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These Call Metrics Can Help Contact Centres Reach Their Goals

Call Metrics

Customer expectations are changing as we move into a primarily omnichannel way of doing business. Calls are still a vital line of communication but they are arriving from multiple ports. That’s a lot of data to collect.

Currently, callers only want to wait 15 seconds in IVR (Interactive Voice Response), 20 per cent of these calls are abandoned if kept waiting too long and a whopping 43 per cent prefer talking over chatbots.*

This means in order to succeed, B2C contact centres need to consider collecting more than a few call metrics to create accurate and actionable KPIs.

What are contact centre KPIs?

Contact centre KPIs are the key performance indicators every cloud contact centre should examine closely in order to achieve set goals within different time periods. These differ according to the company and measurements alternate based on the channel. With that in mind, we’ve gathered a few call-based metrics we think are important to pay attention to.

Call length distribution

Call length distribution determines the lengths of calls over the most common intervals. So if a centre is seeing a high number of calls lasting 30 – 60 seconds out of all their calling interactions that day, it’s likely that such a time frame is the most ideal.

Don’t listen to the chatter. Call length IS vital to determining how efficient your service is, the optimal length really depends on your business goals and the type of product being sold, an automotive shopper in the final stage of their consumer journey will want to speak longer than someone just asking about store opening hours.

However, understanding the most common call length within a specific contact centre can greatly restructure the way calls are approached and how to create an effective and rewarding experience for the caller within the perfect amount of time for them.

Call events per visitor device

In a multi-channel environment, this is a good KPI to follow. Call events per visitor device simply indicate how many calls originated from either a desktop or mobile. Knowing the type of device being used predominantly by customers can provide more visibility for marketers when it comes to accurate device targeting.

Call events

This determines answered and missed calls over a set period of time. A low missed call rate is a good KPI to reach for.

A few ways to avoid missing calls is by implementing a system of cascading or routing calls based on context. Every caller has an interaction history behind them. Using key touchpoints within their journey to create a clear picture of intent is a great way to send the call directly to the right people and avoid missed opportunities.

Want to know more about building context?

Via: *Freespee Data.

An Explanation Of VoIP And Why It’s A Good Thing

An Explanation Of VoIP

BT or British Telecommunications announced that it would be switching off its PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) by 2025 in favour of VoIP powered calls, which means even more change in how we communicate and businesses are clamouring to future-proof their systems.

What is VoIP?

Voice over IP or VoIP is technology aimed at turning voice into data by making it possible to place phone calls using the internet highway. Probably one of the most known VoIP technologies is Microsoft’s peer to peer service Skype, which is an application that allows phone and video calls to be made worldwide at a fraction of the cost or for free – once the receiver has Skype as well.

Within the business world, VoIP is a highly useful piece of tech to integrate into any communication system and is quickly overtaking hardware reliant on-premise setups as the preferred solution for customer communication.

VoIP and the cloud

VoIP plus the cloud is great for any agile business, meaning that it eliminates the need for PBX (private branch exchange) hardware allowing for freedom to scale at a chosen pace. Another plus to relying on communication through the cloud – it prevents the loss of customers over the phone due to power outages and/or natural disasters.

It’s very difficult to miss a call with cloud-based VoIP since the service allows for mobility, meaning a distributed workforce can connect to customers from anywhere.

Security wise, most cloud providers would have automated security protocols that adapt and evolve according to threats.

So in short, if your business is reliant on legacy telephony systems – get ready for the shutdown by adopting a reliable cloud telephony provider, ease up on buying heaps of outdated ISDN reliant hardware and get some strong WiFi.

With these checked off the future will be brighter – and cheaper.

Via: Computer Weekly

A Look At Scalability And Elasticity In Cloud Computing

elasticity and scalability

According to Network World, “Cisco Global Cloud Index (2016-2021), the networking giant predicts that by 2021, 94 per cent of all workloads will run in some form of cloud environment.” Another finding from this report claims traffic will triple in the next three years, shooting up to 8 zettabytes per year. Cloud computing is soon to become a mainstay for most industries.

