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The key trends in 2021 will be biased towards call center technology (1)

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Like most technologies, call center technology has been constantly changing over the past few years.
This is a quick snapshot of the most important trends in the coming year.
The call center seems familiar.
The word quickly reminded me of the classic scenes of the 1980s.

Uninterrupted telephone work.
the phone is ringing.
There is also the clapping sound of the keyboard.

However, the world is changing faster than imagined.
Like most technical fields, advances in call center technology are rapidly affecting the market.

In turn, these changes have had a significant impact on business operations in 2021 and beyond.
We are seeing a rapid increase in the adoption of CCaaS (Call Center as a Service), artificial intelligence and machine learning automation.
Not to mention IVR, VoIP, CRM, CTI, ACD, etc.

Obviously, the reality of 2021 is very different from the image 40 years ago, even 20 or even 5 years ago.
In this blog, we will break down the 11 biggest call center trends and how these trends might affect your business and its call center.

How far has call center technology gone?

Although answering services originated in the late 1950s, it wasn’t until the 1970s that call centers began to spread rapidly.
They quickly became a core function of commercial sales strategies and customer service functions.

The call center relies on a wired PBX (Private Branch Exchange) network.
A physical PBX is much cheaper and more flexible than setting up a separate phone number for each operator, but a physical PBX means thousands of yards of copper wiring, junction boxes, network operator connections, central server systems, and PSTN connections.

Now, the situation is different.

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

As companies expand their business scope and expand into an increasingly globalized market, long-distance phone costs are increasing rapidly.
Therefore, it is not surprising that companies of all sizes accept Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) wholeheartedly.
VoIP is essentially an Internet-based version of the traditional hard-wired method, which enables call centers to connect with people all over the world.
The bandwidth of modern Internet connections also allows the system to handle more calls at the same time.
Moreover, this will not lose any function of the PBX, and the agent can receive calls from the same number and network.
VoIP technology has become the standard for most call center applications.

2. Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is essentially an intelligent computer-operated telephone system.
Have you ever heard of “Press 0 for manual service”?
This is the running IVR.
But in 2021, the system will not stop there.
Now, it can use advanced voice recognition capabilities, enabling callers to interact in more complex and useful ways.

How can IVR help your business?

Easily route to the agent who can help the caller most, enabling you to provide a clearer customer service experience.
The ability to handle high call rates through queuing and callback options.
Personalized greetings and pre-recorded reminders can enhance your brand message.
Problem-solving is more efficient, because the agent answering the call is more likely to help.
By eliminating the need for manual call processing procedures to target callers, it reduces expenditures.
You can even prioritize the call based on its value to ensure you provide first-class service.

 

Develop business indicators to promote the work efficiency of call center agents

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For each business function, the indicator is like a compass in the desert.
It shows whether the company is working in the right direction, whether it is achieving results and what changes need to be made to reach the desired goal.
Call centers need to handle a large number of calls every day, so metrics are needed to show them how well the agents are doing.
These metrics can help call center managers or customer support managers assess the effectiveness of agents and take corrective actions.

Before that, let us compare the first call center with the call center in the early 2000s, and then compare it with the present in 2020.

61% of consumers said that they have stopped dealing with the company after getting a bad service experience.
Each customer support agent must assume the responsibility of the leading customer support team and system, and minimize and avoid friction or problems within the team.
We talked with customer support agent managers around the world. Every customer support manager worthy of their support will track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to keep a close eye on the development of their customer support efficiency. The KPI system enables you to track call center agents.
Work efficiency and compare between agents when they are divided into different groups.

But what are these indicators, and how can these indicators be attributed to the efficiency and productivity of the call center?
In addition, how to calculate the agent productivity of the call center?
There are several types of metrics that can help measure the productivity of call center agents.
And you may already know that the productivity of the agent is directly related to the efficiency and productivity of the call center.

Types of call center agent productivity indicators

Traditionally, like all activities, the efficiency and productivity of call centers can even be measured by grouping indicators based on the following three parameters:

Quantity

quality

speed

When one indicator is more important than others, the following method shows that each quantity, quality and speed will be affected.
When it is also maintained, the quality must be hit, at least for minor defects in the armor.
Similarly, when there is pace and quality degradation, it is difficult to resolve a large number of customer queries.

These metrics are transparent because you can measure well-known real-world attributes related to clear operations and results.
And can be extended to any department/group level details because they are not too specific at the same time.

How to measure the productivity of call center agents

A) Quantity index

Solved satisfaction survey or public response This is a direct method for agents to calculate satisfaction.
Satisfaction survey data can be distributed through various channels, such as calls, chats, social media messages, etc.
Directly quantifiable actions across various channels are divided into satisfaction survey assistance and direct satisfaction survey.

  1. Occupancy rate

Occupancy rate is a way to understand the productivity of all call-related responsibilities of call center agents.
It is a measure of the time taken by your business agents to make real-time calls and/or complete work related to these calls.
If your seat occupancy rate is too low, it means that they are not doing work-related things.
You can use this call center indicator to determine responsibilities, events, and address situations outside of work related to calls.

  1. KB link rate

You may find less complicated tickets and basic repetitive queries, such as “how to change password”, “how to update billing information”, etc.
In this case, linking to a knowledge base article will help save seat time and energy, which can be used for more demanding tickets.
This directly reflects that your agents use internal knowledge, but it is found that the broker with the best number is actively following this principle!

