How to Improve Call Center Customer Service
Improving call center efficiency is easier than ever if you have the right tools.
Improving customer service often means improving call center customer service. Thankfully, improving call center efficiency is easier than ever if you have the right tools.
You’ve likely implemented several processes and tools to help elevate the quality of your customer service, but chances are there’s quite a bit more you can do.
Whether that be a tool you’ve never considered– or had never heard of– such as the plethora of AI capabilities exploding onto the market today or a simple principle that can make a big difference.
In the guide below, we’ll show you how to improve your call center customer service in a variety of ways.
Read on to find out how.
Key Questions to Ask to Improve Your Call Center Customer Service
Before we talk about tips, let’s start with the foundation.
You need to get a read on how you’re doing now before you can have a clear idea of how to improve your call center’s efficiency moving forward.
Here are some key questions to ask to do just that:
- What self-service options do you provide? And are they effective?
- How long do your customers typically wait on the phone before being connected with an agent?
- Do you follow up after calls to survey customers on their satisfaction level?
- How happy are your agents?
- Have you properly leveraged AI?
Some of your best friends when it comes to improving call center customer service efficiency are:
- Self-service options, and
- Artificial intelligence
These two tools combined can drastically reduce your number of support calls and provide an incredible boost in efficiency across the entire department.
As for the other three, how long your customers typically wait to be helped as well as the satisfaction level of both your customers and agents are vital metrics. At any time, you should be gathering data to stay informed of all three.
With these five points in place– the proper tools and metrics– you’ll be well on your way to significantly improving your call center’s efficiency.
With that said, let’s jump into some specific tips that build on these questions.
How to Improve Call Center Customer Service: 5 Tips
There are many angles you can approach the goal of improving your call center’s customer service efficiency.
It all comes down to you:
- Processes, and
Here are five tips for improving your call center CS:
1. Develop a Convenient Self-Service Knowledge Base
Believe it or not, your customers don’t want to be stuck on the phone with you. If they can avoid reaching out altogether and handle the issue themselves, that’s ideal.
That’s especially true for younger generations. In a survey by BankMyCell.com, 75% of Millennials reported finding phone calls a waste of time (with Gen Z not far behind).
Similarly, in a study by Gartner, nearly 62% of Millenials and 75% of Gen-Z said that they prefer self-service when given the option vs. that and contacting support.
That’s great news because it means your customers are craving self-service options that are more efficient for your CS team anyway.
By establishing a collection of self-service options– such as a conveniently accessed knowledge base- you’re not only reducing the number of support queries you receive but making your overall support experience more pleasant for your customers.
Make sure that your knowledge base is easy to find and access and that your search tools are easy to use, allowing your customers to find what they need, when they need it, and quickly.
Also, ensure that it covers your most frequently asked questions. This is key because they could be taking up a good portion of your agent’s time.
This gives you a way to route those simple support requests through to your knowledge base, reducing the number of calls and freeing up your agent’s time for more complex requests.
One of the simplest ways to enable self-serve is to replace your knowledge base search engine with a generative AI chatbot, like Gleen AI. A generative AI chatbot creates a significantly better self-service user experience, because:
- It allows customers to enter their own questions, as opposed to picking pre-determined questions from a FAQ; and
- The answer is automatically customized to the user’s question and is a better experience than showing tens or hundreds of documents on a search results page.
2. Use an AI-Based Ticketing System to Organize & Route Requests
One of several great uses of AI to make your call center customer service more efficient. AI-based ticketing platforms now give you the ability to leverage AI to automatically organize, route, and resolve tickets.
Why is this so useful? An AI-powered ticketing system can automatically process a customer’s request along with other basic information, assign a priority level, and even assign that request to the appropriate agent most fit for the request.
An AI-powered ticketing system can also automatically resolve similar tickets, reducing the number of open tickets.
This can drastically cut down on the amount of time your team needs to spend managing and routing requests, further saving your agent’s time and improving efficiency overall.
3. Improve Your FCR (First Call Resolution) Rate
FCR refers to how often you’re able to resolve a support request the first time a customer reaches out (no follow-ups necessary).
