Let’s face it: nobody likes waiting on hold. While multimedia call centers are the norm today, and many people choose a variety of mobile and Web-based methods through which to contact organizations, the phone is still the preferred method, and this isn’t likely to change anytime soon. What this means is that the pressure is still on most organizations to keep and run a formidable call center infrastructure that involves agents who spend most of their day on the phone with customers.
Call spikes happen, and though most companies like to minimize the time they keep callers on hold, it’s not always avoidable. Smart companies understand this, but they also know that today there are viable alternatives to putting inbound calls on hold, and these options include scheduled call-back technologies.
While the earliest call-back solutions were very basic -- simply a promise to return an inbound call – today, they’ve become more intelligent. Companies can control when and how they offer callback options depending on the call center’s traffic and pre-set thresholds based on business rules. (For example, the callback solution can be offered automatically when the estimated hold times exceeds three to five minutes, which is the lengthiest amount of time most callers are content to wait on hold.)
Today’s Software-as-a-Service delivery method makes deploying these types of callback solutions easy, since there is no hardware to install. Callback solutions provider Hold-Free offers such a SaaS-based solution that requires no integration with enterprise automatic call distributors (ACDs) to queue calls via the Hold-Free platform. The solution, Q-Free, was designed to facilitate the callback to the customer and prepare the agent for the call with whisper coaching and/or screen data, which helps keep the customer relationship intact, while allowing call centers to moderate their operations and call spikes.
Many callback solutions providers also offer the option via mobile phones, as customers are increasingly relying on mobile devices to contact the companies with which they do business. Hold-Free’s mobile solution, Mobile Callback, offers a visual interface on a device screen that allows customers to choose a time that is convenient for a callback: 15 minutes, 30 minutes or other time-frames.
While it would be nice to pick up every call from every customer at any time, practical considerations mean this simply isn’t possible. Putting customers on hold – once considered a necessary evil but now considered more a of a customer relationship-killing practice in this era of consumer instant gratification – needs a next generation solution. Scheduled callback is probably the answer.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman