In today’s fast-paced world, we value time more than ever before. The phrase, “Time is money” is one that many businesses include in their training approach - and in few industries is this more prevalent than in that of the contact center.
Keeping your pace quick when serving customers or making connections with leads is only logical. The more calls you can make in a given period, the more satisfied customers you can create. That means a more profitable day for your facility - and a bigger profit for your business.
However, there are major merits to slowing things down. Longer phone calls may actually be beneficial to your business in ways that you might not have imagined. Here, we will examine the value of longer phone calls - and the customer service that they can result from - and how all of it can positively impact your center.
Why Are Your Employees Making Long Phone Calls?
There are numerous reasons why your call center agents’ phone calls may be lasting longer than your target time frames. Some of these may result in positive outcomes, such as closed deals and satisfied customers, there are also lengthy calls that can keep you from hitting your goals.
The average time for handling a call in a contact center is less than six minutes. There are lots of calls that miss that mark, many of which are because of complicated situations that an agent has to handle. When a consumer is very upset, has a very complex complaint or concern, or is simply very talkative, it can be difficult to keep the conversation brief. Your agents want to serve customers well; finding the balance between excellent customer relations and prompt service can be tricky!
So, what might be keeping your employees on the line longer than you would like? Some reasons for lengthy calls in the contact center includes:
- Struggling to collect and make sense of customer data. Consumer data is very important, but it can also be difficult to collect when your consumer isn’t prepared and compliant. Be sure to train agents on how to handle this scenario.
- Poor routing systems. When your consumer spends endless minutes being directed and redirected, they start to feel disregarded and unimportant to your business. If this goes on too long, they won’t just have a negative experience - they will likely disconnect the call.
- Ineffective agent training. Can your agents handle calls promptly? If you notice that your team is regularly struggling to meet target times, it may be an issue with their training and overall job readiness.
- Issues caused by shortcomings in the companies you partner with and serve. Sometimes, the companies that you work to service are the root of your lengthy phone calls. Faulty products, recalls, and other concerns can lead to your agents spending what feels like hours on each call trying to assist frustrated and confused customers.
Are Longer Phone Calls Always a Problem?
While some lengthy calls can result in time lost that could otherwise be used to reach out to other contacts or serve other customers, it is important to remember that not every call that stretches beyond the normal suggested limits is a bad thing. In fact, there are some types of longer phone calls that can actually serve your business well.
This is especially true in the outbound call center setting. Studies have suggested that the longer your agent is on the phone with a potential lead or client, the more likely they are to successfully close a deal. Now, that’s a good reason to stay on the line!
The Benefits of Longer Phone Calls
Potential closed sales are one major benefit of longer phone calls, both in the outbound and the inbound center. Don’t think your inbound center can benefit from longer phone calls? Think again!
Just as your agents are more likely to close a deal if they can keep a consumer on the phone, so too can your agents be successful in upselling and cross-selling if they are on the phone for extended periods. If a consumer calls with a concern about a service plan or product package, a well-trained agent may be able to not only resolve their issue, but also recommend products or services that will work well with what they already have. The few extra minutes it may take them to make these recommendations can majorly increase your company’s sales - and your customer satisfaction ratings!
Perhaps the best reason to extend the time of your average call is that longer calls can offer a better customer experience and more comprehensive, satisfying service. Callers don’t love spending unnecessary time on the phone, but they do love feeling like they have been adequately served. If you want to provide great service and make your consumers feel like their concerns have been heard and their questions have been answered, invest the additional time it takes to meet those needs. It may only be a few extra minutes per person, but it can make all the difference in the level of service you are providing.
Thankfully, there is technology available that will help you make the most of your longer phone calls - without missing out on as much with other calls. Having a solid routing system is one way to ensure that time is not otherwise wasted during your caller’s experience. An effective interactive voice response solution can also help to streamline the service process outside of the actual call, making longer calls less detrimental to your bottom line.
If you’re looking to outfit your operation with the tools and technology necessary to lengthen those phone calls in a positive way - and provide better customer service - look no further than the industry experts at ChaseData. We have what you need to provide your agents with the means to make every exchange with consumers better, from inbound customer service calls to outbound sales pitches. Whatever you do, we can help you do it more effectively. Give us a call today to learn more!