Creating an advanced call centre no matter where employees are based

With the future of offices in question, now is the time to think about boosting customer service with advanced call centre features

The typical call centre setup – long rows of desks populated with dozens of people in close proximity for hours – has been made impossible by social distancing regulations. So how can a business provide the same levels of customer service when its employees are working from home – not to mention companies hoping to launch a dedicated call centre to boost their customer service?

There is a solution. By switching to a modern phone system based on unified communications, distributed teams are able to handle sales calls, support queries and build customer relationships in a way that a traditional phone setup could never match.

Think like a call centre

A typical business uses a reactive setup. When a call comes in, often to a direct line, someone answers. If a business is lucky, the customer speaks to the right person. Their needs are met, their records updated and everyone walks away happy. Often, though, that call comes in and is never answered, or goes to voicemail, or they simply speak to someone who can’t help and are told that they will get a call back.

Now consider how a call centre “thinks”. Geared towards the needs of the business’ consumers, it will work no matter who answers the call. At any one time, the manager will know how many calls are waiting – that is, how many customers are waiting – and have access to key data and trends, showing where they need to make investment.

Then there’s call reporting. Knowing how well call centre agents perform is vital. Whether they’re slacking and other agents are doing all the work, or they’re performing exceptionally well and deserve a reward, having detailed data is crucial for their development. And the only way to gain this valuable insight is by exporting call reports and analysing the data.

It’s also important to know how well agents work as a team. If a customer receives a poor level of service they won’t blame the agents, they’ll blame the company.

Thanks to 3CX, these tools are now within reach of any business, no matter what its size.

Never miss a call

Waiting on the line can be frustrating. Little wonder that many people give up, potentially losing a sale or simply leaving a bad taste in the mouth of a valuable existing customer. This is one of the reasons that proprietary PBX systems with call-centre functionality used to be so expensive (not to mention difficult to set up). 3CX PRO resolves this through intuitive call centre management that minimises wait times and provides a callback facility for anyone who doesn’t want to stay in the queue.

While these are the obvious advantages to the customer, there are similarly compelling reasons for business owners. For instance, users can view an integrated Wallboard to monitor real-time calls, access detailed reports (including user activity, average talking time and wait times) and call in extra resources to cover peak times.

Turn website visitors into customers

While the number of website visitors may be a statistic to admire (or otherwise), each visitor can also be turned into an opportunity. After all, if they’ve taken the time and trouble to visit a page on a company’s website then there’s every chance they’re interested in the products or services it provides.

Website chat needn’t be invasive. The best approach may be to simply integrate a “let’s chat” widget into the bottom right of the website, and let the visitor do all the talking. Agents can take a more direct approach and, having assisted the customer, can proceed to offer further assistance, advice or even make value-added sales. 3CX makes it easy thanks to its 3CX Live Chat & Talk plugin, which allows users to quickly and easily add live chat support to a WordPress website. (It’s available for any CMS or custom-built site, too.)

This plugin neatly connects with the 3CX Phone System. It means that customers can chat to a member of staff online, who can then quickly escalate that to a phone call (and hopefully a sale) when the time is right. Furthermore, customer chats appear in the 3CX Web Client, so agents are able to keep all communications on the same, single platform.

Integrate with a CRM

If a business has already made an investment into a CRM system then 3CX is ready to help. Head to the 3CX website for guides to integrate systems such as Salesforce, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics and many more – all integration is done by the 3CX administrator, with no plugins or manual configuration required by users.

With this in place, inbound calls are automatically linked to the customer record, which appears on the employee's screen. Making a call to customers is just as easy – launch calls with a single click from the browser or app (3CX provides free apps for both iOS and Android). It’s also quick and easy to log interactions.

The end result is happier customers and more efficient employees. And, crucially, it works just as easily from a home office as a traditional call centre.

To get 3CX free for one year, visit www.3cx.com

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