On Hold No More: Callback and InQueue Self-Service Options
Waiting on hold can be one of the most frustrating experiences for customers. Not only are they not getting answers to their questions, but they are kept from doing other things while they wait for their calls to be answered. The end result, even if issues are ultimately resolved to customers’ satisfaction, is a negative perception of an inefficient customer service organization.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. Modern IVR systems are equipped with features to not only eliminate hold times, but often bring customers to a resolution more quickly, creating a much more positive perception.
Callback technology is exactly what it sounds like – it gives customers the options to be called back when their turn in the queue comes up, instead of waiting on hold. Callbacks can even be scheduled for convenient time frames when customers know they will be available. This allows them to go about their personal or business activities without having to be idle due to a busy call center.
Furthermore, when callers select the callback option, IVR systems can ask them for additional information about their question or problem, including using artificial intelligence to ask specific questions based on the customer journey, including recent purchases or online activity. The resulting information set is then delivered to agents desktop at the time of callback to enable them to more effectively address the customer’s concerns and reach resolution more quickly. Ensuring that detail is in front of agents also eliminates the need for customers to repeat information, one of the biggest complains customers have, along with long wait times.
In the same way voice IVR can set up callbacks to avoid long hold times, customers using web or mobile apps or visual IVR can also be given callback options when they look to contact live support, eliminating hold times entirely for them.
A newer feature in modern IVR takes advantage of two modern trends: mobility and an increasing customer desire to use self-service options. In-queue self-service options, like Aspect’s InQueue, give customers an option to receive a link to a self-service mobile web app via text message, allowing them to try resolving their issues on their own while waiting for their callback.
The idea is to allow customers an opportunity to resolve their concerns faster and on their own, not only bringing them to resolution faster, but giving them a sense of self-satisfaction as well as a positive engagement facilitated by the vendor’s IVR system. The added benefit is the system introduces more customers to self-service tools, increasing the probability they will opt for them in the future, reducing strain on live agents.
Once customers have tried the self-service tools sent to them, they will be asked whether their issue has been resolved or not. Importantly, customers opting to try self-service while waiting for a callback not only do not lose their place in the queue, but are prioritized for callbacks if they aren’t able to resolve their issues on their own, adding additional incentive for trying self-service. At that point, the self-service portal provides additional information into the customer record, giving live agents even more detailed insight into how to efficiently resolve the problem – a highly valuable set of data if customers become frustrated at not being able to come to a resolution on their own.
If customers are, however, able to successfully resolve their issues, the callback can be canceled, eliminating unnecessarily taking up both agents’ and customers’ time with a live call.
InQueue increases customer service efficiency by reducing hold times and associated frustration, while introducing customers to self-service options available for solving their specific concerns. By maximizing the use of IVR capabilities, contact centers are able to drive increasingly positive customer service experiences, cost savings achieved by moving customers from live support to self-service, and increased agent efficiency by allowing them to focus on other customers who need live support.