Despite common perception, phone calls at are an all-time high, particularly in environments where relationship building is of paramount importance and where higher dollar values are being transacted. As a result, call centers are investing in new ways to enhance their agent’s with artificial intelligence so that each phone call has as high a probability as possible to end successfully.
Phone calls are more important than ever, and improving call quality remains a key priority
While the focus on the dedicated call-center agent has no doubt declined over the last two decades, this conceals a very important countertrend: Each call from a customer is more important than ever.
A brief summary of a few eye-opening statistics regarding how call quality impacts conversations :
- A study done by American Express found that more than half of all customers had gotten rid of a plan or not made a purchase due to poor customer service.
- Bad customer service experiences are recounted to others approximately 50 percent more often than good ones, and the intensity of the efforts to publicize bad experiences tend to be more intense.
- Another study found that American companies collectively lose $62 billion each year due to customer service mistakes.
- A final study found that 51 percent of Americans will abandon a company for good based on one bad customer service experience.
As stark as the above numbers appear, for a company that relies on call-center agents to handle high-value interactions, the stakes are even higher, and improving call quality has immediate results for call center’s bottom line. That’s because, today, by the time a customer has made it through the entire business communications tree and reached an agent, the likelihood that there is a make-or-break issue at hand has skyrocketed. In short, today’s telephone customer service agents are engaged in a high-stakes game where mistakes are often measured in thousands of dollars or more. For this reason, improving call quality continues to rank as a key priority for call centers.
Just as casinos and banks invest heavily in monitoring their cash-intense operations to ensure against costly mistakes, theft and loss, today’s call centers can often become important profit centers for their companies through the close monitoring of calls, improving call quality, and the elimination of common and totally preventable errors.
Call-center analytics software is a game changer for those seeking to improve call quality
Clearly, telephone agents represent a linchpin of today’s businesses. But until recently, there was little that call centers could do to significantly improve call quality beyond making extraordinary efforts at training and high-performance-agent retention. Since call centers usually operate at capacity, they simply didn’t have the time or resources to pull reps off the phone for call quality training. Reps who weren’t cutting it were simply fired and a new batch of fresh hires brought in, which lead to fluctuations in call quality.
With the introduction of Balto call-center analytics software, that has changed. Now, call centers have the ability to improve call quality in real time, helping each agent in the office to emulate the performance of the company’s top sellers , collectors and customer service representatives.
Balto’s software uses advanced artificial intelligence in order to monitor every call, helping agents to avoid using ineffective language or engaging in non-compliant speech. Moreover, Balto helps each call-center representative to stay on script, using the best strategies that the company has developed on every call. From a quality-assurance standpoint, Balto is a revolutionary new paradigm in real-time analytics and call coaching, with the potential to ramp-up novice trainees to performance levels on par with a company’s most seasoned and effective representatives.
Balto also serves as a highly effective post-call review tool, helping to quickly and efficiently bring agents up to speed. Balto’s easy-to-use interface allows decision-makers to instantly see what call strategies are working for their individual company, allowing managers to scale the best strategies across their entire team. In this way, call cents can quickly improve call quality by detecting what is working and automatically pushing it live to the rest of the team.
Balto improves call quality across a range of business models and interactions
So, who can benefit the most from using Balto analytics to improve call quality? With its robust user interface that has been extensively field-tested across many use cases, the answer is that virtually any business that handles mission-critical telephone interactions with customers can benefit by adopting the Balto system. However, there are a few areas where Balto can make immediate and dramatic improvements in the bottom line that are large enough to seriously impact earnings statements.
Balto can help turn a salesforce into an army of unstoppable closers
Anyone who has worked in a cutthroat sales environment of knows that the difference between top performers and those who struggle is often as enormous as its causes are subtle. A company’s top closers may have racked up orders of magnitude more sales than even a firm’s average salespeople. In live sales, this can often be attributable to innate characteristics of the salesperson or things that would otherwise seem immaterial to the transaction, such as appearance, vocal tone, and body language.