B) Speed ​​indicators

Service level

Service level is one of the call center indicators, which can measure the work efficiency of the agent in real time when the agent answers the call.
It is the percentage of calls answered within a certain period of time (in seconds).
Use this metric to determine whether the agent is moving from one call to another quickly enough.
Encourage your agents to keep this KPI within your expected range.

  1. Average processing time

One of the most important methods to measure the productivity of call center agents is through AHT indicators.
This is the average time from when business agents pick up the phone until they disconnect the call.
Average processing time is a tricky metric because it must be exactly within the range you set.
If your agent processing time is too long, it may mean that the customer’s problem is too difficult for them.
However, if the average processing time for agents is too short, they may not provide effective assistance.
Use quality assurance software to monitor call quality and ensure that all bases are covered.

  1. First call resolution

Ideally, every customer support manager wants to resolve the incoming issue for the first time, rather than having the customer call back multiple times, transfer the call, or hand it over to the supervisor to resolve their issue.
To see an increase in the first call resolution rate, pay more attention to agent training and make sure that none of the other indicators you monitor cause obstacles.

  1. Average time waiting in the queue

You can calculate the average waiting time in the queue by dividing the total time the caller waited in the queue by the total number of calls answered.
Measure the average time in the queue to improve the customer experience.
If you find that customers are waiting in line longer than usual, you can challenge your team to handle calls more effectively to reduce KPI scores, or simply provide customers with the option of receiving callbacks.

C) Quality index

CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score)

CSAT is very suitable for call centers. This is entirely due to the frequency and flexibility of interactions around questions and scoring criteria (or lack of criteria).
Features like IVR CSAT can help companies that are trying to increase the response rate to these surveys to make the experience smooth and unimpeded!
The general rule of thumb is to try to make your percentage of satisfied customers as close to 100% as possible.

Since “quality of support” is a KPI collected in various markets, it may also be useful to benchmark against other companies in your industry.
Attract new customers correctly.
Otherwise, you will be working hard to deal with customer loss!

  1. NPS (Net Promoter Score® or NPS®)

The calculation of NPS is based on two issues:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?
    why?
    Respondents answered the first question with numbers ranging from zero to ten. The probability of zero is extremely small and the probability of ten is extremely high.
    Then divide the score into three parts −

0 to 6 are considered negative users: customers who are not satisfied and may harm the brand.
7-8 are passive users: satisfied but enthusiastic customers.
9-10 are active users: loyal fans who will promote growth.
The net promoter score is calculated by subtracting the percentage difference between the promoter and the critic.
The company’s score is between -100 and 100.
The score changes depending on many factors, including the company’s industry and the company’s age-the company tracks progress by measuring its current NPS score and its past scores to track progress.
In short, using the indicators listed above to calculate the efficiency and productivity of team members will help customer support managers because these indicators can also help them manage their workforce in an orderly and structured way.
However, once you have many seats and multiple teams, you may need to understand the performance of each agent.

It can be achieved through the following three steps: calculate the personal score based on the average of the group, assign some standard “points” according to it, and add them to some weights to get the global KPI score.

How banks simplify services through the latest round of PPP

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Proactive outreach, artificial intelligence, automation, predictive routing and calling are essential to connect with the most vulnerable small business customers.

COVID-19 is raging all over the world. The United States is one of the worst-hit countries. So far, it has more than 325,000 deaths (approximately 1% of the U.S. population) and confirmed more than 18 million COVID cases in the United States.
Many American hospitals’ intensive care units (ICU) are full, and many more are close to full.
Governors, mayors, and municipal leaders across the country are enforcing regional lockdowns and full-time orders that have devastating effects on small businesses (the lifeblood of the American economy).
In 2019, small businesses created 44% of U.S. economic activity. Overall, they created two-thirds of net new jobs and promoted U.S. innovation and competitiveness.
When small businesses are hurt, the entire economy is hurt.
Re-entry into the area and blockade may lead to mass layoffs and permanent closure.
However, just before Christmas, the U.S. Congress has reached an agreement on the bipartisan mutual aid bill, some people dare to call it a stimulus bill.

So far, what we know about the salary protection plan. The new $900 billion transactions include $284 billion in PPP, which was reopened after the first two payments: $367 billion in March 2020 and another 2,850 in April 2020.
Billion US dollars, totaling 652 billion US dollars.
Very similar to the first and second iterations of the plan, the third time will be in the form of interest-free loans to small companies, but in issues such as secondary applicants’ qualification loans and other expenses, it may
Significant changes will occur.
This is what we know so far.

Expansion of the scope of expenses: Starting from the first and second PPP (in March 2020 and April 2020), loan exemptions include more expenses.
New eligible expenditures may include operations, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection expenditures.

No new taxes: Interest-free loans cannot be taxed.

Easy to apply: Simplified loan application process, the cost does not exceed US$2 million.
Interest-free loans of less than US$150,000 require a one-page online or paper form with a certificate of borrower;

As mentioned earlier, a loan of US$150,000 to US$2 million may also simplify documentation requirements.
Distribution through financial centers: Banks, credit unions, and community lenders will receive applications, review, process, and distribute a new portion of the $267.5 billion PPP loan funds, and an additional 20 billion through the Small Business Administration (SBA)
The dollar’s ​​economy hurts disaster loans).

