The contact centre is one of the most important parts of any business’ customer service activities. This is usually your customers’ first port of call for any questions or problems, and they expect a quality experience – even more so now than in the past.

Expectations for getting in touch with firms have increased hugely over the past year. Today’s consumers want to be able to choose the most convenient channel for them and get answers as quickly as possible, without being left on hold while agents find information, or getting passed around various departments until they find someone equipped to help them.

For smaller businesses, having an effective contact centre is even more important. For many customers, one of the benefits of choosing such firms is the promise of a more personal touch, where they can create long-lasting relationships as opposed to just being another number, which may be the case with larger competitors. Therefore, any failures in this area will be even more frustrating.

The evolving expectations for customer experience

Customers today have higher demands than ever when it comes to the experience they receive – but the reward for companies that put the effort into this can be large. According to Zendesk’s 2021 Customer Experience Trends report, half of consumers say a good experience is more important to them today than a year ago, while 75 per cent of customers are willing to spend more to buy from companies that give them a good experience.

The contact centre will often be the front line in delivering this service, especially as more interactions take place through digital channels. Indeed, 64 per cent of consumers turned to a new channel for the first time in 2020, and 73 per cent plan to keep using it.

However, this isn’t limited to emerging channels like social media and live chat. Zendesk’s survey found, for instance, that almost one in three Generation Xers used the voice channel to contact a firm for the first time last year, along with around a quarter of Millennials and Generation Z members.

This means contact centre performance matters, and there are a few metrics that will be especially important. For example, call response times are the first factor that must be considered. It’s not news that waiting on hold costs you customers – more than half of users will abandon a call if they’re left on hold for more than five minutes, and even a single poor experience will mean many customers won’t return to a business. In fact, according to Zendesk, as many as 80 per cent will switch to a competitor after a single bad experience.

According to Call Centre Helper, best practice should be to answer 80 per cent of calls within 20 seconds, and the same applies to live chat channels. Elsewhere, being passed to multiple agents or placed on hold again while contact centre staff hunt down information also leads to frustration.

Why contact centre monitoring is important

But how do you know if you’re meeting these benchmarks? Fulfilling these expectations and improving the performance of the contact centre is impossible without effective monitoring tools.

If you can’t see what’s going on within your communications network, you won’t know where to start fixing it, and the chances are you won’t even be aware of any issues until complaints arrive and you start losing business.

Without monitoring tools, you won’t have a clear idea of how many calls are going unanswered or what your wait times are – which can be key indicators that you need to devote more resources to this area. These solutions also give you a much better idea which of your agents are your top performers, based on factors such as the length of calls and the number of issues resolved on first contact.

For small businesses, the consequences of poor performance can be severe. If you only have a handful of agents available at any one time, even small delays or disruptions can have a big impact on your overall efficiency, resulting in dissatisfied customers and lost revenue. Therefore, being able to spot any problems early and be more proactive in fixing them is vital, whether this is increasing the number of seats available or investing in tech tools to streamline operations.

Swift by Arrow – Contact Centre Feature

Swift by Arrow is an All-in-One Cloud Phone that provides users with all the tools they need to gain a complete picture of their contact centre’s performance. At the heart of this is the Swift Call Centre Wallboard feature, which acts as a central location from which you can monitor your agents’ activities.

This can show you at a glance key performance indicators such as the number of calls taken, time on call and how long customers are kept on hold, among others. All these factors can then be compiled into comprehensive reports that give you the information in a simple, easy-to-understand format.

You also have the ability to create multiple call groups and add members when required in order to monitor performance by group or on an individual level.

This cloud contact centre monitoring tool gives you all the essential information you need to improve your call centre performance, reallocate resources or initiate training to ensure your business is operating as efficiently as possible and customers get the best possible experience.

Learn More about the Swift Call Centre Wallboard.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness

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