Dealing with Call Center Problems? Here’s how an Integrated Appointment Solution can Help

By Kelly Wilson - Jul 4, 2018

According to Forrester, there is an increase in call volume expected to occur over the next 12 months. To accommodate this increase, 46% of global contact center decision makers project their contact center will grow by 5% to 10%.

While some operations executives and call center managers are scrambling to increase call center headcount, this only solves one of their call center problems–managing high call volumes–and it isn’t economically sustainable.

And for call centers who support appointment-driven businesses, this problem isn’t going away any time soon. As the business scales, call center operations will continue to get more complex and inefficient unless a different solution is considered to decrease call volume.

Are you in this situation? Imagine for a moment that you could not only decrease call volume, but also hold time and talk time for appointment-booking related calls?

If you are a business that drives high volumes of appointments, you’ve likely heard about (and maybe considered) the variety of integrated scheduling platforms that are available to streamline this process. But with many other IT investments vying for your time and budget, you may be asking yourself: ‘Which call center metrics will enterprise appointment scheduling impact?’ And ‘how can I use an integrated online platform to increase efficiency in my organization’s call center?’

We have aggregated some of the success metrics our clients use to measure call center efficiency to demonstrate the types of results you could anticipate after implementing an integrated appointment booking solution.  But first, we’re going to take a look at what’s currently broken in your call center appointment booking process, and how these problems are costing you time and money.

 

How can I use an integrated online platform to increase efficiency in my call center?

The root of the problem is this: when a client call comes in to book an appointment, in order to pull up the necessary information, call center representatives are accessing multiple applications while the client is on hold. While an entire queue of customers on hold piles up. The process is inefficient for your call center representatives, as well as frustrating for your customer on the other end. From an operations standpoint, the process is also very time-consuming for call center staff who could be servicing many more customers in a day if they weren’t spending so much time on each appointment scheduling call.

Here’s a breakdown of how things might be playing out in your call center when a client calls in to book an appointment:

  • First Hold: Customer calls into the branch and is placed on hold for the next available representative.
    • Basic details: Once the customer gets through to the representative, they are asked for their basic personal information, and what service they require.
  • Second Hold: Customer is on hold for the second time while the call center representative searches through multiple platforms to find the necessary information to book the appointment.
    • Checking branch locations: The first application is typically a geolocator to find the nearest branch to the customer.
    • Searching available, qualified staff: Then the representative has to search through an extensive list of employees who work at that desired branch location, to try and find an advisor who is qualified to conduct the service that the customer requires.
    • Checking staff availability: The call center representative reviews the calendars for the available and qualified advisors at the desired branch.
  • Finally, booking the appointment! The customer is taken off hold for the second time, and can now coordinate an appointment time that works for them as well as the qualified advisor.
  • No further touchpoints: Once the appointment is booked, without any system for automating reminders, your customers won’t be contacted to confirm or remind them of their upcoming appointment.

 

What’s currently broken in your call center appointment booking process

 

Fixing your call center problems with an online scheduling solution

Implementing an integrated online platform that can be accessed by all of your call center representatives accelerates the appointment booking process and reduces the length of each call.  Instead of accessing multiple applications, the integrated platform streamlines the booking process and creates a better customer experience with your brand.

  • Customer calls into the branch: Customer calls into the branch and connects to a call center representative.
  • Representative accesses the integrated booking platform: The representative is taken through a streamlined booking sequence.
    • Quick navigation: Branch location, qualified branch staff, and advisor calendars are accessed all in a matter of seconds.
  •  Books the appointment! The call center representative can go forward and schedule the appointment with the customer, having all qualified advisor calendars open on one platform.
  • Additional touchpoints: Additional touchpoints are added to the booking process due to the integrated platform.
    • Appointment confirmation: Confirmation emails are automatically sent out to the customer with their appointment details.
    • Sends customer reminder:  Automated SMS or email reminder is sent to the customer closer to the appointment date to decrease the chance of a no-show.

 

How to fix your call center problems with an appointment scheduling solution

Which Call Center Metrics will be Impacted by Enterprise Appointment Scheduling?

By streamlining this process, you’ll see a decrease in call volume, talk time and hold time, and may even be able to decrease headcount.

 

Accommodating Higher Call Volume while Reducing Headcount

As we mentioned earlier, many organizations are pouring more staff resources to manage call volume at call centers, but this is not a sustainable solution. An integrated scheduling solution provides you with the ability to serve your customers more efficiently by speeding up the appointment booking process in your call center.  And by speeding up the booking process, you are able to accommodate the heavy traffic that is coming into your call center without having to hire more representatives. You’ll also be able to drive more traffic to your organization’s branches while saving money on call center operations.

 

Decreasing Talk Time

When too much of your call center representatives’ time is being consumed by individual calls, it leaves little time for them to accomplish other revenue-generating tasks, such as outbound calling.  The current appointment booking process in place also creates a negative customer experience due to the lengthy process along with the multiple, long hold times.

Increasing the efficiency of the booking process will help decrease time spent on booking customer appointments.  Some of our clients in financial and business services organizations that have found that with the efficiencies gained with a call center booking solution, they are booking 12.5% more appointments.

 

Decreasing Hold Time

Lengthy hold times due to an inefficient booking process have a negative impact on customer experience, and if bad enough, can lead to a high call drop-off rate. Did you know that 80% of customers drop off the line after being placed on hold for over 1 minute?

The root cause of lengthy hold times originates from your call center’s booking process.  This call center problem can be solved by implementing an integrated system that speeds up the booking process, subsequently reducing the amount of time your call center representatives have to dedicate to each call.    

Additionally, reduced hold times can enhance the customer experience, and allow your customers to allocate less time to booking appointments with your organization.

 

Why Partner with Coconut Software to Tackle Your Call Center Problems

Our integrated scheduling platform will bring many benefits to your organization, but you may be wondering what sets Coconut Software apart from the other solutions available?

 

Your success is our success.

We understand that implementing new technology into your organization’s call center necessitates a change management program and the Coconut

Customer Success team will be there to ensure that the implementation is as smooth and efficient as possible.  Customer Success works with new clients to map out their customer journey to identify which metrics are the most important, and we’ll work with you to focus your efforts on achieving these results. During bi-weekly, then quarterly reporting meetings, we’ll track success against your KPIs.

 

We’ve streamlined SaaS implementation.

Most enterprise software implementations involve many months of back-and-forth between the vendor and client.  But at Coconut we’ve streamlined the enterprise SaaS implementation process. Most of our clients are up and running in 5-8 weeks.

 

Tech roll-out has never been this seamless.

While many enterprise appointment platforms say this, we really mean it. When you’re rolling out a new platform with a huge team of call center staff, location managers, and other employees, we understand that the user experience needs to be as easy as possible in order to maximize adoption. That’s why we’ve designed and built a premium experience that comes naturally to the average user. And we offer customized training to make sure that each and every team member is comfortable and competent.