These are grants to low-income community enterprises.
If you are unsuccessful, please apply again: more eligible companies can apply for PPP funds.
Even if you received a PPP loan last time, you can apply for a so-called PPP2 loan again.
Funds set aside for small businesses, independent contractors and self-employed individuals: As of February 15, 2020, $25 billion of the total appropriation is dedicated to businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
New non-profit organizations and lobbying entities that are now eligible: 501(c)(6) organizations that previously did not qualify for the first round can now borrow in the second round of PPP.
These organizations are the “spokespersons” of chambers of commerce, trade associations, real estate committees, professional associations, certain sports leagues, trade and business alliances.
When the first and second rounds of the “Payroll Protection Program” (PPP) were launched in the spring of 2020, the call volume was too high, the call processing volume was too high, and the waiting time for small business owners to contact the bank for a lifeline were all compromised.
Some applications that were supposed to be processed within a few hours took weeks, but the employees did not have any fault and waited for work, waiting for relief checks.
The third round of PPP is in a very auspicious period: bank employees are still working remotely, many branches remain closed, many payments were stopped a few months ago, people have new concerns about the virus mutation, and Christmas and New Year are coming.
, The new US presidential government is taking shape.
Therefore, many problems for small businesses still exist.
Banks and lenders will need to make their agents and customers as clear as possible and direct the PPP process.

How to improve the process

Proactive outreach, artificial intelligence, automation, predictive routing and calling are essential for outreaching with the most vulnerable customers while ensuring proper staffing levels.
Since many banks have closed branches, they use contact centers as customer experience centers.
They are permanent, dedicated remote teams to facilitate the acquisition and review process of PPP applications to ensure fair, fast and effective processing for their small business customers.

In addition, 82% of financial services and insurance companies consider their contact centers to be strategic assets and unique.
They regard the contact center as the hub of the customer experience, delivering a full range of presentations through the Internet, chatbots, applications, email, SMS and social channels to provide a cohesive and enjoyable experience.
For some banks and lenders, the contact center replaces the retail footprint left by branch closures.

Astercc is a market-leading secure customer banking solution designed to integrate every customer engagement across channels and business lines.
With Astercc’s cloud-native solutions, banks can quickly deploy integrated communications on a flexible and secure platform to provide a differentiated customer experience to build and maintain loyalty.

Speed: Design, implementation, and deployment only take days, not weeks.

Trust: more than 30 cybersecurity certifications, licenses and international data privacy compliance

Scale: Deployed in more than 1,800 enterprises in more than 75 countries/regions worldwide

Astercc can help financial institutions quickly establish a dedicated PPP contact center, manage emergency plans such as PPP in multiple iterations, or use the following advantages to integrate Astercc into your entire contact center platform:

Employee engagement management enables agents to provide excellent customer service at home

Predict dialing to reach three or four times the connection rate

Proactive notification to reduce the volume of incoming calls

The guide is an AI-based self-service knowledge base for agents and customers

The agent assists the supercharging agent through intelligent guidance

Live chat improves real-time customer engagement

Seamless management and configuration of call flow

Video conference integration

Omnichannel provides integrated communications across email, chat, messaging applications and social media remotely enabling your agents and customer relationship managers to work safely and reliably from any location on their mobile device, office, home or customer site.
Astercc can help reduce the average answering speed (ASA) of the agent, the average waiting time of the customer (AWT), improve the efficiency of the agent and increase the customer satisfaction (CSAT) score.
The impact of COVID-19 and the mortgage crisis and the subsequent Great Depression will be one of the greatest experiments of this generation.
Mobilizing bankers to manage these government-supported programs is an outstanding example of dozens, hundreds, and sometimes thousands of bank employees working together to tackle incredible challenges.
Banks and lenders said that the first PPP was issued by the government on a weekend in March, and they had to start accepting applications within 72 hours without much warning, training or recourse.
In the first and second periods of purchasing power parity, banks and lenders must be self-reliant and do their best with specific circumstances in mind.
There are many mistakes, some are forgivable, some are not.
However, banks and lenders have had nearly eight months to lick wounds and are better prepared to serve customers.

To learn more about how Astercc helps banks streamline services and a vertical enterprise-level omni-channel contact center, learn more here.

The process of passing the call

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Why is the call flow important?

Call flow and call center agents are the two elements at the forefront, which largely determine the experience provided by the contact center.
Excellent call center customer service staff have “internal” empathy, patience and other qualities of being with others.
Or, they spent time and energy to develop these tools.

Agents can also receive training on product or service communication and knowledge to improve customer experience.

Similarly, the call flow also comes with building blocks such as call queues and automatic routing to improve the operational efficiency of the phone team.
However, just like a well-designed call process, the call process can be better executed and deliver “amazing moments”.
When agents and call flow work together, you can get the best call center experience.

What is the call flow?

But first, we have to discuss the call flow on the same page.
The call flow is usually defined as a work flow, which determines the entire process of the call from the beginning to the end in the call center.
This journey must be uninterrupted, and it needs to achieve its purpose or at least a step towards achieving it.
Your call flow must essentially ensure that no caller is traveling.

Note: According to call centers, call scripts are sometimes called call flow.

You can read more about call center scripts here.

Follow 4 main call flow templates

These are tactical methods of using the phone process to ensure an excellent call experience.

