February 14, 2012
Blending: The Key to Broadening Call Center Quality without Additional Resources
By Tracey E. Schelmetic
While many a corporate call center has found, in recent years, the need to tighten its belt, other call centers with shallower pockets, such as those that support non-profit groups or government agencies and civil services, have found the budget crunch to be even more dire.
UK-based contact center solutions provider Rostrvm Solutions has some advice for those call centers feeling the pinch. It's possible to keep customers at the heart of operations and introduce more services to the call center, says Rostrvm (News - Alert), with little to no additional resources. The trick, said the company in a recent press release, is to make innovative use of existing call center technology to increase call handling levels and improve both agent and customer satisfaction. This is where call blending comes in.
“Blending tasks in the contact center ensures greater output is gained from the same number of staff because agents are switched to other tasks during down times,” said Rostrvm Solutions’ (News - Alert) Ken Reid. “This will improve productivity, lower queue times for customers and reduce the risk of abandoned calls, without constant expenditure.”
One of the contact center's biggest challenges is getting staffing levels right. When you overstaff, you get bored agents sitting around wasting time and money. Understaff, and you get burned-out agents, high turnover and angry customers. By learning to blend properly, you can achieve the correct balance to make the best use of your resources. But blending is not just about combining inbound and outbound telephone calls, says Rostrvm... it can also be used for combining calls with e-mails and social media responses.
Said Reid, “Those who don’t implement blending will lose out in the long run. The role of the contact centre is expanding and becoming more complex but blending ensures that there are enough agents to handle calls when the volume is high, and that productivity levels do not slip when the number of calls is lower. Customer service does not have to lose out to budget cuts with this type of creative technology.”
Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell