How technology can improve customer service while reducing call volumes

Topic: Call Centres, Customer Service, Technology

Top of mind for many businesses is how to continue providing great customer service while reducing inbound call volumes. Something which is especially apparent in the current climate, given that there has been a 44% increase in call volume across the UK; and many companies are having to manage this influx while addressing operational challenges such as, reduced staffing and social distancing within contact centres. 

Although there was a large decrease in complaints at the beginning of the pandemic – with the average number filed with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) plummeting from 3.7 per person (pre Covid-19), to 0.95 in May, this trend has not continued. The FOS recently reported that between July and September 68,735 complaints were received, totalling an increase of 19%.

This suggests that as the situation regarding the pandemic has evolved, consumers have become less patient and less accepting of delays or issues “due to Covid-19”. Something which is echoed in articles titled – Stop blaming COVID-19 for poor customer service. Instead, it implies that consumers believe companies have had enough time to implement appropriate customer service solutions. 

So what can businesses and organisations do? Afterall, complaints to the FOS can cost businesses a significant amount of money and arguably, customer satisfaction and retention has never been more important.

Well, improving your organisation’s customer service with proactive communications and increased self-serve options, not only has the potential to reduce customer issues before they become complaints, but also to improve complaint management once they are received – thus reducing the chances of such complaints being taken further. 

Utilising Esendex’s bespoke solutions, we have helped our clients not only reduce overall call volume, but also:

  • Increase recipient response by 32.8%
  • Increase Net Promoter Scores (NPS)
  • Reduce costs associated with both resource and direct mail 

Below are just a handful of ways in which our customers have used our solutions to improve their services.

Reducing low-value calls while increasing NPS scores

Recently one of our clients implemented SMS Landing Pages, to deliver proactive alerts and updates regarding service outages. In addition to reducing call volumes, they were able to provide further information via PDF attachment, direct to recipient mobiles, almost immediately. When compared to customers who had received a simple SMS, they found a significant increase in Net Promoter Scores.

Many businesses have also found this to be a great tool for updating customers on their application status, as they are able to include information regarding FAQ’s.

Provide 24/7 customer service while reducing resource costs

Another one of our clients, required a solution which would enable two-way communication so they could handle more complex enquiries, while complimenting their current service and improving efficiency. Utilising Omnichannel Chat our client was able to achieve just that, and the introduction of SMS also proved more convenient for their customers.

With Omnichannel Chat, once logged in to the Esendex account all of their employees were able to view ongoing customer service conversations, with a full backlog of messages to date. This not only enabled employees to manage multiple queries at a time, but in cases where employees were ill or on holiday, their outstanding conversations could be easily picked up by another member of the team. 

Reducing agent time with a Virtual Customer Assistant (VCA)

To help improve customer engagement and reduce agent operational time, one of our clients implemented Esendex’s VCA chatbot to initiate communication with customers who had missed a payment via SMS. From there, the customer could either begin the mobile payment journey or respond and communicate with the VCA. If customers chose the latter, the VCA was set up to collect recipient details for the DPA check and close off conversations once the query or payment had been dealt with. The results:

  • 2 minute reduction in agent operational time per customer interaction
  • 30% increase in customer payments when compared to previous outbound collection strategy 
  • 25% of all customer payments are now collected via non-dial contact channels

To help you visualise how this process could work for your business, simply view our one minute video, which outlines a potential customer interaction with one of our VCA’s and mobile payment journeys.

Finally, we’d love to speak to you to better understand your organisation’s challenges, and further explore how we think our communication solutions could help. So to find out more, please get in contact today by calling 0345 356 5758 or emailing sales@esendex.com.

Author Avatar
Demi Edmunds

Hi, I'm Demi, Digital Marketing Executive at Esendex and I benefit from experience across the marketing mix, in both B2C and B2B. I'm passionate about helping clients realise the full potential of multichannel communications and bridge the gap between brands and their customers.