1) Simple but powerful call queue with waiting queue call flow

Call queues can effectively route your inbound calls to the correct agent or department.
To establish a queue-based call flow, you can start by assigning a call queue to one or more numbers.
For example, if you have local numbers in seven cities and you have a team that answers all inbound calls, you can assign a call queue to all local numbers.
When we combine it with backup options or waiting queues, call queues will become powerful.

If your business agent is busy or does not answer the call, you can send the call to the voice mailbox and provide a callback. If the caller knows the extension number, it will represent the agent’s extension in another call queue, and the business agent can answer the call.

Automatic routing call flow (more on this later) You can also send them to the waiting queue, where the caller can choose to call back or wait for the agent to answer.

2) Classic IVR call flow

Since it has existed for more than half a century, IVR can arouse a strong response from customers.

However, if they are set up properly and used in combination with other call routing features, they will be a powerful tool to speed up resolution and manage the number of incoming calls in an organized way.​​​
As can be seen from the above call flow chart, by pairing IVR with –, a call flow call queue can be created to route to the correct department, and another IVR menu is used to collect more detailed information.

Agent extension (if the caller knows the extension number and wants to contact a specific call center agent immediately)

If you wish to apply custom routing conditions based on real-time information provided on any tool integrated with CRM, help desk, or telephone system, perform automatic routing of calls. These combinations of workflows make IVR a more independent method of splitting calls than using it alone
A more effective call routing solution.

3) Data-driven call flow for routing automation

Routing automation or automatic routing enables you to route callers based on dynamic real-time input from external systems or software used by the enterprise and integrated with the telephone system.

Routing automation can be used in conjunction with call queues and IVR.
First, you need to select the application from which you need to transfer data.
Then, create call routing conditions based on the input of the above application, and then use the routing automation function to build a full-featured call flow.
Suppose you need to create a separate call flow for VIP customers or priority callers.
Or, you are running a helpline, some of which require the earliest contact with the responder.
In this case, routing automation shines.
You can use their phone number or location to determine if you need to route callers to agents faster.

4) Voicebot priority call flow, that is, the future call flow

Voice robots are an excellent way to ensure your business’s voice is online 24×7 every day, especially after get off work or holidays.

They are also a good way to deflect common queries and handle large numbers of calls.
Voice robots can provide instant answers to callers without calling on-site agents.
In the event that they cannot answer the question, they can transfer the call to a backup option.

For example, voice mail routing (if outside business hours) or routing to agents during business hours.

And, the best thing about voice robots is that they will get better in training.
With more input from you, the voice robot can develop to face a wider range of queries and share the workload of call center agents.
The main advantage of all these templates is to understand that different functions can be combined to create the best experience.
The absence of routing is an exception in itself.
When we pair IVR with routing automation, it gets better.
When paired with good backup options, routing automation becomes better.
But most importantly, when paired with an excellent call center agent, the call flow will be infinitely better.
This is for humans and technicians to work together to provide the best customer experience.

Your interactive survey guide

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In this blog post, we discussed the importance of questionnaires after phone interaction and how astercc can help you create the perfect questionnaire.

Feedback is an important part of the process.
Without feedback, we just shoot in the dark and act with blind faith.

For any business, customer feedback is essential.
We know that there can be no business without customers.
In the future, 89% of enterprises will compete mainly based on customer experience.
In such a world, it is important for every company to collect customer feedback on a regular basis to ensure that its customers are satisfied with its products and services.

What is a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey?

Customer satisfaction survey is a method of collecting feedback from customers, usually in a ratio of 1-5 or 1-10 (1 with the lowest satisfaction and 10 with the highest satisfaction).

For telephone calls, this is usually done through IVR menu options-a message will be played after the call, prompting the caller to choose from a list of menu options based on their satisfaction with the service.

Why is customer satisfaction survey important to the phone?

Voice is a key part of interaction with customers.
By phone, you can establish contact with customers on a personal level.
At the same time, it also poses a challenge-it is difficult to collect feedback on phone interactions.

How to calculate customer satisfaction?

Your customer satisfaction score can be calculated using the following formula:

If your CSAT survey scores 1-5, 1 of them is the most dissatisfied and 5 are very satisfied: 1-2 is a negative answer, and 3 is a neutral answer of 4-5 for affirmative.
For example: if 30 customers out of 50 customers have a score of 4 or 5, your satisfaction score is: 30/50 * 100 = 60%

Use IVR for satisfaction surveys

Some examples of customer satisfaction surveys are:

Are you satisfied with our service today?

If you are satisfied, please press 1, if you are not satisfied, please press 2.

Can we help solve your problem?

If yes, please press 1, otherwise, please press 2.

On a scale of 1-5, where 1 is difficult and 5 is easy, how easy is it for [company name] to deal with the problem?

Advantages of surveys

Through IVR questionnaire survey customers can gain insight into customer satisfaction and analyze the performance of their telephone team.
The satisfaction survey provides you with the overall direction of changes in corporate services and can help you understand the quality of customer service.

Benefits after telephone survey:

Receive real-time customer feedback

Identify areas for improvement in your business or products

Analyze agent performance

Here are some best practices for customer satisfaction surveys:

Answer questions concisely: After the call, your caller will not have the patience to listen to long and complex questions.
Determine exactly what you are asking, and use as few words as possible.
Include a brief introduction: It is usually a good habit to add a brief introduction before your survey question, such as: “Your feedback is important to us” or “Your feedback helps us improve.”
This way, your customers can be confident that their feedback is important and are more likely to give a true answer.

