Call flow can refer to two different things. One is the way that calls are distributed within a call center. The other has to do with an agent’s script. When referring to the former, a call flow describes the step-by-step process that calls go through in a call center environment. When referring to an agent’s script, it describes the order of agents’ talking points. Both definitions are important because they help determine how customers are helped and who they talk to. For example, when a customer calls in and needs help with a billing issue, they need to be routed to someone in the right department. Call centers can improve call flow by using IVR, or Integrated Voice Response, to enhance the efficacy of their ACD (Automatic Call Distributor).
When a customer uses the IVR, they can speak what they need into the phone. The IVR uses speech analytic tools to transcribe what they are saying, and is then able to route the customer to the correct department through the ACD. This helps enhance the customer experience by ensuring that they are transferred to the right person. Calls are at risk of escalation if customers are sent to the wrong department because it can increase frustration. Call flows regarding agent scripting is also an important part of the customer experience. Agents must know what direction to take when they answer the phone. If a customer calls in requesting to speak to a supervisor, it wouldn’t be feasible to transfer them over immediately with no questions asked. Otherwise, supervisors would be flooded with calls all day. A properly prepared script could help agents know which steps to take. For example, they could first find out what the reason for the call is and try to de-escalate. Agents could then offer an apology and if possible, offer to correct the problem themselves. If the customer still insists on talking to a supervisor, an agent could take the proper measures as directed by their call flow script.
More Call Flow Resources for Contact Centers and Customer Service
Improve agent experience and facilitate faster talk-offs. Provide your agents with the information and tools they need to know each customer upon connection and personalize every conversation.
By taking a look at how customers work their way through your call flows, you can improve scheduling efficiency almost immediately. To use the same restaurant scenario we just discussed, you might find that a disproportionate number of people are calling in the morning, when you’re closed, to make reservations for that evening. If you’re not taking action to address those missed calls, you’re losing out on revenue. Instead, you might route callers who are making a reservation to a remote agent who can help them outside of normal business hours or direct them to your online scheduling tool.
In this three-part blog series, we will walk you through an optimized inbound call flow and the capabilities enabling it. We will outline a 5 step inbound call flow scenario of a retail customer and the features enhancing each touchpoint. These 5 steps include:
- Effective Call Qualification
- Optimizing Wait Times
- Optimizing Live Agent Connections
- Integrating Customer Feedback – CSAT Survey
- Driving Performance with Inbound Reporting and Analytics