Category Archives: Call Handling

Top 6 Benefits of Using an IVR System

An IVR system can be an extremely useful tool in delivering your customers excellent customer service when it is implemented properly. You might have heard negative things said about IVR systems as customers are passed from department to department because the automated menu system isn’t sending them through to the appropriate person to deal with their query, however, this frustration is only a result of poorly designed IVR systems. We’re here to tell you what is so great about a sophisticated IVR system and how it can benefit you and your customers.

  1. Personalisation for the Customer

Using an IVR system might make you think that you’re losing the human touch in your successful customer service process, but that just isn’t the case. Even though you are using a machine for interaction you can still add that personal touch for the customer to make them feel like you care. A personalised greeting or prompt is a great way to seamlessly transfer the caller to a live agent who can then deal with the customer direct.

  1. Automated Operations

Free up your agents from standardised processes that are mundane and can clog up their precious time when they could be spending time better serving customers who require detailed information. Give customers the ability to serve themselves and obtain all of the simple information that they need to solve their issues through your expertly set up IVR system.

  1. Inbound Call Capacity Increase

With an IVR system your business can handle higher call volumes as all calls coming in are efficiently transferred to the correct department and live agent who are best equipped to handle the customer’s issues. Wait times and queue lengths are comparatively shorter than those which do not have an IVR system due to the inefficiency of their processes.

  1. Cost Effective

Improving the operational efficiency and productivity of your agents can sometimes prove to be costly whether that be through extensive training or new expensive processes, however, IVR systems are easy on the pocket and are a simple, cost effective solution. Eliminate the need for intermediary agents or receptionists who are there to route the call to the correct person or department with an IVR system and cut down on human error.

  1. More First Call Resolution

Customers tend to find that the most frustrating thing about call centres is the amount of times you get passed around departments and different agents before they get to the right one and are able to get the answers they need. An IVR system’s intelligent call routing will ensure that this is kept to a minimum and customers reach who they need to solve their problem first time, keeping call times short and sweet.

  1. Increased Customer Satisfaction

As your efficient IVR system directs calls to the right agent or department first time it is much more likely that your customers are going to get the information they need and their issues solved both quickly and on their first call to you. Also, with customers being able to answer simple queries themselves with the IVR system the quality of the customer service that they are receiving means

Social Media in the Modern Contact Centre

We are currently living in the age of social media, it has grown from just keeping up with friends on one network to having profiles on multiple networks. You’re not just keeping up with your family and friends anymore, you’re keeping up to date with news, celebrities and being targeted left right and centre by businesses with their marketing and advertising among other things. Social media holds great weight when it comes to influence and is a very public channel of communication, this is somewhere where you don’t want to be trash talked by anyone.

With 74% of internet users having active social media accounts it is time to pay close attention to social channels if you haven’t already, use of social media is only forecasted to increase as rapidly as it has been over the past few years. This means integrating social into the contact centre.

There are so many social networks out there so how do you know which channels to integrate and monitor? It’s time to look at your analytics. You need to discover which channels are most popular and most used by your customers, but also keep in mind how popular they are overall. You might have a lot of customers that use LinkedIn but as a smaller social network you might not want to put all of your focus on it. Platforms with the most active users include; Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. Consider which are the biggest social networks with the most influence but are also the most popular with your customers.

You need to go further than just integrating your social channels into your contact centre, agents need to be well versed in using the social channels as customer service platforms. Whether you take on new agents and build a social team or train all existing agents to be multi-skilled and able to manage the multiple channels.

With a multi-channel contact centre solution you are able to streamline all of your media channels (voice, email, SMS, web chat and social media) into a single, fully-integrated solution where they are displayed on an agent’s desktop. A multi-channel solution is very easy to use and is cost effective, you can queue, route and monitor enquiries all in one place and even integrate a CRM. Such solution empowers your agents to deliver next level customer service at all times, it allows you to provide customers with all of the information they need quickly and to respond to all issues in a timely manner.

For more information about our multi-channel contact centre solutions get in touch with our team on 01223 427700 or email

Why Your Business Should Use Call Recording Software

There are many organisations and industries that are required to record their telephone conversations, whether that be legally or because of compliance guidelines set out for a specific service. This is quite common in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, finance and legal services, however, call recording can benefit many other industries as well.

Recording your calls can help your business to improve its customer service through training and continuous review of the calls to assess the level of service they deliver. It can also be used as evidence and help keep record of verbal contracts among other things. Here’s why any company that conducts any business or provides customer service over the phone should record their calls.

Customer Satisfaction

The interaction between a call centre agent and a customer is so important, the agent’s actions can make or break the customer’s experience. One wrong step could result in lost business or an angry customer who might write about their experience on social media which can create a bad image for your company, no one is attracted to a company who is known for giving bad customer service. Call recording is the only way that management can check whether the agents are doing their job properly or not.

Real-time call barging doesn’t cover every customer interaction, yes management can step in on a bad call but it isn’t practical for a manager to barge in on every call. It’s also possible that if a manager is listening in that the agent will be on their best behaviour, and as soon as they finish monitoring them they could revert back to giving bad customer service.


Whether you’re training new staff or improving the skill of your current agents, call recording is a great tool for demonstrating what to do and what not to do during customer interaction on the phone. There’s nothing like learning from real situations, you might have recorded staged conversations or include a roleplay section in your training but how often do these scenarios play out like a real interaction? Recording your calls allows you to capture every type of call and customer that you may encounter, this can help you to prepare your staff for eventualities that they might not have even thought of.

Using real calls will also help you to train your staff and teach them how your organisation specifically should interact on the phone with customers, what your company standards are and what you expect of them.

Elimination of ‘He Said, She Said’

Misunderstandings can easily arise when speaking on the phone with someone, whether that is answering a customer’s question or negotiating terms of a contract, and accusations can be made by angry customers. In all of these situations call recording is so useful, it helps to shed light on a confusing situation and clarify what actually was said, without call recording it is one person’s word against another’s. In the case of the angry customer they may ask for the call to be escalated to a supervisor who hasn’t heard any part of the previous conversation, they have to make a judgement whether to trust the customer is telling the complete truth. With a record of the call the supervisor can review what actually happened, can make a decision on how to proceed and whether the agent was at fault and whether they need to be corrected.


Depending on your industry call recording may be required as set out by service compliance guidelines as set by the FSA for example, or even laws set by the government. Businesses within the financial sector have to record all of their verbal communications, and banks, brokers, insurance and other financial companies are heavily monitored and regulated by the government and private organisations. Companies who take payment over the phone are also required record calls to maintain their PCI DSS compliance.


C3’s PhonepayPlus (PPP) approved call recording solution is a flexible application that can grow and evolve with your business. For more information about our Call Recording Systems and Solutions please contact our team.

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.

Continue reading WhatsApp passes 100 million voice calls a day

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