Analyze customer feedback: Now that you have collected feedback, you should focus on customers who are dissatisfied or dissatisfied with the product or service.
Customers will appreciate it when you personally contact them and understand why they are not satisfied.
This insight will also help your business avoid mistakes and improve the customer experience in the future.

How to conduct a satisfaction survey?

Telephone systems such as astercc can help you complete IVR satisfaction surveys within minutes.
Asterccr enables you to customize IVR messages.
You can take advantage of our text-to-speech converter and even record or upload your own message to play to the caller.

Using the astercc call center system, you can enable IVR satisfaction surveys for each incoming and outgoing call.
After each call, the agent is provided with the option to trigger a satisfaction survey.
After the investigation is triggered, an IVR message will be played to the caller and his keystrokes will be recorded.
You can also view the response rate of customer satisfaction surveys, and these results will be attached to their phone calls.
You can also choose to export customer responses, so you can really drill down and analyze customer satisfaction.

How cloud phones can benefit small businesses

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Imagine you call a company, which company would you trust?
This company will broadcast a professional welcome message and ask you to select the department you want to talk to from the menu.
In the past, only those companies with deep pockets could afford sophisticated telephone systems with voice mail, interactive voice response, call routing and more advanced features.
Small businesses are at a disadvantage and cannot establish a sound image.
Small and medium enterprises will benefit the most from cloud phones. They have changed the rules of the game for small and medium enterprises and enabled them to compete with large enterprises.

Why should small businesses migrate to the cloud?
Essentially, cloud phones have a large number of features to meet the exact needs of small and medium-sized enterprises,

Less cost

Can be set up without technical assistance

No maintenance

Can be easily expanded

Liquidity

The local telephone system is about to decline—in fact, the FCC voted in 2016 to phase out the old copper network and begin the transition to Internet-based telephone services.

The following factors make cloud phones particularly attractive to small businesses:

1. Scalability

The buyer’s report of software recommendations mentioned: “The need for scalability is the primary reason for evaluating new VoIP systems.” Small businesses will develop in the future, which means they need flexibility.
After communicating with many of our customers, we learned about the benefits of cloud phones, especially in terms of scalability. Cloud phones have brought small businesses-many companies that used hard phones before, once opened in different locations and started to expand,
Its telephone system cannot be maintained.
Keep up with their rapid growth.
They realize that the local phone system will not cut costs, and they can add users to the cloud phone system with one click.
There is no need to make any infrastructure changes, and these changes will incur a lot of cost and time-consuming, these are two valuable resources that small businesses cannot afford.

2. Integration with business tools

Using different tools can adversely affect customer support and sales processes.
Imagine that when a sales agent talks with potential customers, they will have to make important records, maybe follow up, and they may have to track many of their potential customers.
Similarly, the support agent will have to follow up with the customer multiple times to ensure that the query has been resolved.
Hardware phones can cause trouble in this process-agents or representatives cannot link their calls to potential customers, they will not be able to track their inquiries, and things can quickly become messy.
This will affect their productivity, and more importantly, their morale.
With cloud phone, they can easily integrate their phone system with their CRM or help desk-every call can be easily attributed to the customer.
They don’t have to switch between multiple tools, all data is in one place.
Simplified workflow can create miracles for enterprises.
One of our customers was expanding rapidly and eventually missed many calls.
In their own words, since moving to the cloud phone system, “they have added much-needed orders in the chaotic workflow” and have been able to reduce missed calls by as much as 35%.

3. Analysis and report

In today’s world, you will realize that the person who owns the data is king.
Easily accessible data is important for analyzing and making business decisions – according to a Deloitte study, 72% of companies believe they can use analytics to improve the customer experience.
Most local phone systems lack analytical capabilities and therefore cannot understand or understand the performance of the team or measure customer satisfaction.
For a small business, this can make a difference. Aggressive companies and companies that set goals and closely monitor their performance tend to develop better than those that don’t.
For small businesses in the dark, they cannot afford to take risks.
Small business phone systems use functions such as call records to provide them with data, and they can go back and analyze what they did right and where they went wrong.
With valuable analytical tools, small businesses can now quantitatively evaluate their performance and provide a better customer experience.

4. Liquidity

Customers want prompt answers when inquiries-you won’t miss customer calls if you are not on your desk.
Small businesses can score high on customer service, while large businesses may find it difficult to provide personalized and timely customer service.
The business deployed in the on-premises system is tied to their desk (and past).
Small businesses can use cloud phones to quickly respond to customers, no matter where they are-all they need is a working Internet connection.
This provides great flexibility for small business owners to stay connected even when they are not in the office.
This also opens up possibilities for remote work and remote commuting.
A study by CoSo Cloud shows that 77% of employees report higher productivity when working remotely-remote work is on the rise and will continue.
Small businesses will also benefit the most-space can be a big factor for start-ups, and remote hiring means they can save on rent, which also gives them the flexibility to hire agents temporarily if additional bandwidth is needed.
Remote work is also good for the environment-even big brands like Dell have tried remote work and found that their American workforce avoids 2.7 billion round trips through remote commuting each year-which is equivalent to reducing the commuting footprint by 30 million tons per year
Carbon dioxide emissions.

