Call Center Usability

Your call center is the second best user experience your company could possibly offer. So why is it that your call center has close to-if not the-lowest customer satisfaction ratings of all business channels?

Your customer will interact not only with your CSR, but also with your IVR, and the CTI had better make sure the IVR and CSR's systems are talking to each other. Nothing will make a customer happier than having to repeat what they just entered into the IVR, to the CSR (sense the sarcasm).

The usability of your call center software, and your CSR's user experience are the most important factors in improving customer satisfaction and positively impacting your bottom line.

It's easy...

The best part-from a developer's perspective-of an internal call center application is there has to be consideration for only one browser (whichever one your company dictates, let's face it-it's probably a version of IE). All the bells and whistles supported by a single browser can be implemented (although not all bells and whistles are 508 compliant). Developers won't have to spend time coding for multiple browser compatibility.

...and good for your bottom line

A recent call center application project for a major financial company improved customer satisfaction, because the CSR could help with all customer issues without having to transfer the customer or have them call different departments. The application improvement, which is highly intuitive and standards-based, led to a reduction in CSR training time (getting the employee into a productive role quicker) and was so easy to use that CSR turnover was reduced by 28%. Call handle time was also reduced, saving the company $14 million. What company doesn't want to save $14 million?!?!

Keep in mind the following:

Your CSR is looking at the screen about 8 hours/day.

Since your CSR will be looking at, and interacting with, the application 8+ hours/day, take advantage of your CUA certified employees to design the screens. Highly readable text, subdued colors, appropriate white space, and more are key to keeping your CSR from going blind using the application.

Quick navigation is key.

Your web-based application navigation should act like a website to the CSR. Think of a call center application as early internet website-minimzing clicks, quick transactions to/from the back-end, clean (uncluttered) screens.

Caller account identification & verification need to happen only once.

If your customer just called in and entered an account number in the IVR, the CTI should pass that to the CSR's screen. There's no excuse for the CSR to ask for the account number again (all that's doing is adding to the call handle time).

Appreciate your customer.

Don't forget: a happy customer is a happy company! "Thank you, Mr. Smith, for being a valued customer for the past 16 years" is all it takes to make the customer feel appreciated. Just make sure it doesn't turn off the customer by sounding insincere.

Keep the closing reasonably short.

You don't need a drawn-out closing to get the customer off the phone. "Thank you Mrs. Smith for being a valued [your company here] customer. Again, my name is Billy and my CSR number is 40763. Do you have any more questions for me today? [No] Have I resolved all of your problems today? [Yes] OK, great. Thank you for calling [your company here]. Have a great day. <click>" is obviously just a script you make your CSR read, and it could be shortened to something more reasonable (and money-saving).

Your CSR's need people skills.

We've all been on calls with customer service reps who at some point on the call say "I'm sorry, my computer is running slowly today." It's understandable to the customer, just train your CSR to use good people skills, instead of bouncing the customer on/off hold 15 times on a single call.

Your CSR needs to be just as usable.

Your CSR's need to be able to speak clearly and get the your message to the customer.

How can UXade help your company?

What do you want us to fix? What are your top priorities? Let us know!


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