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First impressions are the most important when meeting new people and this is no less true for new customers finding your business for the first time. When you're just getting started and largely unknown, your customers will judge your business based on their first impression – and for a lot of customers, that initial point of contact can be picking up the phone and calling.
One thing that can help you start off on the right foot is Intelligent Call Routing, otherwise known as Predictive Call Routing - a form of call management designed to direct callers to the most appropriate agent. It was previously an expensive service, but with advances in technology it is now also available to smaller businesses - allowing them to increase customer satisfaction; improve the effectiveness of their teams; and appear to callers as a larger and professional business.
How does it work?
Calls can be routed depending on a variety of factors. As a first point of contact, companies can provide differentiated numbers for different areas or departments, which can provide an initial way of routing calls.
However, the most common way of implementing the system is IVR - Interactive Voice Response. Everyone who has called any large business is aware of this system, but not all are aware of how easy it can be to implement. An IVR can prompt callers to provide further information about their call before they speak to an agent, usually through a multiple choice menu played when the caller initially dials.
For mortgage brokers Eddison Wells – who have an 0800 number with the these features from Number Supermarket - it means that they’re able to make sure that their callers get straight through to whichever department they require, easing stress on the workforce while also reducing the amount of time that a client needs to spend on the phone. Director Andy Nelson says, “When a client calls, they’re put through to the most relevant member of staff available with the press of a button – meaning our mortgage brokers are free to advice prospective clients, our customer service team can help with the day-to-day enquiries, and new customers are assessed by qualified members of staff”
What are the benefits?
Intelligent Call Routing can provide a much improved customer service. Customers can also be routed to agents they've previously spoken to, which can help in the case of a caller being cut off or having an ongoing issue which is unresolved. This saves the customer from having to explain the purpose of the call to another agent, which both improves the customer experience and increases team productivity as staff time isn't being wasted by several agents being given the same explanation.
Intelligent Call Routing can be used to automatically re-route calls if there is an interruption to a company's services, and can help prevent lost revenue from missing calls.
The technology can also be used to look at call patterns, which can then be used to improve team productivity and the customer experience further. For example, caller patterns such as how long customers are being kept on hold, and at which points in the day, could be used to adjust staffing capacity throughout the day to make a team as effective as possible whilst keeping waiting times down. The most used voicemail options could help to streamline menus and give important information about the most common reasons for customers contacting the company. For Eddison Wells, it meant they were able to change work shifts to match the change in demand – Andy Nelson comments, “We always suspected that our mornings were quieter – but having seen our web reporting for the amount of calls and the minutes our advisors were on the phone, we could be certain of it. We’ve since changed our shift patterns to match the demand of our clients”.
Intelligent Call Routing represents great steps forwards in technology, and its availability to small and medium sized businesses is allowing many companies to look like bigger businesses, and to improve their staff efficiency whilst providing the best possible customer service. If you’d like your Estate Agent to take the next step, it could be easier than you think.
You can find out more about the features available to help any small business on NumberSupermarket.co.uk, who sell a wide range of 03, 08 and local numbers for business and personal use.