5. Save cost

Small businesses need economy, and there is nothing better than cloud phone systems in terms of cost savings.
According to data from tech.co, VoIP can reduce the initial cost of starting a business by approximately 90%.
Consider (if not for cloud phones), small businesses have to buy hard phones, get phone lines, set up servers, hire technical help, not to mention rent a lot of space to accommodate your phone system, which adds to the duplication
Sexual maintenance fees and contracts allow you to lock this setting for at least 3-5 years.
For local calls, small businesses using VoIP are expected to save 40% compared to the current system. This is because most cloud phone systems provide lower call rates, and businesses can purchase local calls in other countries and make local calls
The phone uses the cloud phone system for charging.

It’s time to show the real technology of astercc!

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Fighting sports and operating enterprises are interlinked to a certain extent, and all competitors stand on their own arena to fight. Except for the reason of strength, when two rivals of equal strength are together, it must be the talent with a more complete combat strategy that can win. There is a good saying: Develop strategies to defeat every new opponent.

But when operating a call center, having the right phone system is like a fighter’s nirvana.This will help you execute your business strategy reasonably and accurately. Call centers have a huge market, and the most important thing is strong competitors. But you must first make it clear that what you need is the most suitable call center for your business, not the call center with the loudest advertising in the industry. Because the right call center can reshape your entire business, and minimize unnecessary expenses, really achieve, spend the least money to have the strongest strategy.

After getting the most suitable solution, you first need to understand the functional components of an ideal business call center system.
The following suggestions can help you make the right choice.

Enhanced features of the champion call center

Whether it is a competition or a call center system, the champion is always better than others in some places. The following are some commonly used functions in the champion call center system.

Timely release

Time is a luxury, whether for a startup company that has been established for a few weeks or a company with decades of history. The ideal call center can enable enterprises to enter the market quickly. Register and purchase local or international numbers to set up armor queues, add call center teams, etc. The entire process should save time.

Easy to expand

The fast-growing business needs a qualified call center system that can be easily expanded to cope with the fluctuating call volume.

Call center to solve the problem

The call center software should help agents quickly solve customer problems, and the call center itself should not be able to cause call processing problems. Therefore, functions such as call routing, multi-layer IVR, real-time call queue and agent availability, call center monitoring, etc. are needed.

Convenient to save more expenses

A truly excellent call center should not have too much overhead, but it can bring higher functionality. Ideally, he should be free to try for a period of time so that you can understand which solution is best for the needs of the business. Why astercc can stand out among many competitors? First of all, in terms of pricing, our strict adherents strive to get a good return on investment for every penny spent by your business. Compared with other call centers in the same period, we have no special requirements for your enterprise structure and user base. Even if you only have one user, our system can let you experience it. In terms of user development, astercc provides you with three plans. You can choose the identity of management or seat group leader to choose the required configuration, and the system can meet your expansion at any time. You can select a user and a number to select all plans, and expand as needed. You can quickly view plans and related functions from the navigation page of astercc.

Common call center functions

1. Conference call

2. Voice mail

3. Call recording

4. Call transfer

5. Multi-level IVR

6. Seat status

7. Blacklist and whitelist

……

The core of astercc’s ability to stand out is that in addition to some common call center functions, it also has a complete pre-dial function. If the agent manually enters the call, there will be input errors or dialing failures, etc., and some problems that waste the working time of the agent occur. The pre-dial function of astercc completely circumvents this problem. The system automatically dials and routes to idle seats when connected.

Smart upgrade

Every call is an opportunity to expand customers. The guarantee of the quality of each call is the cornerstone of the customer’s establishment. The guarantee of the quality of the call is the guarantee to the customer, so the quality inspection of the call is indispensable. Most quality inspections on the market now remain in manual quality inspections. It is necessary to manually listen to the call recording to inspect and classify the call quality according to the subjective judgment of the quality inspector. This usually has a personal subjective consciousness. It is a possibility that listening to the recording completely wastes a lot of time, and the quality inspection result is not very accurate. The intelligent quality inspection function of astercc can completely avoid some of the existing drawbacks. The perfect voice translation model converts the voice into text, and the key unqualified sentences will be marked in red, so that the quality inspector avoids a lot of voice listening from beginning to end when listening, and the quality inspection problem can be solved by looking at the text directly. Simple, time-saving and labor-saving.

astercc can bring you more

What is the acceptable call abandonment rate for call centers?

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What is call drop?
How to calculate the call abandonment rate?
What is the acceptable abandonment rate for call centers?
All of your questions can now be answered.

First of all, let’s understand what is an abandoned call?
As the name suggests, calls that the agent does not answer are calls that the agent gives up.
The call may be abandoned due to the following situations: the caller hangs up before the call is connected to the agent, while waiting in the IVR queue, or they hang up the phone without leaving a voice mail.
There may also be other reasons for the call to be abandoned.
For example, connection problems, phone calls after get off work, etc.

A short and boring definition of call center abandonment rate is as follows:

In the terms of a call center, an abandoned call is a call initiated by the caller to the call center, but ends abruptly before any conversation has occurred.
If you are a customer support manager, call center manager or a business where telephone support is a vital channel, you must constantly monitor the call abandonment rate of the call center.

The call abandonment rate is one of the key call center indicators that help measure the efficiency of the call center.

This is also a standard of the customer experience you present to the caller.
A low call abandonment rate means that most of your callers will be answered.
A high call abandonment rate means you must rethink your call center strategy.

But how do you know if the call abandonment rate is normal?
What is the acceptable abandonment rate for call centers?

This constitutes the premise of this article.
Before proceeding with the discussion, one must understand how to calculate the abandonment rate of a call center.

