In a digital age, businesses across domains are adopting an omnichannel strategy to connect with their customers. Despite numerous tech innovations, phone calls are still one of the most important channels customers use to contact businesses for inquiries or complaints. But are they the most efficient ones, especially when the volume of customers and calls is large? Perhaps not. That is why today’s enterprises use a technique called ‘Call Deflection’ to ensure that they can respond to their customers faster, with accurate information, making the process efficient for businesses and the experience delightful for customers.
First, let’s talk about what is call deflection and why businesses should embed this technique into their customer service process. Often, customers’ first reaction to any business query that they might have is to find out a phone number and call. But sometimes, such queries can be faster addressed through a different channel such as a website FAQ, a chatbot, or an email. Let us look at an example:
A customer wants to visit a retail store and their query is regarding their working days or business hours. In this case, if a customer calls and faces a delay in the response since the call agents are busy, it can hamper the customer experience, and customers might decide not to visit the store.
On the other hand, the customer’s call gets deflected to an automated chatbot, where they ask their query and get an immediate response. Their reaction will be to simply plan their visit to the store. This technique where the customer calls get redirected to a chatbot for faster resolution rather than to a human agent, is what call deflection is all about.
Many times, the call deflection technique is confused with call forwarding. But these are two very different things, meant to serve different purposes. Call forwarding is redirecting or forwarding the call to another phone number. The reason could be a change in the existing contact number of the business or to direct the customer to a specific department. Whatever might be the reason, in this case, the channel of communicating with the customer remains a phone call. In the case of call deflection, this channel can be a chatbot, social media direct messaging, WhatsApp, email, website, etc.
How Does Call Deflection Technique Work?
Call deflection can be used at any point of the customer journey; it can be used for prospects to help them with information about the business or for customers to assist them with a post-purchase query. Before we dig a little deeper into the call deflection process, it is critical to call out that in no way is call deflection a way to avoid customers’ calls. Instead, it is to connect with them through a faster channel based on the nature of their query. Call deflection can enhance customer experience by leveraging new-age technologies such as chatbots, direct messaging on social media, WhatsApp, etc. While call deflection can enable superior customer experience, it makes great business sense too. Call deflection is a way to reduce the volume of calls that the contact centers get by rerouting it to another channel. This helps increase the efficiency of the contact centers and address each customer query in a faster and accurate manner.
What Call Deflection is and What it is Not
|What Call Deflection is||What Call Deflection is not|
The Process of Call Deflection
- Accepting the customer’s call.
- IVR identifies the customer based on the details and gives them the option to state their query and choose a preferred channel from the options given (chatbot, website FAQ, email, etc.)
- The call is then deflected to an alternate channel preferred by the customer.
- The customer is asked if they are satisfied with the query and would like to end the call or prefer another channel / speak to a human executive.
How Call Deflection Facilitates Enhanced Customer Experience
Call deflection not just makes the entire customer service process efficient, it can also play a crucial role in enhancing the customer experience. Customers do not want to wait in today’s world of instant gratification. Faster and accurate resolution of their queries is critical to offering a great customer experience, irrespective of the channel the customer interacts with the business.
Here’s how call deflection can ensure superior customer experience –
1) Fast Response
Do you remember when Phoebe (from F.R.I.E.N.D.S) struggled to get through customer support? Well, that was not an exaggeration at all. Getting through customer support can be frustrating, and we all have been there.
A recent survey suggests that over 60% of customers abhor the long wait times at call centers. Call deflection can be really beneficial to ensure that customers get attended to as soon as they connect, and their queries are resolved much faster than connecting to a human agent.
Call deflection through digital channels opens the scope for businesses to offer personalised solutions. Call deflection to digital channels can allow businesses to keep a record of customer details and their call history (in case of a repeat caller). This helps customise the response based on the caller’s need, thus offering enhanced customer experience. Another benefit of call deflection through digital channels is that it allows saving the call history and then using the insights to further personalise the experience for the customer. This is not just during the call but also in any other interaction through any other channel that the customer might have with the business in the future.
3) Customer Onboarding or Educating Them
Call deflection can be a great way to onboard the customers to your services. Often, a prospect is looking for more information about the business/product/service. In this scenario, call deflection can prove to be an extremely efficient way to quickly run them through the features/benefits/services or your product/business. This also gives them the opportunity to direct the customer to an interesting video/article or to the buy section of the website, making it easier for the customer to make a purchase.
4) Analyse and Improve
Call deflection to digital channels can also help in identifying customer pain points that often arise, how customers react to responses and therefore improve them, how engaged the customers are during the interaction, and much more. All of this data, when used well, can reveal valuable customer insights and help your enterprise truly become a customer-centric business.
5) Customer Feedback
Call deflection can help gather feedback from customers since giving a quick rating on a digital channel is way more convenient for customers than having them give detailed feedback on a call. This feedback can play an important role in identifying gaps in your customer service and addressing them.
Customer experience has become one of the critical elements of success for businesses. Call deflection techniques are beneficial in enhancing customer experience by offering fast and accurate responses, getting a deeper understanding of the customer, and making your customer service future-proof.
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