When going from static, premise-based systems to a diverse cloud environment it is important to know exactly what you are getting in to. It’s an investment but a worthwhile one.

A much-discussed topic among cloud aficionados is the difference between a scalable system and an elastic one. Frankly, they are pretty vital terms to know and all cloud-based systems should feature both, but what makes them stand out from each other? Let’s explore the differences.

 

Scalability 

As a business grows so should its technology to meet the demands, scalable systems are malleable and can adapt to any level of growth. Scalability is a short term solution with long term benefits. If a particular system gains more users, a scalable environment can expand or retract the server requirements to adapt. Scalability tends to respond to a more predictable outcome.

Scaling comes in two forms, vertically or horizontally. Vertical scaling means you can only grow to the size of your server. The ceiling is high but it’s there. Horizontal scaling is wider, hence the name. It adapts to growing traffic by combining resources like hardware and software so that they exist as one, fat autonomous system.

Elasticity 

Elasticity makes scaling possible, it is a process that makes room for resources if and when they are needed. So if you’ve scaled up and added servers, an elastic cloud can make room for them, meanwhile if you’ve decided to scale down, an elastic system changes course according to need all automatically.

The overall positive result from having elasticity and scalability is saving wads of cash that can be put towards growing your company instead of maintaining legacy hardware.  So, are you ready to turn to the cloud?

Find out more about CPaaS and the cloud here. 

Via: Network World, Cisco.

Why Cloud-Based Healthcare Can Put Power In The Caller’s Hands

cloud-based healthcare

Cloud communication can certainly make a difference in how we connect to customers and proving ROI but when the customers have life-threatening issues, it’s even more impactful. 

Healthcare is a hot topic on the minds of tech innovators, cloud-based healthcare is even more engaging. “The NHS England’s former director of patients and information, Tim Kelsey, has said that investment in electronic health records, digital services, and data could save the NHS up to £13.7 billion out of a £127 billion forecasted healthcare budget by 2020–21, or as much as 10.8 per cent of total healthcare spending,” according to McKinsey. 

Saving money isn’t the only benefit of using the cloud to store patient data, it also offers secure flexibility to caregivers and takes the weight off of IT departments. Doctors and nurses have easier access to patient records from any device.

Since January 2018 the NHS has greenlit cloud technology for storing patient data. “They come at a time when NHS trusts are increasingly looking to cloud as their next big IT project, allured by the technology’s promise of enabling rapid scaling-up without the associated hardware costs,” writes Digital Health.

One of the biggest sources of data? Calls. Doctors in both private and public systems see calls as a cause of both pain and pleasure. Within five years there was a 25 – 50% bump up in patient to private doctor calls in the US, mostly due to rising insurance deductibles – people are looking for an easy way to diagnose illnesses without paying huge doctor bills.

Meanwhile, in the UK, “the NHS England Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, says it’s time to ‘grasp the nettle’ to help reduce some of the 118 million outpatient appointments every year – many of which are unnecessary.”

He’s currently turning to remote communication platforms like Skype, apps and online services to help reduce the foot traffic.

Cloud features and patient care

Beyond the obvious convenience, calls are highly useful clusters of data because they occur in real time and wield immediate and significant information quickly. This is vital to delivering good care in the health industry but it also gives patients power. How? It adapts to their needs and patterns.  In healthcare, 96% of patient complaints are related to customer service, according to a study by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Probably one of the most significant aspects of using cloud communication features for incoming calls is the ability to prioritise based on context. This tool can benefit patient callers by finding them the right care quickly and not leaving them waiting in a call queue.

IVR can’t understand the digital context of a call, but cloud-based communication platforms can use intelligent workflows to route patients based on their need and clear the outpatient queue mentioned by Professor Stephen Powis.

So someone complaining of the worst headache they’ve ever had would receive a pick up before a simple enquiry about surgery opening hours. Automation processes can either give them a time for a callback or redirect to a voice assistant programmed to answer more arbitrary questions.

We’re not at the point of AI self-diagnosis but we’re close, until then helping this new influx of mobile reliant patients with advances in technology can make a huge difference.

