But at an average implementation cost of $318,000, plus $32,500 in annual maintenance fees (according to a 2006 Forrester study), I would be remiss if I did not offer a solution to those of you who do not happen to have the budget for such an investment. Continue reading
Prioritizing unhappy customers, one call center’s approach. Part 3 of a 3-Part Series on Virtual Queuing
As the economy has deteriorated over the past three years, we’ve seen a number of our business partners become more aggressive in their collection practices. One of the unintended consequences to this approach has been an increase in overall call volume in response to the collection calls and service termination messages. In part 1 and part 2 of this series, we talked about a few different scenarios where virtual queuing was successfully implemented in call centers. One of our business partners, had an approach that was also a proven success, yet different from how others may have implemented this solution.
How to calculate pulling the trigger on long call center wait times. Part 2 of a 3 Part Series on Virtual Queuing
Every organization has a group of customers that are held close and dear to the organization, whether due to loyalty program members, the revenue or profit margins they generate, the new market segment they represent or countless other reasons. One of our business partners recently explored ways to better serve their highly valued small business customer segment. Since better service can only result by understanding customer expectations first and foremost, that’s exactly where our analysis begins. If you remember in Part 1 of this series, I talked about some figures related to customer acceptance of a virtual queue as well as some positive figures about one company’s successful adoption. Continue reading
Virtual queuing offers a new way to handle a very traditional problem in call centers – customers waiting, sometimes endlessly, to talk to customer service agents. High wait times have been correlated to poor brand loyalty, low re-purchase rates, loss of positive word-of-mouth and high customer attrition. Companies who employ a virtual queue allow their customers to hang up the phone and do whatever it was they were doing before they placed the call, while their place in queue is maintained to trigger an outbound call from the call center to them. According to a Forrester Research study conducted in 2006, 50% of all customers who were presented with this virtual hold option accepted it. Continue reading
Who doesn’t love call-ahead seating at restaurants to guarantee immediate seating upon arrival? The concept that restaurants created a service allowing me to be expected at the hostess station and be quickly taken to a table tells me that the restaurant understands the value of a dining experience and, by proxy, that they value my business. A true enhancement to the customer experience! Living my life in the call center space is a customer-service-oriented blessing (or curse depending on the day) that directs me to appreciate gestures that value me as a customer. A fundamental principle that makes me use this service is rooted in the fact that I trust it to work. I trust that when I make the call and then drive to the location, I will be on the list.
So, when I was sitting in a recent meeting with a business partner listening to a discussion about the implementation of virtual queuing (also known as automated callback service), I was reminded of my call-ahead seating option. The call center management team had many reasons to be interested in virtual queues, from enhancing the customer experience to making more effective use of their human capital. They took the time to present each reason during the meeting (with supporting charts). Continue reading