I’m the manager of a contact centre supporting a bank and the customer account portal on the website has failed. Customers begin calling my web support team to report the outage and things I don’t like begin to happen:
- My queues become saturated with duplicate calls
- My call volumes have two extra zeros and forecasting is out the window
- My Service Level is in jeopardy
The estimated time to repair the portal is one hour. I have two courses of action: continue allowing agents to answer calls and explain to each customer individually that we are aware of the outage and estimate a resolution in one hour; or I can find a mechanism to get this information to the customer without tying up my agents unnecessarily.
Door Number Two
Using functionality already available in the telephony system, it’s possible to enhance your design by adding a message into the incoming portion of your call flows, playing before a customer enters a queue. We call this a broadcast announcement.
This design concept has two stand-out features:
- I control the wording of the announcement
- I can switch the announcement on and off whenever I need to
What’s the Point?
By recording and enabling a broadcast announcement I’ve done three things:
- I’m giving customers an opportunity to gain relevant information without queuing, by telling them I’m aware of the outage
- I’m encouraging abandons at a point in my call flow where they won’t be measured against contact centre performance
- I’m freeing up agents to service my regular calls
This isn't just a solution to a specific problem, broadcast announcements are an enhancement that can be used anywhere you want to provide customers with additional information, manage expectation or just market your latest product.
Tell customers that inclement weather has stopped half of the agents making it to work or that a network issue is causing poor line quality.
It’s a simple and low cost process to implement and it’s powerful. One of my favourite tools in the design tool box.