Category Archives: Call Handling

Mistakes to Avoid to Make your IVR System Excellent

An IVR system is a great component in helping you and your business to deliver excellent customer service, they are extremely helpful in filtering customers to the right call centre agent and delivering extra information to them. However, an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system is only useful when it works effectively, otherwise it can be a source of frustration for a lot of callers who get passed around the system and seemingly feel like they are getting nowhere. Here are a few things that you should avoid and steer clear of in your IVR system to make sure it is helping customers rather than hindering them.

Too Many or Too Little Menu Items

No caller wants to sit through a long list of 13 different menu options, not only is it frustrating, it’s confusing too. By the time anyone has reached the 13th option it is more than likely that they have forgotten at least the first 5, and they will definitely have to listen to menu all over again. However, it is very unlikely that most of the callers had stayed on the line to hear the option of listening to the menu again and if they did stay to the end they probably don’t have the patience to sit through it again. Customers just want to speak to someone to address their problem, so they will probably put the phone down instead and you would have lost their business.

Setting up between 3 and 5 different menu items is optimal, any less and it creates another problem for the customer. With not enough options the customer can become confused as to which option to choose to get them to the most relevant department. If you have too many options and you’re finding it hard to cut down, you could consider using voice recognition instead to eliminate the push button menu altogether and give the customer the power to tell your system what they’re looking for instead.

Using Jargon

There is a reason this word exists, to describe every word we don’t understand, much like the word ‘jargon’ itself. In most cases the customer is calling you because they don’t understand something, need help or have a question or query about something, so they probably don’t understand all of the technical industry jargon related to your business. You don’t want to blind your customer with these words and confuse them even further, so avoid jargon unless it is absolutely necessary, for example, if a technical term needs to be used in a menu item to point a customer in the direction of the department that deals with that item specifically.

A Lack of Consistency

Changing your wording from menu item to menu item is only going to cause confusion for the caller, don’t go from ‘Press 1 for sales’ to ‘To speak to someone about reservations press 2’, it throws the customer off because they can’t follow an easy, predictable pattern which means they have to concentrate on the menu options even more than before to make sure they select the right one and don’t make a mistake. As well as style of menu items, you need to ensure you keep the same voice and volume throughout, if the caller has to keep turning their volume up and down to suit the varying volume of your IVR system it is just creating more work for them which can really annoy them.

Not Including a Call Back Option

Calling call centres and customer service departments are branded with a stereotype that you will spend a lot of time on hold and being passed around without getting anywhere. No one appreciates being on hold, not even for a few minutes, it often stops you from being able to do anything else while you spend your time hanging on and waiting for a sign that you’re going to be able to speak to a real person soon. If there is no one available to speak to the caller you should always give them the option to hold until there is or to request a call back instead. Offering a call back option saves the customer from wasting their time and their money, it shows the customer that you care about them and understand that they have a life outside of the call that they are making, it’s just good customer service!

Avoid these mistakes to ensure your IVR system is user-friendly and won’t turn customers away! Find out more about our IVR systems.

WhatsApp passes 100 million voice calls a day

Welcome to C3’s Industry Insight blog series inspired by articles and comment on the web.

In this blog, as WhatsApp passes a significant milestone, Martin Kirkup considers the advantages of VoIP


Whatsapp revealed in a recent blog post that its users make more than 100 million voice calls each day equating to more than an astonishing 1,100 calls per second showing the growing demand for Voice over IP (VoIP) calls as consumers move away from traditional ways of communicating.   What’s even more surprising is that the app only completed the rollout of its new voice-calling feature for Android and iOS users in April 2015.

The chat app offers the facility to all its users, allowing them to transmit a voice conversation as ordinary internet traffic rather than as an ordinary voice call. This means that callers can use wi-fi networks or their data plans to make these calls.

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It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way! Why Companies Hang Up On Customers

Welcome to C3’s Industry Insight blog series inspired by articles and comment on the web.

In this blog, Natasha Rutterford tackles the thorny issue of dropped calls


I love the daily tips emails from Contact Centre World. Some are really enlightening with new ideas and operating methods, many others highlight common failings in customer handling.

The issue in the below comment caught my eye as it is something which I have experienced and really irritates me as I know there is a simple technical solution!

Deliberately dropping calls during busy periods.

Continue reading It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way! Why Companies Hang Up On Customers

Give Your Customers The Channels They Want!

Welcome to C3’s Industry Insight blog series inspired by articles and comment on the web.

In this blog, our Marketing Manager Natasha Rutterford takes a closer look at the importance of tailoring communication channels to your customers.


It should come as no surprise to hear customers have preferences when it comes to communication.

The availability or otherwise of preferred contact methods makes a difference to everything from customer satisfaction to repeat purchases and  revenues.

Despite this clear evidence, it’s surprising how many companies either limit the channels on offer or have them working in discrete ‘silos’. 

 

The classic example of this is Social Media, which straddles the divide between customer service and Marketing/ PR in a rather awkward fashion, allowing some customer contacts to ‘fall through the cracks’.

If a client has made fruitless complaints via Twitter or Facebook and then have to call a contact centre, they are likely to question your brand commitment to customers (and whether they want to be one of them!)

A well-organised, joined-up approach, however, turns irate consumers into advocates and champions of your organisation.

Think about what contact channels you currently offer your clients. Are they centralised or fragmented? Do you know who is accountable for different interactions via each format?

We are operating in a multi-channel world and brands ignore this at their peril!

Continue reading Give Your Customers The Channels They Want!

New Integrations Boost C3’s Popular Payments Server

 

Computer telephony specialists C3 have announced further Payment Service Provider (PSP) integrations to their popular payments solution with direct integrations to Worldpay and Capita Software Services, a division of Capita Plc.

The new developments add to an already extensive list of Payments Service Providers (PSP’s) directly available via C3’s secure payment platform.

In addition to existing direct integrations the C3 team are also able to develop bespoke interfaces for other PSP’s / external programmes as required by clients.

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C3 upgrades Contact platform to help call centre clients improve customer service

Computer telephony specialist C3 has enhanced its popular multi-channel platform Contact with increased and improved reporting options.
The latest roll-out from the Cambridge-based company includes detailed metrics to ensure greater visibility of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) queuing and offers managers a better overview of customer queueing experiences.

The granular reporting allows for in-depth analysis of performance and behaviour and provides an opportunity to improve customer service and satisfaction.
Since its initial release, C3’s contact centre platform has proved popular with users in industries as diverse as higher education and virtual services.
Key to its success has been the ability to scale, starting with small deployments and growing to accommodate user demand.

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Continue reading C3 upgrades Contact platform to help call centre clients improve customer service