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Rewarding Good Customer Behavior in the Call Center

Web self service is usually the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to solve most common service issues. Yes, there will always be exceptions that require customers to interact with a human. So what can a business call center do to encourage their customers, on first try, to address the service issue on the web, then if need be, call?A business can reward customers for first trying to use the web by giving them faster and better service if/when they need to call. Examples include:

* Bypassing the IVR: Not having to spend minutes slowly putting in data

* Front of the line: Being put in front of the phone queue

* Best Agents: Give them the best agents who can handle complex issues quickly

Applications that can help identify those who have first tried to self serve on the web or help encourage them to try it in the future include:

1. Click to Call: Add click to call functionality to the service page on the web site. Customers can first try web self serve, then if they hit a roadblock, they fill out a web form with their information, question, and call back number.

2. Contact History: Tracking all contact across all channels. Does the caller have a web ID and have they used it recently? If yes, they probably have a valid reason for the call.

3.Agent Survey: After the call, have the agent complete a 10 second survey ranking the customer on, satisfaction, sophistication, whether they could have self served.

4. After call follow-up: Send an email after the call with a kind message along with a URL they can use in the future. Be sure to point out the click to call feature.

5. Web Conferencing: For complex issues, using web conferencing so that everyone is "on the same page."

6. Messaging: While on hold and waiting for an agent, you can remind customers that self help is just a click away. If the queue is over 5 minutes deep, please let them know.

Most call centers answer calls as they are received. More sophisticated call centers will rate the value of the caller and quality of agents and try to match the most valuable customers with the best agents. The next step in the process in this multi-channel world is to reward customers for using the right channel. Yes, businesses need to answer all service calls, but they should do so intelligently to encourage the optimal use of their resources.