Via: Becker’s Hospital Review, McKinsey, Digital Health, Marketwatch, NHS.

Want to know more about caller context? Click here. 

7 Advantages Of Using Cloud Contact Centres

Cloud contact centre

Using the cloud to house contact solutions is becoming a major trend for the future of omnichannel customer communication. This year we’ll see a boom in cloud contact implementation across multiple industries thanks to the prolific channels customers now reach out from. With this on the horizon, we wanted to pinpoint some major advantages of relying on that which we cannot see (the cloud).

1. Saves Money

Investing in cloud contact centre technology can save a pile of money mostly because it avoids upfront capital investment but also reduces the reliance on renting physical spaces to house call centres and service agents. It also grants total control over extra costs like training and putting funds into trialling new products — especially in unfamiliar markets.

2. International exposure

Setting up shop remotely can open up the world to businesses confined to one geographical location. While the outsourcing of contact centres is on the decline due to customer complaints regarding language barriers and mediocre training, allowing agents to work from home anywhere in the world can reduce rent costs. This provides extra funding for training these employees more intensively and improving technology to meet customer demands.

3. Employee morale

On a personal note, working remotely via virtual contact centres can help boost employee morale by both providing flexibility and helping them achieve a better work/life balance.

4. Consolidate data

The cloud is scalable, meaning it grows with business demands. Instead of the additional cost associated with buying hardware, cloud helps companies compartmentalise and manage data across multiple platforms instead of sifting through on-site applications.

5. Centralised platform

Using this type of contact centre means using a singular platform which becomes the central point of inbound and outbound customer communication for a company. Think of it as a central station, customer requests move in and out but the currency or in this case, data they produce plugs into one place making it easier to oversee and fix problems before they get too out of hand.

6. Less Hardware

In this case, everything is achieved using a server, which means adding on more hardware is not required. The benefit of this means not waiting months for installation, not to mention the additional time and money put towards training agents to use new systems.

7. Call Routing

We’ve saved the best for last, with calls becoming a major source of valuable customer data, managing the flow of customer requests coming into a contact centre means not leaving anyone behind — like we’ve seen before with outsourcing contact centres, bad customer service does more damage than anything else. Call routing is an integrative technology welcomed by the cloud and can manage a large influx of callers by prioritising based on context. Customers are sent to the agents that can better meet their expectations instead of being kept on hold or lost in an IVR abyss.

Learn more about call routing here!

Why The Future Of CX Means We’ll Be Talking More

future of CX

Customers will always want to speak to someone during their journey to purchase, especially when a decision is close to being made. Why? Phone calls are immediate, they remove the worry of waiting for an easily ignored-email reply. Speaking to a human representative can make explaining a complex situation much easier. A Google study found that 61% of mobile users call a business when they’re in the purchase phase of the buying cycle.

The type of purchase is usually a good indicator of why this person is calling, if a considerable amount of money was spent on a car or home, customers can be assured more easily with a voice. Filling out forms simply isn’t a popular form of communication anymore, to combat this, there is now an option to automate the process by adding auto fill extensions to their system. 

Automating form filling may have eased customer frustration but it hasn’t deterred the need to talk. Click to call has influenced nearly one trillion dollars in consumer spending according to BIA/Kelsey. 

Click-to-call is another automation designed to combine both a customer’s need for quick action and personalisation. Almost all websites on the internet offer a clickable option to call. According to a report by Google, after Esurance, an American Insurance brand, began placing click-to-call ads in their search results they saw a 200 per cent increase in traffic on their mobile site. 

The future of B2C is looking more like a speedy and predictive space for talkers. Instead of wasting human agents’ time on arbitrary questions like store opening times and parking, machine learning technology and FAQ-type voice bots will handle the simpler questions while prioritising more complex queries to their human counterparts. 

With this in mind, speech recognition tech is set to become a common addition to everyday life. Most heavyweights in the industry predict a time when customer service will be sophisticated enough for “Star Trek style full conversations where the computer interacts with the user and can control technology,” says Peter T. Boyd, President & Founder of SEO firm PaperStreet

Either way, conversations will still be happening, and creating a streamlined path to boost the brand conversation economy is down to keeping up with the digital Joneses

Via: The Future of Everything, BIA/Kelsey, Google. 

