How to Reduce Call Centre Traffic

The Challenge

Workforce cost is about 50% of the total operational cost of a call centre. An increase in the volume of calls to a call centre is not evenly distributed within the day. The typical call curve is somewhat as shown below. In the following call queue, below the line means that agents are free and above the line means that calls are pending. Of course the distribution of incoming calls will not be constant. It cannot be controlled.  A new product launch and external factors will affect call quantity. The challenge is that, should the workforce be planned depending on a per-call curve or the existing workforce be optimized for the call curve? In other words, how best to reduce the workforce operational costs. 


The probable solutions

Some probable solutions to reduce demand on the call centre are as follows:

  1. Provide alternative channels

    1. Websites
      One solution is  to increase awareness of products through less costly channels, for examle in public sites, written as well as videos, so that if a user searches for a "How To" for a product then he can perform the steps as shown in the screenshots or video or animation.

    2. Build an app
      Build a Smartphone app that is easy to use so that customers can register a complaint and check for resolutions through the same rather than calling the call centre.

    3. Speech Applications for simple processes
      Organizations can take advantage of higher automated transactions by building speech applications or using hosted and SaaS solutions. Cloud based solutions have a flexible pricing model.

    4. Chat based solutions
      One to One chat service can be used for answering queries. This can be another low cost channel.

  2. Improvefirst-time resolution

    Resolve the issue on first go so that repeated calls on the same issue are prevented. A reporting on issues for which customers are calling multiple times should be made available so that procedures and processes can be checked and if required information on the same can be published as mentioned above.

  3. ContinuousStaff training

    With the turnover that happens in the call centre industry, training is utmost fro the staff so that they can effectively handle the calls. An increased training of staff on the products and cross training on multiple products is required.

  4. UseEnterprise Workforce Management Software

    Enterprise level workforce management software can be used for staff planning, holidays, creating schedules and a shifts of employees based on the call curve, so that supervisory level staff requirements is reduced.

  5. Use ofKnowledge Management Software

    KM Software can be used to effectively manage knowledge within the organizations. A search should be very effective in the KM software being used.

  6. Incentivesbased on results

    Staff incentives can be decided based on the effectiveness of handling calls. This will give staff an added motivation to solve customer queries.

  7. CustomerCare Management Software

    Integrated front-office software in which you can enter a customer id and get all the information of the customer and past issues across the product lines help the call centre staff. It reduces the average handling time spent in login into multiple systems and retrieving information.  

  8. Staff oncloud

    Operating costs can be reduced by allowing staff to work from anywhere. Apart from costs other benefits are:

    1. Lower attrition

    2. Less sick days

    3.  Less tardiness

    4.  No inner-office politics and conflicts

    5. Staff remains focused on the job at hand

    6.  Increase in work hours

    7.  Better morale

  9. MonitoringSoftware

    Good monitoring software is required so that required qualifiers, KPIs can be measured correctly and the next steps are taken accordingly.

  10. AutomateTransactions

    Transactions that have a clear process and are simple to follow, can be automated fairly quickly in the early product launch cycle. This will reduce the caller percentage significantly.

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