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Contact centre technologyIt's the original queue message: "your call is important to us, please continue to hold and we will answer your call as soon as possible". It tells you that you are a valued customer and the contact centre you are calling is trying to get round to your call. Or does it? "Your call is important to us" has now become a cliché of all modern contact centres, with customers and Internet memes now agreeing that you shouldn't just talk the talk, but walk the walk.

It's not really reasonable to hope that a contact centre never has any calls queuing, things happen which can't be planned for and staffing flexibility has its limits, but these should be the exception rather than the rule. Customers notice if they queue EVERY time they contact you, and no amount of telling them you value their custom will make them believe it.

This doesn't necessarily mean having to over-staff your contact centre to cope with any high demands that might occur, but by investing some time into both your planning efforts and contact centre technology, you can find efficient ways to satisfy your customers’ needs.

Have you considered allowing a level of self service? Offering automated call backs or queue place holders? What about enabling staff to work remotely (at home or from a non contact centre-based office) so you can quickly scale your workforce at times of need. Why not try communicating to customers more than just the fact that their "call is important" or you are "experiencing high call volumes". By taking advantage of the power of connected cloud technologies you can now personalise the message. E.g. "you appear to be one of our customers impacted by our current outage, we have an engineer on route to fix the problem and predict a resolution in 35 minutes".

There is an undercurrent of belief from customers that if you always have a queue, even if you tell them they are important, you are actively avoiding them calling you. Stories appear in the papers about organisations unwilling or unable to provide the level of service expected by their customers. But by offering customers a choice, giving them relevant information and making better use of the staff you do have, you can make sure you aren't remembered by your customers for the wrong reason and they know their call really is important to you.

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About Phil Davitt

Phil has a passion for all things that help businesses provide a great experience to their customers. Phil has worked with some of the world’s leading brands and been involved with some of the most innovative contact centres around the world. He is RVP of Services at NewVoiceMedia and has a background in Customer Service consultancy, project delivery, resource planning and Contact Centre analytics. Phil is also passionate about spending time with his family, sipping a great glass of whiskey and trying his hand at home automation/Internet Of Things. You can follow him on Twitter @Phil_NVM

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