A Few Effective Ways To Use Closed-Loop Data

closed loop data

Closing the loop in business means the sharing of lead insights between sales and marketing. It promotes collaboration between the two parties via CRM systems and automated reporting. Gathering closed-loop insights that are useful is the first step in the process and that can be tricky, especially when numerous leads are arriving from multiple sources.

Without closed-loop data and reporting, budget decisions could be made based on inaccuracies and that’s a waste of resources.

Forbes contributor Kimberley A. Whitler discovered that companies in China – which relies on mobile technology more than the West – have nudged closed-loop marketing up a level by mastering consumer insights beyond the standard criteria. They have done this by focusing on first-party data which, “enables companies to understand actual behavio[u]r.”

The best ways to use this data for the benefit of both ends of the funnel is to take a page from their book and concentrate on ways to produce more customer behavioural data.

Tracking tags are highly useful when you know where to put them, closed-loop data can provide much-needed clarity. If a social media source is providing the most qualified leads then amping up the tracking of consumer activity within that forum is useful. Discover, what content is really working.

Closed-loop data is detailed enough that it also can capture real-time shifts in behaviour, including changes in pain points. Customer pain and need are often synonymous, pinpoint their frustrations by paying attention to what they’re asking, clicking, reading and downloading the most.

Additionally, the data can reveal insights that may fight against existing personas and open up an entirely new revenue stream.

We all know that a thorough use of buyer personas is essential to audience targeting. Data with both sales and marketing input can create personas that include the most current challenges they face.

Closing the loop is a process every commercial and marketing team should be utilising, it’s about using the data the right way and fuelling existing systems with the best there is.

Via: Forbes

Geofencing For Car Dealerships: A Look At This Trend

geofencing for dealerships

Foot traffic in dealerships has decreased now that online is the more popular choice for research but when walk-ins do occur its a prime opportunity for nurturing and advertising. We can track calls and online behaviour, but what about the unexpected moments?

These walk-ins are still a critical part of the sales cycle, they’ve done their web research and are already further down the funnel. “With the internet, customers define their own sales process. One customer may do 90% of the process online and just visit for the final 10%. Another may do it completely the other way around,” says Professor Jim Saker to AM Online. 

Measuring these interactions, however, is more difficult, often customers come in without prior notice and dealerships rely on reception or sales staff to record these occurrences.  So how can dealerships ensure this data is accurate and consistently added to a DMS?

That’s where geofencing comes in, this technology was created to target the GPS of mobile phones (once location sharing is turned on) within a surrounding area of a dealership. Potential customers can be lured into the building, away from competitors and walk-ins recorded and nurtured immediately.

Much like call tracking, by attributing foot traffic data to revenue it’s easier for dealerships to have more complete visibility over the impact of their advertising on every channel, including non-digital.

How does geofencing for dealerships work?

Simply put, geofencing technology uses GPS- or RFID-enabled software, developers can code parameters around a particular location using mapping technology and integrate it into existing lead management systems. Multiple applications and industries have added geofencing to their setup including; social media, smart technology, telematics and security.

What about geofencing and GDPR? 

These new regulations mean businesses don’t have the freedom with customer data that they used to. Now consent must be explicit, though a mobile phone’s location sharing feature is a loophole. Still, retaining this data for future use without permission is considered a breach. Despite this, the geofencing industry is estimated “to grow from USD 542.7 Million in 2017 to USD 1,825.3 Million by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 27.5%,” according to SB Wire. 

Stay ahead of the competition

The average car shopper only visits two dealerships, so the competition is intense. Creating a turning point for customers is no easy task, especially when they’ve done their research. Geofencing can alert potential car buyers within a dealership’s lot of offers specific to that location. Dealerships can also create geofences around competitors or nearby car servicing centres to snap up future customers with more enticing deals.

Via: Google Think, SB Wire, AM Online.