According to a report by consulting firm Accenture, 89% of respondents said that they become most frustrated when they have to repeat their requests to multiple customer service representatives.
Needless to say, then, that FCR is an important metric you should be paying attention to. This presents the question: are you keeping track of it? And how?
Look are your current system and ask:
- Which requests are generating needless follow-ups?
- Is there a way to adjust how you handle those issues to take care of them in one single interaction?
- Is there a way that you can use your knowledge base as a supporting tool that would offer answers to potential follow-up questions without requiring a follow-up call? For example, Gleen AI can be configured to ask additional questions to help diagnose and troubleshoot issues.
- What is the primary reason you’re transferring during support calls?
- Is there something you can do to more effectively route to the correct person at the beginning of the process (such as with an AI-powered ticketing system)?
4. Use Mystery Shopping to Run Call Center Efficiency Tests
The term “mystery shopping” refers to when a company-hired group or individual poses as a customer, with the purpose of testing the performance of a customer service team.
In the same way that you test interactions on your website and optimize to find the best performance, mystery shopping allows you to test your call center team to uncover areas for improvement.
It offers a rare glimpse from a perspective you never get otherwise: your customer.
The key to making this work is working closely with your mystery shoppers so that they– and you– understand what you’re looking to achieve from the test.
They should record:
- What frustrated them during their interactions?
- What delighted them?
- What felt seamless and what felt slow or inefficient?
- Was their query resolved in a single interaction (for all mystery shoppers)?
- Which team members were a pleasure to speak with and which needed improvement?
- The list goes on
The amount of information you can uncover from this kind of test is virtually limitless. So, make sure you’re clear on what you’re looking for while also allowing it to be open enough that you can uncover things you may not have realized were an issue before going into the test.
5. Improve Knowledge and Information Access for Agents
Earlier, we talked about the importance of having self-service options such as a convenient knowledge base.
The acquisition of knowledge and customer information for agents is similarly important.
Agents need a multitude of tools to serve your customers in the quickest and most efficient way possible.
If your goal is to resolve as many requests in a single interaction as possible– and waste as little time as possible on average per request– you need to give your agents what they need to get the job done.
Part of this involves making knowledge and information acquisition quick and seamless. Customer service stacks can often become bloated and overcomplicated, leading to difficulty locating information and resources.
According to a report by research firm Aberdeen, agents spent upwards of 14% of their time just on locating information for customers.
This can not only frustrate your team but also– as we talked about earlier– your customers as they’re left waiting while your agents have to spend time locating and pulling up information.
This is further complicated when you take into consideration developing technologies and how the customer experience (and expectations) will evolve over time.
- Offer a centralized dashboard where your agents can see all customer information from one location, and
- An easy-to-access internal knowledge base where they can find answers to common questions quickly
To take this a step further, you can even employ AI that will automatically aggregate customer history and information for your agents into a single report.
Even better, AI chatbots like Gleen AI can now:
- Offer drafts of responses and resolutions which your agents can edit and reprhase as necessary,
- Provide links to supporting documentation, and
- Be integrated with your CRM system to provide personalized and context-sensitive support
Outdated knowledge systems are often the cause of much wasted time in call center teams. With AI, you can make accessing that knowledge faster and more seamless for your agents.
Let Gleen AI Streamline Your Call Center Processes
Great customer service is the glue holding your business together.
Optimizing your call center’s efficiency means taking a step back to see the big picture, to take a closer look at:
- Your agents
- Tools, and
- Your customers.
With Gleen AI, you can improve the online customer experience with: and improve the operating efficiency offer a more simplified and streamlined customer service experience from start to finish, including:
- Real-time support that leads to faster resolutions
- 24/7/365 availability
- Support for almost 100 foreign languages
- Highly accurate and personalized interactions
- Seamless escalations to live agents
- CRM integration for personalized and context-sensitive support
In addition, you can improve the operating efficiency of your customer service team by:
- Having Gleen AI provide first line customer support, allowing live agents to focus on more complex escalations, and
- Using Gleen AI as Agent Assist, where agents use Gleen AI to search for relevant information and create first drafts of responses.