-service automation and customer engagement help?
Your customer engagement strategy should prioritise transparency, clear communication, and detailed information. This can be accomplished by proactively sharing the information customers need ahead of time and offering opportunities for self-service.
Here’s a look at a few key ways to reduce call centre inbound calls:
- Provide more transparency. You can address chase calls before they happen by offering accurate ETAs and live tracking in a way that aligns with your comfort level. Localz’ platform offers options for showing a customer’s place in queue, the technician’s location, and ETAs; you can provide any combination of these, or all of the above.
- Communicate regularly. Don’t wait until customers dial your call centre to express their thoughts about their experience. Send notifications prior to appointments that are triggered automatically by geofences — these reminders significantly reduce no-access appointments without adding to your technicians’ plates — and automate notifications that let customers know their operative is on the way. Send automatic survey invitations at the close of an appointment to gather valuable intel.
- Offer self-service automation. When customers can access the information they need at any time — and schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments at their leisure — they’re much less likely to ring. A self-service portal offers this round-the-clock autonomy, significantly increasing customer satisfaction while reducing the burden on your call centre staff. And while 77% of customers report using self-service portals in the past, only some 10% of businesses provide them — a competitive advantage, to be sure.
- Automate feedback requests. When you ask for feedback in a timely fashion, many customers will decide they don’t need a phone call, which will both reduce call centre costs and alleviate the stress on your team. In fact, utility provider Welsh Water was able to reduce follow-up calls by 83% by adding an opt-out checkbox to their feedback form.
Reduce call centre costs with Localz
If you want to know how to reduce call volume in call centres, you must first look to customer engagement strategies. By offering more transparency, communicating throughout the customer’s journey, providing self-service automation, and soliciting timely feedback, you’ll not only see elevated customer satisfaction — you’ll also realise significant operational savings.
And customer engagement doesn’t need to be a costly, stressful process. In fact, it can be a key part of reducing unnecessary costs. Localz’ customisable, comprehensive customer engagement solutions bolt onto your existing software and drive value for your business.
With fewer calls, wait time decreases, meaning customers are happier, call centre staff can focus on more pressing issues, and your business sees a boosted bottom line — a win-win for everyone.