The Art Of Breaking Through Customer Communication Barriers

customer communication

Conversations through technology have come a long way, the space contains both personal and professional interactions. When it comes to customer relationships, our approach to communication seems to lack much-needed personalisation. A border can form between customers and agents made of misunderstandings and incorrect data. There are ways through this.

Our CEO Anne de Kerckhove was recently featured in an article by French journalist David Abiker, in it, he comments on Anne’s speaking appearance at a conference they both attended. Her topic of choice focused on breaking down borders, both in business and life.

During the presentation, David and the audience noticed that her zipper hadn’t been done up – what the French and David call “the detail that kills” or “le detail qui tue.” Instead of shying away from the issue, Anne chose to face her faux pas and make it a funny interlude. She addressed the crowd, “Yes I know, I have the zip opened, I broke it in the bathroom, that’s how it is…” Immediately the air in the room changed from awkward silence to joyous relief.

One little zipper distracted the crowd of listeners from a vital discussion but it also proved her point. We can dissolve barriers by acknowledging their presence, it’s an age-old tenet – address the problem before you search for a solution.

Abiker also touched on this messaging in his piece and we can’t help but find a correlation with what we do – breaking borders between customers and brands.

Breaking borders in communication

In customer communication, there are now multiple channels leading to a brand. Often there are too many, causing more chaos than is necessary. We forget that human beings exist behind all the data and that’s a major problem.

“Customers do not care about the extent of your “omni-ness.” They care about the quality of your service,” says Harvard Business Review. 

Improving the quality of service is achieved by listening to customers. It’s easy for service reps to have a disconnected relationship with their clients. Especially when it’s through chat and response time is slow or when agents are located in another country. By humanising the process and using technology to understand customers on a personal level, it’s easier to build a bridge over the gap and get the conversation going.

Much like how Anne bit through awkwardness with transparency, the same process can be applied to customer communication. Wade through the scripted conversations, chatbots and IVR. Walk right up to the elephant in the chat room.

Via: Harvard Business Review, David Abiker.

Why Call Data Can Answer Your Lead To Prospect Problem

lead to prospect

Sales and marketing terminology is an ever-evolving organism. Some of the most commonly used words are those that make up the buying cycle. Terms such as lead, prospect and customer tend to be company specific, often marketing and sales team differ completely in their individual definitions. However, an indisputable takeaway is that a lead comes before a prospect – which can also be considered a sales qualified lead. The real challenge lies in the qualification process. 

According to AeroLeads, “The one main similarity between a lead and a prospect is that both haven’t shown any interest in buying.”

Yet, there are differing opinions when it comes to deciding when a lead is ready to become a prospect who is ready to buy.

The best place to start is to automate the lead generation process and create ideal criteria for both lead and prospect using the most accurate data you can gather. According to the Ascend2 study, “35 per cent of those surveyed said the biggest barrier to lead generation success is the lack of quality data.”

Where can you source accuracy?

Calls. Real-time call data is proven to be more reliable than any other channel and can speed up the lead to prospect journey. Let’s break it down.

Leads are traditionally defined as potential customers who have problems a brand can solve and improve. Providing a relevant and exciting experience in order to turn leads into prospects can be helped by positively responding to patterns of behaviour and most of all pain points. 

Call data metrics provide stats for call volume, calls missed, time of day, geolocation and sites visited – all important information needed to better understand the journey. Cumulatively, these paint a picture of how leads are entering the brand realm and most of all why they fail to become a prospect. If an inbound campaign is working and bringing in call enquiries or website views, the call data will reveal this.

In fact, in the automotive sector dealerships gain 50% more leads when tailoring phone numbers to be displayed based on geolocation.

lead to prospectEventually, leads become prospects after just the right amount of nurturing and follow-ups. Hubspot found that “the odds of a lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website.

Response time can aid in turning a lead into a prospect then towards conversion, for any business utilising call centres this is a major KPI. Fast response times are vital in the final stage of the purchase journey. If agents aren’t calling back or prioritising high-value calls, the leads fall away and sales are left with little.

Fill in the spaces between lead and prospect with more exact data via calls, start the journey strong and end with a bang.

Learn more here

Via: AeroLeads, Ascend2, Hubspot.