Tag Archives: Call Centers

3 Helpful Tips for Live Chat Etiquette

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Live chat is a great communication channel, and the preferred choice for many customers when engaging with a company; some of the appeal has to do with its ease, simplicity and brevity. When agents are appropriately trained in live chat etiquette, and have access to efficient scripting tools, they are much more likely to have a successful interaction with a customer.

In a paper published by TELUS International, the company asserts that avoiding customer frustration and brand damage should be top of mind for companies when training live chat agents. Often, customers choose live chat because it’s easy and quick; if your live chat interactions are forcing customers to put forth a lot of effort in their engagement, then your company isn’t realizing the full potential of this communication channel.

To bolster its argument for minimizing customer effort, the report cited a 2010 Harvard Business Review article where the case was made that “delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does.”

So, how do live chat agents reduce the customer’s effort when choosing this communication channel?

1. Keep It Brief

Reducing customer effort begins with your agent’s greeting. The greeting sets the tone of the conversation, so if it’s long-winded or muddled, your agent is placing an undue burden on the customer. Once the conversation has commenced, keeping responses to the point is key to providing a positive customer experience. As mentioned earlier, being brief doesn’t mean being clipped. The goal is to provide enough information to the customer in an efficient, yet courteous, manner.

Keeping it brief is especially important when working with a frustrated customer. A simple “I’m sorry” has more impact than a convoluted, over-worded apology.

2. Make Sure It’s Concise

Concise wording will lessen the chances of misunderstanding, and providing clear answers reduces the customers’ effort. Remember that customers prefer live chat because it’s efficient, so training agents how to properly write out responses that quickly get to the heart of the issue, and using proper and robust Live Agent Scripting, are key components of efficiency.

3. Read First, Then Respond

One common problem identified by TELUS is that agents will provide quick answers without first taking the time to read or fully understand what the customer is asking – this is an efficiency killer. Whatever the reason, agents need to take the time to read what the customer has written and then respond with an answer that provides a quick solution.

Once the issue or question that the customer is getting at is identified, the agent can then provide a brief, yet concise, response that moves the conversation forward without requiring the customer to put forth much effort. This is made even simpler when using powerful scripting tools that can help the agent to stay on track and keep the engagement flowing smoothly.

This article was written by Jodi Beuder of MHI Global. Are you interested in submitting a guest blog post? Please contact us!

This article was originally published November 2, 2015. 

Can Agent Scripting Improve Your Call Center KPIs?

Call centers play a fundamental part in how efficient and effective a company can truly be, but it takes much more than just providing customer service to reach new heights as a business. Each call center will likely have variations on the same metrics to be tracking as key performance indicators (KPIs). Regardless, you should spend time figuring out which ones matter the most for your company’s overall goals and start tracking them if you aren’t already.

Zingtree Agent Scripting solutions provide a helpful platform for making improvements and optimizations in many practical areas for call center agents, including the following most commonly found call center metrics.

1. First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a measurement of the number of customer calls that are resolved during that interaction, and do not require any follow-up for additional information. With agent scripts in place, call center representatives can quickly and easily match customers to the right problem and/or solution through an interactive guide, making the process of improvement infinitely smoother than other options.

2. Average Speed of Answer or Resolution

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is the average amount of time it takes for an agent to answer calls during a specific time period. Agent scripts allow call center reps and customers can spend less time waiting and solving problems, and quickly identify end-results. The Session List report allows you to see which agents take the most time and which achieve the best results. You can also use customer-facing decision trees to help customers self-solve, as well as quickly gather background information to speed up resolution time.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a critical measurement for all organizations to keep at top-of-mind. For call centers, this metric is expressed as a percentage, with 100% representing complete customer satisfaction with the level of service provided. It’s been proven that spending less time on the phone or on chat dealing with a question/issue, and getting the right answer quickly, makes customers happier and more loyal. By implementing interactive agent scripts, every customer call is quickly routed where it needs to go, leading to faster answers and more satisfied customers.

4. Agent Performance

Agent Performance is a direct measure of how effective call center agents are; a necessary metric to keep an eye on in order for true improvements to occur (after all, your agents are at the front lines of every customer interaction!). With our Agent Scripting tool and, you can easily track each agent interaction and each customers’ reason for needing support, as well as access Session Matrix reports on how your script is being used by agents within a given date range.

5. Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) of a customer inquiry measures the average duration of one customer interaction, including any hold time or other related tasks that follow the direct interaction. Tied directly to Customer Satisfaction, it’s imperative to improve both in tandem to achieve the best results for your call center. By using optimized, standardized agent scripts as a part of your day-to-day efforts, call center agents are able to effectively cut down on the time spent in each call by eliminating any inefficient questions or language.

