Whether your call center fields thousands of inbound sales calls, customer service inquiries or your team connects with prospects through outbound calls, you understandably expect your team to respond to questions, concerns, and objections in effective ways. Does their performance live up to your expectations?
Inbound callers have specific needs or wants that they expect to be addressed professionally and promptly. They can become frustrated when their expectations are not met by your team or when the call takes an unnecessarily long amount of time. This reflects poorly on your company, and it can result in lost sales and customers who never return.
The impact of outbound calls gone awry can be equally detrimental. Potential customers who your team reaches out to could perceive your company as being rude, unprofessional or otherwise not worthy of their time, attention and money.
Establishing call quality parameters is a step in the right direction, but training your team and setting expectations do not ensure that your team is following through.
From sales and customer service reps to debt collectors, accounts receivable professionals, live support agents and other professionals who interact directly with your customers over the phone, their efforts with each call dramatically impact your business. How can you ensure compliance to your standards and provide your team with the support and training they need in real-time?
Understanding Call Quality Parameters
The concept of call quality parameters sounds simple enough at first glance, but what does this term actually mean? By establishing quality standards for your team, you have created call quality parameters that they should function within on a daily basis.
For example, your call center may have call quality parameters for the time to answer a call, transfer and escalation rates, idle or hold times and other factors. Additional call quality Parameters for a sales team may relate to establishing rapport, overcoming objections and more.
Call quality goes far beyond this. The message that your team portrays to your customer must be uniform and representative of your brand image. Each call must be aligned with ethical and legal standards.
While you have spent a considerable amount of time developing these standards and training your team to comply with them, are they actually doing so?
Challenges Monitoring and Enforcing Call Quality Standards
Given the importance of each inbound and outbound phone call that your team makes, you cannot afford to take chances by assuming that your team always knows how to respond to every situation. However, monitoring each phone call is not a reasonable solution.
In many organizations, these types of inbound and outbound phone calls are recorded for quality control and training purposes. Your team’s manager may pick a few select calls to review in a monthly training session. From these calls, your team may learn how to respond to very specific situations.
Are important issues and concerns slipping through the cracks when your team only learns from a select group of training examples? A closer look at the challenges associated with monitoring and enforcing established call quality parameters and standards can give you an eye-opening look at critical issues with your current operations.
Each call that your sales team makes or fields is a revenue-generating opportunity. Your sales team likely hears numerous rebuttals and objections as well as various levels of interest. Your top closers may masterfully handle many of these issues to secure a desired result, but your weaker performers may still have ample room for development and improvement.
Is your sales team taking every reasonable step to boost their conversion rate? Are there other trainable factors that could be addressed to increase their level of success? After all, their listening skills, the speed of their communication and even if they interrupt the customer can affect their success.
While your customer service team may field the calls covering the same general topics or issues regularly, many calls have unique factors or nuances. Simply training your team to respond according to a predetermined format or script is not effective.
When customer service agents lack the training and empowerment to respond to unusual situations, callers may be placed on hold repeatedly and for excessive amounts of time. They may be transferred or even hang up without their concerns being addressed. Understandably, this leaves a bad taste in a customer’s mouth, leads to lost sales, damages your reputation and has other detrimental effects.
However, with many calls deviating from an expected structure or flow, how can you train your team effectively? How can you ensure that they have the right solutions, answers or suggestions to address every situation?
Debt collection and accounts receivable calls must be handled tactfully and within specific legal parameters. The specialists in this department are trained negotiators who should know how to set defensive customers at ease while reaching a desired outcome. The critical nature of collected monies owed to your company requires exceptional results from this team.
As important as it is for your debt collection and accounts receivable professionals to use effective negotiation strategies, compliance is essential. Your company could find itself in hot water because of violations that are not identified and corrected promptly.
Your managers do their best to identify training opportunities and to prevent or to address potential legal issues. Nonetheless, there is understandably substantial room for improvement.
Your team has been trained to manage calls through an adopted script. They understandably must adapt the script based on the unique nature of each call. In the process of adaptation and when faced with an escalating situation, issues occur.
Some of your team members may respond in a combative way or make false statements in an effort to appease the customer. They may lack the proper soft skills and on-the-fly cognitive abilities to actively address each potential situation in the most effective manner possible.
In the process, they may disclose confidential information, make promises that cannot be kept or fail to provide essential disclosures to customers. These are legal compliance issues, and they also impact the quality of the caller’s experience. However, hiring more quality control professionals is not a cost-effective way to provide your team with the support and oversight needed.
Using A.I. for Support and Training
The ideal solution to address all of these issues is to monitor every call and to provide training and support in real-time. This ideal solution is unfortunately impractical using traditional manpower. However, A.I. technology is now available to coach your team through every call. By doing so, calls are handled appropriately and effectively. A.I. can now examine each call and alert reps if they deviate from pre-approved call quality parameters, alerting them in the moment, when there is still an opportunity to save the conversation.
Each call is a potential learning opportunity that enables your team to learn valuable strategies and techniques. Through A.I. and real-time voice analytics or real-time speech analytics, your business can take advantage of these benefits without having to invest in additional manpower. More than that, your team will not feel stressed by the constant oversight of a hovering manager.
The Impact on Call Quality
The benefits of using A.I. technology for support and training are incredible. They improve work activities at the individual level and results at the corporate level. These benefits include:
- Improved ramp-up time for new-hires and ongoing agent development
- A consistent message delivered to customers that represents your brand effectively
- Immediate notice of compliance issues sent to the agent and the manager
- Improved soft skills, like active listening and talk time
- Guidance with finding effective phrases to use in critical situations
- Support to overcome objections and diffuse escalating issues more effectively
- Decreases wait and hold times because each call is addressed efficiently
- The ability to monitor statistics to promote accountability
- Assurance that each call is properly completed before the customer hangs up
Are you ready to learn more about how artificial intelligence can be used to enforce effective call quality parameters? Contact Balto today for a product demo and details tailored to your organization.
Originally published Mar 07, 2020 2:30 am