How to calculate the abandonment rate of a call center

Calculating the correct call abandonment rate helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the call center.
Divide the number of abandoned calls by the total number of calls.
For example, if your contact center receives 1,000 calls and 50 are abandoned, your abandonment rate is 5%.
What is a good abandonment rate for a call center? Considering the reduction of call centers, your call center abandonment rate will inevitably be between 5% and 80%.
However, under special circumstances, it may rise to 20%.
Recent research also shows that one-fifth of calls made from mobile phones are abandoned.
To determine whether the abandonment rate is good or bad, the rule of thumb is to keep the abandonment rate as low as possible.

Several factors affect the rate from time to time, including:

Average answer speed

Service level target

Accuracy of prediction

Workforce management

Call center contraction

Call after get off work

First call resolution rate

Average answer speed

The low average answering speed means that the call center can resolve as many calls as possible in a given time.
However, when it is high, it may be due to the complexity of the problem or shortage of personnel, and the call abandonment rate will change accordingly.

The service level target refers to the proportion of calls answered within a given time period.
For example, an 80/20 service level goal means that 80% of calls are answered within 20 seconds.
High service level targets help minimize call abandonment rates.

Call density prediction. Call center managers use call density prediction to determine peak times during which they will need the largest number of personnel to reach service level goals.
The call abandonment rate will vary based on the call density forecast and the number of seats available to handle it.

Labor management is basically a process used by call center managers to plan seat schedules, determine vacation strategies, set IVR menus, or call routing after get off work.

Call center reduction can be defined as: “The number of seats actively serving customers divided by the number of seats unavailable at the time.” The shrinkage may be due to interruptions, absences or even unplanned downtime.
Needless to say, when the call center shrinkage rate is also higher, the abandonment rate will be higher.

Calls after get off work, in the call center, calls made after get off work are basically abandoned.
The IVR menu can help to a large extent, but customers who are eager to wait in the IVR or want to talk to an agent usually abandon their call.

First call resolution rate, IVR and its self-service menu help to maximize the first call resolution rate (FCR).

Only when FCR is not implemented, the call differs depending on the agent extension.
In other words, a higher FCR means a lower call abandonment rate.

These are some of the factors that affect the call abandonment rate of the call center.
Now, how can call centers maintain a healthy abandonment rate?
The best way to solve the problem is to find the root cause of the problem.

Let’s try to understand the main reasons for the high rate of phone abandonment.

Reasons for high call abandonment rate

Complex IVR menu, navigation time is too long

Invalid call routing cannot enable customers to get solutions faster

The shortage of call center staff makes callers need to wait for a long time

If you want to maintain a normal call abandonment rate, here are what you should and should not do.

shouldn’t do should do
With lengthy and complicated IVR menu Keep the IVR menu short, up to 3 to 4 sub-menus
Ignore workforce management to regularly implement and revisit workforce management There is a random call routing process, and there is an effective call routing system based on working hours, language, skills, etc.
_______________________ Insufficient call centers have enough staff or establish self-service portals.

How to reduce call abandonment rate

Even with these measures, your call center cannot reduce the call abandonment rate, and these measures can also help.

Inform customers of estimated waiting time

The time the customer waits to play music

Provide self-service (IVR)

Use a team wall or dashboard

Reallocation hours (WFM)

Overflow calls with too long waiting time (callback queue)

Provide self-service (IVR)

The IVR menu has options for obtaining information that users want to ask agents, which can help reduce the abandonment rate.
In effect, they eliminate the need for callers to talk to agents.
The result is that fewer calls will be abandoned.
For example, a bank customer service number with an IVR option can get the latest account balance.

Announce estimated waiting time

The main reason customers disconnect the call while they are on hold is because they don’t know how long they must stay.
Announcing the estimated wasted time can make the caller decide not to disconnect the call.
They will disconnect the call only when the waiting time is too long.

Take up customer time

It is very annoying that the caller can only hear the beep while waiting for a call.
And this only intensifies the caller’s urge to disconnect.
On the other hand, letting them listen to music, latest offers, announcements, etc. during hold time can help reduce call abandonment.
However, even music and announcements that keep time should be used with caution, as their misplacement can lead to a poor customer experience.Reallocation hours (WFM)Call centers usually work according to the time zone of the country or region where they provide support.
However, this may not exactly match the number of hours with the highest call density.Use the team’s dashboard or wall panel

Dashboards or wall panels that display real-time information on key call center indicators can help improve overall team morale.
They can be used as indicators to keep the entire call center in sync with service level goals.
If too many abandoned calls exceed the acceptable threshold, the call center manager can take remedial measures.

Final advice

No call center can avoid giving up the call.
They are natural phenomena in the call center environment.
However, you can control and reduce the call abandonment rate and ensure that appropriate services are provided to all callers.
You can take many steps to achieve this goal.
However, sometimes you need more than just the process but also effective call center software to help you manage things better.

If you want to learn more about our work, please visit www.cn.astercc.com

Create risk communication plan from time to time

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Build trust with customers and employees through an effective risk communication plan

In today’s fast-changing social development, companies can actively prepare for emergencies, not only can bring minimal risk losses to the company, but can also bring rich returns to the company.

The best feedback on the company’s capabilities is the behavior and response that the company makes when dealing with risks.
If done well, companies will get the opportunity to build long-term trust with customers.
Developing a reviewed risk communication plan will ensure that your organization is prepared to respond to any risks quickly and decisively.

