Providing excellent customer service is an art form that requires care, finesse, and strategy. In today's challenging economic climate, contact centers must deliver exceptional service with limited resources. The key is capacity optimisation - making the most of what you have to elevate the customer experience.
In this post, we'll explore creative ways modern contact centers can do more with less through wise capacity planning. With some artistic ingenuity, you can master the art of customer service on a tight budget.
Making Every Brushstroke Count
Like an artist selecting each brushstroke with intent and purpose, today's contact center leaders must make judicious choices about where to invest their limited capacity. Focus on the highest value activities that create the biggest impact on customer satisfaction and business goals.
Automate repetitive tasks that can be handled reliably by chatbots. Empower human agents to focus on delivering personalized service during complex and sensitive customer interactions. Every capacity allocation decision matters so make each one count.
Balancing Across Channels
Omnichannel customer service has introduced many new "canvases" for contact centers to paint on. With voice calls, email, live chat, social media and more, how do you know where to concentrate your capacity?
Take a consultative approach, asking customers about channel preferences. Monitor traffic volumes and conversion rates by channel. Allocate more resources to the high-demand areas but maintain baseline service levels across all channels. Like a painter blending colors, find the right balance for your contact center's channel mix.
Optimizing the Service Queue
Long hold times lead to abandoned calls and frustrated customers. It's like keeping gallery visitors waiting interminably before they can experience the art. Savvy contact center managers utilize workforce management technology to forecast demand and schedule the right number of agents.
Set up skills-based routing to get customers to the right agent quickly. Offer callbacks so customers don't wait on hold. Use queue monitoring to ensure service levels don't slip. Capacity planning and queue optimization prevent customers from waiting in line indefinitely for service.
Equipping Your Team with Creativity
Contact center agents are the Michelangelos of customer service. Equip them with knowledge, tools, and freedom to creatively resolve customer needs. Hire for empathy and communication skills in addition to technical experience.
Foster a collaborative culture where agents share best practices and ideas for better service. Recognize creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Like great artists, empower agents to turn service into an inspired experience instead of merely going through the motions.
Getting by with “Less Paint”
Budget cuts may force contact centers to operate with less staff. Get creative about maintaining service levels with a smaller team. Look for ways to conserve your "paint supply."
Identify repeat customer issues that can be resolved proactively to reduce call volume. Monitor peak periods and have flexible part-time staff cover the busiest hours of the day. Keep scaling back hours until you see service deterioration, then scale back up just enough to stay out of the red zone. With some savvy adjustments, you can stretch resources further.
Mastering Perspective and Scale
Step back and take a wide view of operations to spot waste and opportunities. Are lower value interactions taking up too much time? Like an artist playing with perspective, look at the contact center from multiple vantage points.
Bring agent performance metrics down to individual levels to identify training gaps. Aggregate up to division or company level to assess broader trends. Adjust the lens to see things you may have missed before. Adopting different visual perspectives reveals chances to do more with existing resources.
Capitalizing on Existing Assets
A resourceful artist can create a masterpiece using found objects. Contact centers too can reuse their existing tools and channels in new ways.
Could chatbots handle some easy service requests to free up agents? What about sending proactive reminders or surveys through underutilized communication channels? Look within to uncover hidden opportunities with the assets already at your fingertips. With a dose of ingenuity, you can do more without spending more.
Artists often collaborate to reap the benefits of shared expertise. Contact centers can forge strategic partnerships to offer new services without inflating internal headcount.
Consider partnering with a specialist provider to offer some niche services outside your core competency. Or collaborate with other departments to hand off appropriate tasks. Be selective about which activities to keep in-house vs. outsource. A web of creative partnerships gives you the flexibility to adapt.
Continuous Improvement of Craft
Even master painters continue honing their craft. Contact centers must continually refine skills and processes to optimize capacity.
Look for repetitive tasks that could be simplified or standardized. Identify common pain points for customers and brainstorm fixes. Keep polishing through iteration. Set targets around capacity metrics and monitor for improvement. With ongoing refinement, you can steadily expand output without expanding resources.
Envisioning the Ideal
The great artists envisioned their masterpieces before picking up a brush. Contact center leaders must also have a vision for the optimal customer experience. Paint a picture of your ideal future state.
Which capabilities and technologies could you incorporate if resources were unlimited? This aspirational view will reveal the highest potential strategies. Then pragmatically work backwards to implement what you can within budget constraints. With creativity and purpose, you can make strides towards your ideal even with limited means.
Capably serving customers in today's environment requires the ingenuity of an artist. By following the principles of capacity optimisation, contact centers can masterfully elevate service with the resources at hand. With strategic vision and execution, you too can perfect the art of customer service.