But the telephone largely removes these factors by its nature, leaving the message itself as the essence of the interaction. That’s why it is imperative for call-center agents to follow the strategies that are known to close sales. It is also why Balto can help telephone sales departments to boost their effectiveness and improve call quality.
What is so remarkable is that Balto can truly clone a company’s best closer, helping every sales agent to capture the essential messaging, objection rebuttals and word choice that has produced proven results for the industry- and company-specific applications.
This involves far more than mere guesswork. Using its built-in state-of-the-art statistical methodology that is rooted in artificial intelligence, Balto improves call quality through its advanced speech-analytics platform to tease out the key factors that are present in your best closers’ repertoire.
It then translates these penetrating insights into direct action: providing real-time coaching suggestions, in call, to agents whenever they may be deviating from the optimal line. In this way, call centers can reduce the performance gap between their strongest and weakest performers.
Studies have shown that sales trainees forget well over half of everything that they learn within the first week of completing training. As a result, managers find that improving call quality is an uphill battle, since much of their call coaching simply falls by the wayside.With Balto’s helpful in-call reinforcement, the retention rate for critical sales knowledge and skills can be pushed up towards 100 percent, enabling every agent in the office to perform at the levels of seasoned professionals, no matter how new to the job they may be.
Although Balto’s speech recognition and artificial intelligence allow it to enforce the use of best-practice-based language, it is not overbearing. The software only intervenes in cases where it perceives the likelihood of a critical mistake to be high or where it has calculated that a strong opportunity to insert course-changing dialogue at a crucial juncture in the sales call is transpiring. Balto is designed to enhance the sales agent’s skill set, not to replace it.
Balto helps collectors stay compliant and increase success rates
Balto can deliver tremendous value in the debt settlement process, both at the accounts-receivables stage as well as in collections. For accounts receivable, Balto helps to steer the conversation towards an amicable solution that is satisfactory for all parties, helping to resolve outstanding invoices while retaining active customers. For collections, Balto can help in the critical task of ensuring that agents do not fall afoul of strict debt-collections laws while maximizing the overall success rate across all agents in a firm.
Using Balto’s advanced real-time analytics, collectors’ methods are enhanced in order to collect the most while doing things the right way. Balto improves collection’s call quality by helping collectors walk the often-thin line between getting results and staying within the bounds of ethics.
As in sales, collections require on-the-ball responses from the agent. When thousands of dollars are on the line, an after-call coaching session is simply too late. That’s why Balto provides critical scripts for in-call talk offs, helping agents to keep the call on track with language that has proven to be effective.
Balto also improves call quality by dramatically reduce the amount of time required to get new trainees on the floor in a productive capacity. With historically elevated turnover rates throughout the collections industry, the ability to ramp a trainee up to high-level productivity in weeks rather than months can be a coup for any agency’s bottom line.
But most importantly, many states require in-depth compliance points to be met at every step throughout a collections call. Failure to hit these legally mandated benchmarks can result in serious liabilities being incurred on the part of the agency, including loss of licenses, fines, and endless frivolous lawsuits. Balto can eliminate these risks with 100 percent certainty, ensuring that every compliance point is hit on every call, without exception.
Balto improves customer service call quality
The average value of customer service calls has steadily increased over the last two decades. By the time a customer has made it through the many filters of the communications tree, it is overwhelmingly likely that the customer service representative will be dealing with an issue that is relationship-critical for the customer. And these are the types of calls where call quality has massive consequences.
Customer service metrics can be challenging to collect and interpret. That’s why Balto is designed specifically to help customer service decision-makers uncover the factors that lead to positive customer experiences and high levels of overall satisfaction. Balto then helps to ensure that all representatives are interacting with customers in a way that is most likely to lead to customer satisfaction and retention.
The most powerful call analytics suite can be fully rolled out in just days
With Balto’s painless onboarding, it is possible to fully adopt the software and start seeing big results in a matter of days.Ready to start improving call quality? Request your Balto demo!
Originally published Apr 22, 2019 6:06 pm