If your business phone system was set up based solely on your company needs, you’re missing out on one of the largest benefits of a versatile PBX. Not only is your system a valuable resource used to increase efficiency, but it’s also an integral part of the client experience. This is often overlooked when businesses are considering ways to improve their customer service. However, calling businesses can cause major client frustration, especially in the following situations:
- Being on-hold for extended periods of time
- Being trapped in automation, with no easy way to reach their desired party
- Being transferred to the wrong department
By the time the client’s call is routed correctly, the frustration they’ve experienced inhibits any opportunity to have a positive and meaningful conversation. The questions companies should ask themselves are:
“Why are these pain points happening?” and “What can we do to avoid them?”
Go with the flow
Download the example used in this article here!
Designing a call-flow is the first step to improving your client’s telephone experience. Think of this as the roadmap that helps your client reach their destination. In the downloadable PDF, you’ll see the call-flow for Ranch Digital. Their flow begins with 4 phone numbers (notice the toll-free number!) being routed to a single automated attendant.
Auto attendants should serve two major purposes: answering and routing calls. Most companies love their auto attendant. It’s an alternative to employing a receptionist and allows them to customize the message their clients hear. Unfortunately, most callers don’t enjoy the auto-attendant experience.
Instead of using this tool to route calls accurately and efficiently, it gets used as a marketing tool that drags out call duration. Since this is the first contact point in the client experience, it should set expectations for the rest of the call; keep it quick and easy.
An ideal auto-attendant should be short, and should contain the most frequently used options early in the greeting. Here’s an example of what not to do:
“Thanks for calling Ranch Digital, where we wrangle your ideas into reality. If you’d like to speak to a member of our Sales team, please dial 1 now. Having trouble and need support? Press 2 now. If you need help with billing, press 3 now. For Elizabeth Croft, press 4. For David Hanson, press 5. For Rodney Brooks, press 6…”Blah, blah, blah, blah!
Compare that with this greeting for Ranch Digital:
“Thanks for calling Ranch Digital If you know your party’s extension, dial it at anytime. For the company directory press 1. For Sales, press 2. For Support, press 3. For Billing, press 4. For all other inquiries, press 5.”
No marketing. No filler. No confusion. The client makes their selection and moves on to the second level of the call flow, which is perhaps the most important aspect of creating a pleasant experience. You can see in the downloadable PDF that the second level contains 3 Call Queues, 1 Ring Group and the Company Directory. This is where the caller will spend the majority of their time waiting for their call to be answered, so it’s crucial that calls are routed to the correct department and the experience on hold isn’t painful.
Customize and Prioritize
Just because people hate being on-hold doesn’t mean you should neglect their on-hold experience. Use custom hold music and messaging to make the on-hold experience more enjoyable. Change your music frequently to keep repeat callers from dreading dialling your number. Use messaging as a marketing tool, directing callers to landing pages about product releases or the company blog. Provide some insight into expected wait time or give an option to leave a message. Show some empathy in a situation where you know your client is listening.
The last step in this customer journey is reaching a company representative. Or at least it should be the last step. There’s no point in creating a memorable experience at the top and middle of the call flow, if it has to be repeated when the client reaches the wrong department. Organizing your agents and their answering rules within a call queue or ring group is just as important as mapping your overall call flow.
Check out how Ranch Digital routes callers when they’re in a Call Queue.
The Sales queue is a round-robin that sends the call to the agent that’s been idle longest.
The Support queue uses a linear cascade that rings 3 agents simultaneously for 20 seconds. If unanswered it then rings 6 agents simultaneously.
The Billing queue uses a linear hunt that sends the call to agents in a specific order every time.
If a caller chooses option 5 from the auto-attendant, the call is routed to the miscellaneous ring group that rings 5 specific agents simultaneously.
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As a Versature client, these tools are available to you right now! Let us help map your call-flow and improve your client experience today!