Get Started with Agent Scripting

It’s easy to get started after signing up for a Zingtree account! Just select the Create New Tree button found under My Trees and select your preference for building an agent script. Let the Zingtree Wizard prompt you for the questions and answers, use Visual Designer to draw a flowchart, or even import from Google Sheets or Excel.

Follow our in-depth instructions for building your interactive agent script. Once your script is ready, you can:

  • Host on any web page or browser for easy access
  • Get complete analytics and reports for optimization
  • See full Q&A transcripts of every call for true understanding
  • Keep track of agent performance and improvement

Check out our short video to learn more about how Zingtree Agent Scripting can improve your call center:

Any questions? We’re always here to help!

The Feedback Loop: Getting Comments From End-Users and Agents

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One new feature super-user Travis suggested to us was the ability for people using trees to send notes back to the authors. For Travis’s company, they wanted a way for their Call Center agents to easily comment on any node, and have that feedback reach the authors of the tree. This seemed like such an obviously beneficial idea that we re-prioritized to make it happen.

The result is a subtle comment bubble, which can appear at the bottom right-hand-side of any tree: 

This quick video shows how it works:

How the Feedback Loop Works

Both Zingtree hosted end-user trees and internal agent (Call Center) trees can use this feedback feature. To illustrate, we’ll use the Zingtree Agent Portal as an example.

Here’s how a tree appears, showing the comment bubble:

 

When an agent clicks the comment bubble, they get a simple pop-up feedback form:

When feedback is sent, all authors get an email notification:

You can see all nodes with comments from Overview. They have an icon like this: 

Example:

Finally, when you Edit a Node, you can see and delete all comments, like this:

Comments for End-User Support Trees

This feature is not limited to Call Centers. If you’re using Zingtree for end-user support, you can enable the comment bubble in Zingtree-hosted trees. Use the Advanced Hosting Options from Publish, Zingtree Hosting, or simply add this to the URL for your tree:

&feedback=1

How to Train Customer Service Agents for Success

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No matter the reasons why a customer chooses to reach out to you, it’s important that each agent is professional, knowledgeable, courteous, and can offer expedited assistance. Training targeted specifically to areas of competency, efficiency and customer service best practices are all requirements to delivering excellent customer care.  

Training alone is not enough to account for consistent customer service delivery, though; the software that customer facing agents rely on is equally important. The technology surrounding CRM platforms is evolving and nowadays it is easier to stay nimble thanks to cloud technology. Another big change in software is the analytic capabilities that allow companies to incorporate some pretty nifty features such as customized scripts (like Zingtree!) and persistent ticket tracking, which allow for better customer experiences.

Let’s review a few training tips to take your customer service from good to awesome.

Use Your Knowledge

Customers are coming to you with a lot of product awareness, but they still expect your representative to be the expert. Customer facing agents should be trained thoroughly on all of the products and services they are responsible for representing, in addition to knowing where to quickly send a customer if s/he requires help or service from another department. Beyond product knowledge, training should be comprehensive regarding the software/hardware platforms the agent is working with.

Always Be Professional

Training customer facing agents how to handle frustrated and irate customers is key for employee morale and low turnover. If agents aren’t fully and properly trained in working with upset customers, you can plan on a revolving door in your contact center. Customer facing agents who can remain professional, even when tested, will reflect well on your company. Training agents to remain professional whenever they’re representing your company should be ongoing – there is always room for improvement!

Remain Courteous

The push and pull of a profitable company call center requires agents to efficiently resolve a customer’s issue, while also remaining polite and courteous. Training agents in how to be polite and productive is a practiced skill. As more customers demand personalized care, agent training that teaches manners and personalization techniques will be rewarded with customer loyalty.

Have Departmental Knowledge

Before an agent is allowed to work with customers, he or she needs to be broadly aware of the functions and roles of the other customer-serving departments. The next step is to ensure proper training in how to patch a customer through to the right person; this is where the need for an omni-channel strategy comes in. It’s easy to see how frustrating it can be for customers to start with one agent, then get transferred to another while having to start over at the beginning if your software doesn’t track a customer through different channels or departments.

As with all training programs, it should be relevant, easy to absorb, and appropriate to the learner. Making training tools available for various types of learners is important if what is being taught is to be incorporated into the workplace.

Customer facing agents are under a lot of stress and pressure but a good training program that is ongoing pays off in that employees are more satisfied in their jobs, which ultimately translates to more satisfied customers!  

