When customers call your business in search of information on products and services, do you think they enjoy the process? Have you ever called your company’s call center just to get a feel for the process? Even though consumers are exhibiting an increasing distaste for online submission forms, they don’t appear to have much love for dealing with call centers either when searching for answers.
Research from analytics firm Forrester suggests that only 17% of consumers are satisfied with self-service call systems in call centers. The greatest Pay Per Call campaign in the world won’t result in increased sales if consumers are too frustrated by the call center experience. How can you optimize your business’s call center to improve sales?
Weed Out Wrong Numbers and Robo Calls
Fielding wrong numbers and robo calls is detrimental to your Pay Per Call campaign and business in general. Not only are you wasting money paying for those calls, but real customers are being forced to wait on hold while those calls clog the lines. With a well-designed Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, you can avoid these nuisance calls.
All you need are smart IVR prompts to help ensure that callers are legitimate. We’ve all dealt with recordings when calling local utilities or the bank, such as “For customer service, press 1.” Prompts like this serve a dual purpose. First and foremost, prompts cut wrong number and robo calls off quickly. Secondly, they help funnel calls to the appropriate department to answer consumer questions faster and convert calls to sales.
Organization is Key
IVR systems are great for weeding out calls, but too many qualifying prompts or routing filters can frustrate customers and lead them to hang up instead of waiting for a connection. When it comes to organization, the action should be included at the end of the prompt. For example, prompts should state “to talk to sales, press 2,” not “press 2 to talk to sales.” With the action at the end, callers are more likely to remember the action and follow it without needing a repeat.
Less is more with your IVR system. Try to streamline the call map as much as possible. The fewer prompts callers have to go through, the quicker they are connected to a team member and the better their mood will be. Happy customers are more likely to purchase than frustrated ones.
All Calls are not Created Equal
Lastly, it is a harsh reality that not all calls are created equal. Sometimes calls originate outside your service area or the caller may in some way be ineligible for your services. If this is the case, it is not worth your time and money to connect them to your team members only to find out they aren’t qualified. Now, this doesn’t mean they should be dropped without notification.
Calls from outside your service area can be qualified with a prompt that asks callers to verify their ZIP code. Do not allow IVR systems to identify callers based upon area codes alone as these can be inaccurate. Some callers use mobile phones as their primary lines, but if they’ve moved around they may still have out-of-state area codes that won’t accurately ID their location.
If their ZIP code falls outside your service area, the prompts can direct them to your company website for more information or simply inform them that your services aren’t offered in their area.