Contact Centre

Taking the Stress out of your Inbound Contact Centre

When people think of stressed contact centre agents, there’s a good chance they’re thinking of outbound. After all, making hundreds of cold calls every day can be a frustrating, difficult process.

However, according to a poll conducted by Call Centre Helper, more than a third of contact centre professionals think handling inbound calls is the most stressful environment – an increasingly common sentiment in complex, multi-channel inbound contact centres.

How can you make life easier for your agents? How can taking advantage of the right technology keep them motivated, productive, and consistently improving customer service?

Give agents the information they need to succeed

One theory for heightened stress in an inbound environment is unpredictability. While outbound agents know who they are calling and why, inbound agents often find themselves playing a game of catch-up to understand why customers are calling and what they need.

Integrated with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, screen pop can be a vital tool in getting agents up-to-speed the moment that calls connect. Based on the telephone number that is dialling in, you can give your agents an at-a-glance view of customer names, call histories, and relevant notes. As a result, they can hit the ground running and feel confident and informed at all times.

Similarly, agent scripting gives you a way to guide your agents through a call. With context-sensitive screens displayed based on how calls unfold, your agents will always know what to do next. You can even execute automated workflows from within the script, ensuring that data collection and follow-up processes happen in the background – reducing the burden, and stress, on your agents.

Support agents with intelligent call routing

Today’s typical inbound call centre handles a huge number of calls – but it doesn’t stop there. Across social media, email, web chat and SMS, a multi-channel contact centre demands an extensive skillset from every agent.

With the right technology to route your incoming communications, you can direct customers to the most appropriate agent for the job, not just based on department but also an agent’s ability with a given channel or business area. This gives agents tasks they are good at, or smaller, more specific areas to focus their attention on.

Intelligent call routing can also play a big role in reducing stress during your busier periods. If your inbound contact centre solution supports mobility and remote access, you can direct incoming calls to agents wherever they are, maximising your resources and easing the burden on each individual agent.

Create a better experience for your customers

Another theory for the cause of stress in an inbound contact centre is simply the nature of many inbound calls.

At best, customers are trying to get help or achieve a goal, but may need to wait for an agent to become available. At worst, customers are calling in regarding problems they’re already frustrated with – and waiting in a queue doesn’t help.

In part, the solution is appropriate staffing, improving visibility over queue lengths with tools like a wallboard display, and queue management techniques like making customer calls a higher priority than internal calls.

However, you should also consider an inbound contact centre solution that enables you to give customers more control over their experience and offer alternatives to a long wait. This could include queue callbacks, where a caller can hit a button to request a return call instead of hanging on the line, and support for other channels like web chat, SMS and email.

Removing the frustrations you can control

Much like an outbound contact centre, your inbound agents will always be subject to some stress. In many ways, that’s the product of a team that’s highly engaged in doing an excellent job for your customers – and frustrated with the inevitable challenges and obstacles.

However, by keeping agents informed, routing calls intelligently, and improving the customer experience before agents are connected, you can greatly reduce that stress – and keep your agents working at their very best.

Hostcomm’s Inbound Contact Centre gives you a range of features to make your call centre frustration-free.

Find out more at COntact Centre Solutions

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