What is the risk?

Risk is everything your business encounters that will hinder the normal development of the business.
This risk can be real or pre-perceived.
It may be caused by global epidemics, natural disasters or human error.
In some cases, the risk should be an event that you can expect, even in this case, it will be beyond your control.
Risks can have a lasting impact on a company’s reputation, brand and profitability.
With proper planning, risk communication plans can mitigate or completely avoid the damage caused by risks.

What is a risk communication plan?

The risk communication plan is a comprehensive and detailed plan that outlines the organization’s communication strategy for dealing with risks.

Why develop a risk communication plan?

Recognizing the potential vulnerabilities of the enterprise and preparing corresponding emergency strategies will enable you to respond quickly and effectively to the risk situation, thereby reducing the long-term damage of the risk.
A good risk communication plan will build trust between your business and customers, employees and investors.

For your employees, risk may bring uncertainty and confusion, which may have multiple impacts on your customers and ultimately on your business.
By clearly communicating the organization’s risk communication plan to employees, they can become the risky public relations army and become your biggest online messenger.

Checklist of effective risk communication plans:

1. Know your weaknesses

Work with business leaders and key stakeholders to determine a list of potential risks. This is called a risk review. These are potential situations that may affect your income and/or reputation.

For example, if you are a financial institution, there may be a risk of data leakage.
If you are a catering company, there is a risk of food poisoning caused by improper food handling.

Many risks can be prevented-by conducting exercises you can highlight areas that need improvement and/or training.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

2. Who is responsible for control?

Establish a risk management team and outline the chain of command to deal with risks.
Employees and customers will seek answers and guidance from authorities.

3. Who do you want to contact?

Determine the audience groups you need to reach (customer groups, distributors, investors, employees) and the best channels to reach these audiences (phone, email, social media, media).

4. Draft draft

Use senior executives to prepare communication and press release templates based on the blanks and multiple choices that need to be edited.
This will save you valuable time when actual risks occur.

5. Train employees

As part of this planning process, you should provide call center or customer service employees with training on suggested scripts, including what to say and how to respond to inquiries from customers, the media, and other related parties.

6. Obtain legal and management support

Make sure you have the support of the legal and management team.
This will help eliminate any form of misunderstanding that may again cause another risk.

7. Communicate early

Respond quickly and incrementally through a continuous flow of information.
This will prevent the risk from growing out of control and will allow you to control the narrative in the media.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media in shaping public perceptions.

8. Ensure consistent messaging

Ensure that the organization’s messaging on your website, social media, and other platforms is consistent and consistent with your risk communication plan.

9. Establish a risk communication command center

Depending on the situation, you may not be able to access your office.
Ensure that your command center has alternate communications access (phone, email access, etc.) available at all times.

The most effective risk communication plan includes active outreach activities that enable you to build trust with your customers before risks occur.
Then, you build trust with these customers, and they are more likely to forgive any preventable mistakes.
The longer the risk lasts, the greater the impact on your company.
If done well, your organization’s response to risk will help strengthen your organization’s established values.

Having a clearly outlined risk communication plan allows your organization to respond quickly and effectively, thereby mitigating the long-term negative impact on the company’s reputation and profitability.
Likewise, it can bring your employees together and adjust them to support your mission.
Most importantly, it can ensure the health of customers and employees

call center dark horse

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asterCC has been well received in the past few years for its ease of use, ease of installation, and professionalism in after-sales support. asterCC redesigned our daily telephone system for customer support, sales, IT and HR teams.
It can serve as a central hub for all phone-related activities in the organization, allowing companies to easily activate their call centers in minutes. In addition, asterCC is easy to use and implement reviews, and is touted for its quick response customer support.”AsterCC allows you to customize the service exactly the way you want, and it doesn’t restrict how you use the system.Allowing end users to be creative and build phone systems in their own way will continue to make asterCC a leader in the industry. ”

“I really like the simple setup system, phone numbers, rules, messages. The design of asterCC is very user-friendly. I am very happy because it will provide our customers with professional solutions and let them call us by phone It not only keeps call records, but also enables us to convert to tickets and record notes for each call, thus keeping us organized.We are not in China, asterCC enables us to have a Chinese number abroad so that our Chinese customers can contact us. As we grow, being able to grow into capabilities with more functions is a huge benefit. ”

“The design is simple … we have used the system for teleconferences for agents across the country. It is very easy to download and make calls.”

“AsterCC allows you to set up a complex, intelligent entire contact center for teams, departments and customers from a simple contact channel for customers.It also has a very friendly and beautiful UI.This is a very simple solution, it only takes a few minutes to complete the setup, which is the biggest difference from the competition. ”

The era of cloud PBX

In the cloud era, the business phone system industry has been going through a revolution, and the days of hosting PBXs and physical phone lines are gone. More and more enterprises choose to use cloud PBX systems because they are easy to use, easy to set up, low in cost, and give users a lot of leeway in terms of flexibility.asterCC combines the best traditional managed PBX functions (such as IVR) and advanced functions (such as intelligent upgrades, custom call center analysis) to help companies build the most advanced business call center.asterCC provides virtual phone numbers in more than 90 countries / regions and provides refreshing call center solutions for keen-sighted enterprises.The mission of the asterCC team is to build a modern telephone system that is easy to use and suitable for the needs of enterprises of all sizes and sizes.

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