 

This article was written by Jodi Beuder of MHI Global. Are you interested in submitting a guest blog post? Please contact us!

Zendesk Agent Scripting Update: Improvements for Inbound Callers

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We’re continuing to see traction in our call center business, especially among Zendesk clients. We recently had to find a way to keep the questions and answers tracked by Zingtree associated with a NEW ticket.  Zendesk didn’t have a way to permanently attach an identifier to a ticket so we could link the session data to it, so we had to create our own solution. This is especially handy for organizations that have inbound calls, or have agents create new tickets within Zendesk.

Version 5 of the Zendesk Agent Scripting app can be downloaded here.

Please note: If you’re migrating from Agent Scripting version 4, the state of each session will revert to the top of the tree.  So, if you’re happily using version 4, we recommend NOT upgrading to version 5.

 

Call Center Week | 2015 Conference & Expo

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We hope to see you in Vegas this week for the 16th Annual Call Center Conference & Expo. We will be roaming the Mirage Hotel expo floor and attending as many panels and keynotes as possible. Soaking up all of the information and connecting with call center professionals to better improve our Agent Scripting App and better help us help you with customer interactions.

If you’re here too, please tweet at us. We’d love to say hello!

 

Zingtree Hosted Agent Scripts and Other Updates

A new release of Zingtree went live today! The main benefit is that companies using Zingtree for internal use (like call centers or live agent scripts) now have an option to add and delete agents, have agents log in and get access to scripts, and track each agent’s use of Zingtree. We’ve also made it easier to create and manage multiple organizations on your account.

More details:

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Zendesk® Agent Scripting App Certified

 We’re proud to announce that our Agent Scripting App for Zendesk has been approved in their marketplace!

If you’re running a live support team or call center, and you use Zendesk Zingtree makes it easy to have interactive custom scripts for each customer to help guide your agents through superior customer service. Plus, we’ve added a few integration points specific to Zendesk as well to make sure that you’re getting the most from your structure and reporting:

  • Persistent Sessions: If an agent closes a ticket, and opens it again, the Zingtree will reappear in the same state as it was previously, with the history intact. This is also true if another agent opens the ticket.
  • Back & Reset: The Back button removes the last item from the History. The Reset button deletes the entire history, and returns to the top of the tree in case you need to start over.
  • Zendesk Tagging: Add a tag to any node using the Zingtree Edit Node tool. When that node is opened in Zendesk, the tag gets copied to the Zendesk tags for the current ticket. Likewise, if the Back or Reset buttons are pressed, the tag is removed.
  • Customizable: Use a custom CSS file to override the default look and feel of your trees within Zendesk. Zingtree uses Bootstrap 3, so any Bootstrap 3 compatible CSS theme can be used or modified.
  • Valuable Reporting: Watch the step-by-step history of each agent interaction. See which Agents or which Nodes are taking the most time.
  • Automatic Agent Detection: The Zingtree Agent Scripting App automatically determines which agent started each session, so there’s no setup or provisioning needed for getting good agent-centric reporting.

Learn more about using Zingtree for live Call Center scripting here.

 

Call Center Live Agent Scripting

After tons of research, we’ve launched what we believe is the ultimate live agent scripting solution, especially suited for call centers of all sizes. From easy deployment to intelligent pricing packages, Zingtree makes it easy to set up scripts for any type of live support!

Smart Pricing

Traditionally, call centers have high turnover, so keeping track of agents on a monthly basis can be tricky. The hassle of having to add or delete agents in multiple systems is a pain, which is why we developed a way to solve these problems.

Unlike other solutions which require prorating for partial months, and provisioning every time a staffing change occurs, Zingtree bills on a per-agent per-day basis.  Purchase daily agent credits in advance, and we count the number of agents using your Zingtrees on a daily basis and adjust your credit balance accordingly.  If you have a spike in traffic, or an increase or decrease in staffing, your Zingtree account balance automatically adjusts. When you run out of credits, we refill your account. You don’t have to tell us – it just happens automatically.

Implementing Zingtree live agent scripting costs $0.35 to $1 per agent per day, with volume discounts with larger up-front purchases. Learn more from the Zingtree Agent Pricing Page.

Agent Level Reporting

In addition to making it easier to launch scripts, you can also get some great reports on an agent-by-agent basis. We’ve also included an option to see summary stats and individual sessions for each agent. Now you can directly monitor how long your agents spend at a particular place in the tree, or if a specific agent is getting stuck somewhere. There are lots of reporting options, and we are always open to feature requests to develop exactly what you need.

Please contact us directly if you have questions or want to inquire about pricing as a call center!