By Art Coombs, CEO KomBea Corporation
Also published in ICMI.
Think of your call center like a piano concert—there are three things necessary to create an amazing experience. You need a great instrument, a great composer or piece of music and a great pianist. Your trainers are effectively the composer and the call center agents are the pianist and if either one is off slightly, then your accuracy rates decline.
Continuing with our theme, there is live music and recorded music. When recorded, the artist can perfect the song and that song is played over and over and the quality of the experience is consistent.
When a call center runs all their operations “live” most centers will have an 85-92 percent accuracy rating and a 95 percent accuracy rating is considered excellent. Let’s stop and apply a little math to that statistic. For a call center with 10,000 agents that take 40 calls per day, that’s 400,000 calls. At 95 percent accuracy, 20,000 customers were given inaccurate information, and if that piece of information happened to be a disclosure or other legal component, you now have 20,000 opportunities for a class action lawsuit.
This article is not meant to be a scare tactic, simply a reminder that to be human is to make mistakes. And to be human is to have emotion and be different from one another. The real key learning for call centers is to find the right blend of human interaction and technology to give the customer the best experience and achieve total compliance.
Let’s take the leap to technology and compare a disclosure or mini-miranda to our recorded song. When recorded, the tone, the words, and the clarity are all perfect, exactly as you need it to be. This is a great example of where technology can help the call center and truly mitigate human error. Factor in that a recorded statement from the company carries more credibility and, as a result, consumer confidence goes up and customer satisfaction ratings increase as well.
When the critical aspects of a call are pre-recorded, the call center can remove intra-variation, where two different agents will naturally read the same paragraph differently. Additionally, inter-variation is eliminated, meaning the same person doesn’t change their tone depending on their mood or time of their shift. At KomBea, we developed ProtoCall which blends agent interaction with recorded segments to deliver a quality experience that is consistent and accurate.
In addition to outbound messaging we have discussed to this point, technology can be equally beneficial for collecting inbound information as well as confirming aspects of a transaction. When a customer can use technology or software that allows them to enter their information directly, the onus comes off the agent and there is an immediate verification process. Much like purchasing something online- if the customer enters a credit card number incorrectly or misses a digit, the system will immediately notify the customer of the error. SecureCall from KomBea is one of those technologies that allows the customer to enter their personal or sensitive information directly and then the system, not the agent, can repeat back a confirmation.
You may be thinking, “Technology isn’t fool-proof!” And while technology can have errors as well, it can also be constantly improved and fail-safe methods put in place. There is a direct input to output control without variation. Overall, when call centers use technology it will be to their long-term advantage for consistency, accuracy and customer satisfaction.
Art Coombs is currently, President and CEO of KomBea Corporation. Art has been developing and marketing tools that blend human intelligence and automation to improve call center phone interactions. KomBea Corporation, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been helping call centers become more compliant, secure, and efficient for over 12 years. More information is available at www.KomBea.com. Art has also served as; Executive Vice President of business development and strategic initiatives for FirstSource; CEO and founder of Echopass Corporation world’s premier contact center hosting environment, CEO of Sento Corporation; and Managing Director and VP of European business development for Sykes Enterprises. https://www.linkedin.com/in/artcoombs