Providing good support to existing customers for your products or services will preserve customer loyalty and generate long term support revenue. This is especially true with software and information technology products and services. In the global market place, phone, email and web based support are the norm for offering customer service but they consume significant resources. With so much emphasis on sales, a lot of programs are offered to push sales, resulting in large volumes of customer inquiry. It is useful to look at how phone, email and web inquiries are organized before presenting them to a multi-channel call center software for routing.
Phone support is offered through a voice portal (a dedicated toll free or regular phone number). For email support offered through the organization's web site, the portal may have a web form for the customer to furnish details. Otherwise it might be just be an email address for the customer to send a free form email. For every new email inquiry, an automatic reference identification is inserted in the subject line while generating an auto-reply, acknowledging the inquiry. This reference is used to link all the emails associated with a specific customer request or complaint.
Web based support is an access to report a trouble-ticket. A trouble ticket system is a web based system that is accessible to both your customers and your employees with different privileges. The system saves and organizes all customer requests in its database. For every new request, the system can be made to generate an auto-email answer and reply back to the customer to acknowledge the receipt of the customer inquiry. A ticket number will be generated for every single request. The customer service employees will address these ticket issues and resolve them in some sequence. The customer can view updates to the issue or get email updates depending upon how the system is configured.
A multi-channel contact center ACD for phone, email and web customer support can be used to effectively streamline work flow processes, remove inefficiencies and improve overall productivity. In a typical Help Desk environment, even with long term data from Work Force Management (WFM), the difficulty is in having appropriate staffing level to handle the phone calls within the service standards set by the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
A call center ACD will offer queues with skills based routing where the calls are routed to the the most appropriately skilled employee available to handle the call. A multi-channel ACD will offer skills based routing for queues for phone calls, emails, and web channels. This provides the flexibility to setup as many queues and as many skills as the work-flow demands. Queues can have different priorities levels as well.
Call routing is dictated by skills based routing and queue priority. Multiple queues can be setup to handle customer support from each category, namely phone calls or emails or trouble tickets. These individual queues can have different priority levels, depending on how a business wants to offer support services. When an employee becomes available to handle a customer, the longest waiting customer from the highest priority queue will be offered. If multiple employees are available when a customer inquiry comes in, the most skilled employee will handle it. Contact center software offering multi-channel ACD provides a wonderful opportunity to introduce efficiency and bring in cost savings.
The availability of Asterisk based multi-tenant systems offering multi-channel ACD solutions for contact centers has created a wonderful opportunity for organizations to bring in greater efficiency without investing heavily in infrastructure and software. Asterisk as the underlying telephony layer, brings in significant technology advantage and considerable cost savings. Multi-tenant contact center software, capable of scaling to manage multiple Asterisk servers will accommodate large user base and growth. Cloud based service offerings with multi-channel ACD will enable smaller organizations to offer efficient help desk and customer service options.