Call Deflection: Enhancing Customer Experience and Agent Productivity
Call deflection is becoming increasingly crucial to stay on top of the latest customer experience and service trends. Understanding its role can be a game-changer for efficiency and satisfaction, both internally and from your customers' perspective.
What Is Call Deflection?
Call deflection is the strategy of guiding customers to alternative customer service channels like self-service knowledge bases, chat with human operators or chatbots, or FAQs, instead of engaging with a live agent over the phone. This doesn’t mean neglecting customer inquiries, but instead delivering timely and cost-effective answers 24/7.
Imagine this scenario: you’re burning the midnight oil, working on a project, when suddenly you encounter a glitch with the software you’re using. It’s well past the customer service hours but you remember the online help center – you quickly navigate there and state your issue to a chatbot that gives you a plethora of troubleshooting guides with step-by-step solutions. In no time, you’re able to resolve the issue independently – no waiting on hold for an agent, no waiting for the next morning, no stress. Need an agent the next morning to debrief and make sure the glitch doesn’t happen again? Quickly send them a chat message instead of calling. Imagine the potential this service can have for your business if you offered it.
Shortly, an effective call deflection strategy maintains—or even enhances—customer service quality while reducing direct call volume, enhancing customer satisfaction and relieving some of the agents’ workload.
It’s easy to assume that call deflection means bots taking over, those that sometimes give you the runaround when all you want is a quick answer. While that may be true in some cases, it’s important to dig deeper and find a balance where humans and virtual assistants can work together seamlessly. It’s not just about AI-based; it’s about AI-powered, ensuring the system is built around and supports your needs and gets you where you need to go – hassle-free.
Why Call Deflection Matters
Cost savings: Studies show that providing digital support can decrease call center volumes and operating costs by around 25-30%.
Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: AI-infused or not, digital channels offer more immediacy compared to phone calls, reducing hold times and improving customer satisfaction, net promoter scores (NPS), and customer loyalty.
Agent benefits: Effective call deflection enhances first contact resolution rate and minimizes repetitive and/or lost calls. Ultimately, this frees agents from the burden of taking endless calls, leaving them to focus on more complex tasks and enhancing their productivity.
While these are the main benefits call deflection brings, it’s important to remember how it extends beyond customer service agents. A wide range of employees, including admin, marketing, and sales people, may have to take on the role of an agent to handle selected contacts, engaging directly with customers. It’s easy to see how freeing up phones in favor of multichannel call deflection brings benefits across departments. For example, if a potential customer wants a quote for a product, they might just chat with a salesperson directly and receive their quote via chat, eliminating the need for a call. If the chat is AI-infused, the sales person might not even have to answer, because AI could generate that quote for the customer.
Strategies for Call Deflection
For easy queries, you can encourage customers to self-serve, for example by implementing a virtual receptionist encouraging them to go look at a particular section of the website, or simply contact the right department via chat or email, or even answer a simple question on its own (opening times, for example).
Knowledge Base and FAQs
Develop a comprehensive knowledge base or FAQ section that is easy to navigate and search. Regularly updating this content can greatly reduce repetitive inquiries.
Nowadays, all customers expect a business to be available on channels such as WhatsApp, website chat, even Telegram and social media. Even if you’re not ready for AI chatbots to help you, simply allowing customers to reach your business in a way that doesn’t involve calling is a huge step towards making them happier – knowing they can simply send you a message instead of calling you will make them more eager to contact you and solve their issues, ultimately improving their satisfaction.
AI Chatbots and Virtual Assistants
There’s no denying it: AI is the most powerful tool you can use to empower call deflection. AI-powered chatbots or virtual assistants can interact with customers in real-time, providing instant responses and solutions 24/7, even vertical-specific. You can train them to schedule a flight, modify a medical appointment, locate an ATM, or even sell a product directly through the chat or by phone – your employees will enter the chat if and when called upon, or needed. You can choose from least to more advanced depending on your business needs, ranging from a “static” virtual assistant that alleviates receptionists’ work by taking on incoming calls and transferring them up to fully omnichannel chatbots answering complex queries on their own.
When implementing AI solutions, it’s important to remember that AI alone doesn’t go a long way without human support. The Imagicle approach can be resumed in Human & Virtual are better together – choosing Imagicle to kickstart your chatbot and virtual assistant experience means streamlining employee-customer connection across channels through a no-code platform scalable to your needs, from the simple FAQ answering all the way to advanced omnichannel digital automated conversations. All 24/7, all human-like. Book a meeting to know more.
Call deflection is not about avoiding customer interaction; it’s about managing it intelligently to benefit both your customers and your business. When done right, it leads to remarkable cost efficiencies, an enhanced customer experience, and a happier, more productive team.
Incorporate call deflection into your customer experience strategy and witness the transformation in your CX optimization efforts. Embrace these innovative solutions and ensure that your business stays ahead in delivering exceptional customer service.