As businesses continue to expand their operations and serve customers across different time zones and geographies, maintaining a round-the-clock customer support service becomes increasingly challenging. Call deflection provides a solution by offering customers self-service options that are available 24/7. Whether it's accessing a comprehensive knowledge base, submitting support tickets, or interacting with virtual assistants, customers can find answers to their queries at their convenience. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also enables businesses to operate efficiently without the constraints of traditional working hours.
Call deflection refers to the practice of diverting customer inquiries or issues away from traditional phone support channels towards alternative self-service options or automated systems. It aims to provide customers with quick and efficient resolutions while reducing the burden on call centers. By offering customers alternative channels and self-help resources, businesses can effectively manage customer queries and concerns, leading to improved customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.
Naturally, it is essential for each company to evaluate whether it aligns with their specific business goals and customer service objectives. Some key considerations to take into account in order to determine whether your company should prioritize call deflection are the next ones:
Analyze your customer base and their preferences. If your customers prefer self-service options and are comfortable navigating through online resources, call deflection can be a valuable strategy to meet their needs. On the other hand, if your customer base prefers human interaction and relies heavily on phone support, a different approach may be more suitable.
Assess the nature of customer inquiries and support requirements. If your business receives a significant number of routine or repetitive inquiries that can be addressed through self-service options, call deflection can be an effective strategy. However, if your customer inquiries tend to be complex or require personalized assistance, call deflection may not be the primary focus.
Evaluate your available resources, both in terms of budget and workforce. Implementing call deflection strategies often requires an investment in technology, training, and content creation. Consider whether your company has the necessary resources to allocate towards building and maintaining a robust self-service ecosystem.
Examine the potential impact on the customer experience. While call deflection aims to improve efficiency and reduce call volumes, it is crucial to ensure that the customer experience is not compromised. Evaluate whether self-service options can effectively address customer needs and provide satisfactory resolutions.
Align call deflection strategies with your company's overall objectives. If your goals include cost reduction, improved operational efficiency, and scalability, call deflection can play a significant role in achieving these outcomes. However, if other objectives, such as personalized customer interactions or building strong customer relationships, take precedence, a balanced approach incorporating both self-service and phone support may be more suitable.
Research industry benchmarks and best practices. Analyze how call deflection is being implemented successfully in your industry and whether it aligns with customer expectations. Stay informed about the latest trends and technologies to make informed decisions about implementing call deflection strategies.
Implementing call deflection strategies can bring a multitude of benefits to businesses. Some of the key advantages are the following ones:
Businesses can successfully reduce the number of incoming phone calls by providing customers with alternative channels and comprehensive self-service options. This decreases the strain on call center resources and enables agents to focus on more complex or urgent issues.
With fewer calls coming through, businesses can optimize their staffing requirements. They can allocate resources more efficiently, ensuring that the right number of agents are available to handle customer inquiries at any given time.
Call deflection enables businesses to save time and resources by automating repetitive and simple inquiries. This allows customer support teams to dedicate their efforts to more critical tasks, such as resolving complex issues or providing personalized assistance.
With call deflection strategies in place, businesses can minimize the training time and costs associated with onboarding new customer support agents. Self-service options and automated systems can handle routine inquiries, reducing the need for extensive training in basic query resolution.
The implementation of call deflection leads to enhanced operational efficiency as it streamlines customer support processes. Thus, it enables businesses to handle a higher volume of inquiries with fewer resources, leading to faster response times and improved service levels.
Call deflection strategies provide businesses with the flexibility to scale their operations without significant increases in costs. As customer volumes grow, self-service options and automated systems can handle a larger proportion of inquiries, eliminating the need for extensive infrastructure expansion.
To successfully implement call deflection strategies in 2023, businesses can consider the following ten procedures:
Create comprehensive self-service resources, such as knowledge bases, FAQs, and interactive tutorials. Empower customers to find solutions independently, reducing the need for phone-based support.
A tool that can help you with this is Uphint. Uphint is a digital tool that transforms user processes into step-by-step guides with screenshots. With this software, businesses can enhance their self-service resources. Uphint provides a user-friendly interface that allows businesses to create comprehensive guides, tutorials, and even FAQs for customers. These visual how-to guides can simplify complex processes, making it easier for customers to navigate and find answers to their queries without the need for phone-based support. Not only that, but also you can edit the screenshots, adding circles, arrows, blurring confidential information and even changing the text or including extra steps. Furthermore, you can share your guides in different formats such as PDF, via link, embed them to your favorite tools or even in HTML format.
Improve your website's support section with intuitive search functionalities, live chat, chatbots, and virtual assistants. These tools provide real-time assistance and deflect calls by addressing customer inquiries promptly and efficiently.
Implement proactive communication strategies, such as automated email or SMS notifications, to keep customers informed about updates, changes, or known issues. By providing timely and relevant information, you can minimize customer inquiries and deflect potential calls.
Optimize interactive voice response (IVR) systems by simplifying menu options, reducing wait times, and integrating advanced speech recognition technology. Boosting the caller's experience and guiding them towards self-service options can effectively deflect calls.
Leverage customer data and segmentation techniques to personalize self-service experiences. Tailor recommendations, content, and suggested solutions based on each customer's unique preferences and past interactions. Personalized self-service options increase engagement and reduce the need for phone support.
Develop a robust knowledge management system that facilitates efficient content creation, curation, and updates. Ensure that self-service resources are up-to-date, accurate, and easily accessible to customers. A well-maintained knowledge base helps deflect calls by empowering customers with comprehensive information.
Related: Knowledge Management Software or Enterprise Knowledge Management
Provide customer support agents with comprehensive training, access to relevant information, and the authority to make decisions. Empowered agents can handle complex inquiries more efficiently, reducing the need for call transfers or escalations.
Create a seamless customer experience across multiple channels, such as phone, email, chat, social media, and self-service options. Enable customers to switch between channels without losing context, ensuring a consistent and efficient support journey that deflects unnecessary calls.
Data analytics tools offer businesses a valuable opportunity to delve into customer behavior, identify pain points, and closely track the performance of their call deflection strategies. Analyze customer interactions, self-service usage, and call volumes to identify areas for improvement and optimize call deflection efforts continuously.
Encourage customer feedback and actively seek insights on how to enhance self-service options and call deflection strategies. Regularly review call deflection performance metrics and customer satisfaction scores to identify areas of improvement. Embrace a culture of continuous improvement and iterate on your strategies to stay ahead in call deflection.
As businesses strive to deliver exceptional customer service while optimizing costs, call deflection strategies have become increasingly valuable in 2023. By implementing the ten strategies outlined in this article, businesses can reduce call volumes, lower staffing requirements, save time and resources, improve operational efficiency, and provide customers with convenient self-service options. Embracing call deflection not only benefits businesses but also empowers customers to find quick solutions, resulting in improved satisfaction and loyalty. With careful planning and continuous improvement, businesses can rock their call deflection strategies in 2023 and beyond.
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