Click-to-Call: Driving Great Calls in the Contact Center
By: Bruce Lebowitz
Many companies are reluctant to introduce click-to-call technologies (also known as click-to-agent, click-to-dial, click-to-contact, tap-to-talk etc.) for fear of driving increased costs and complexities to their Contact Center. Their fears included:
- Driving incremental contacts into their center
- Requiring new systems (and integrations)
- Staffing issues
- Training issues
Companies should actively encourage certain customers or prospects to engage with an agent. These interactions can be set up and managed to drive value. In this respect, these are “good” contacts that should be encouraged.
To accomplish this takes just a little strategic structuring. In most circumstances, a click-to-agent function located on a homepage might drive excessive contacts. So, don’t place a click-to-agent button where the type of customer /prospect/reason for contact are unknown as this has potential to get out of control.
However, a strategically placed button can drive exactly the types of contacts desired. Let’s start by first addressing transaction points
A good base-point for strategizing where to place click-to-call buttons is reviewing your transaction points and placing them where appropriate. The click-to-call function can be served proactively (proactive chat is where the system starts or requests a chat with the client base on predetermined conditions) based upon transaction size or customer information, or reactively based upon a set of assumptions. For example, placing a click-to-agent button at the checkout of a shopping cart for all customers to help reduce abandonments while giving the agent the opportunity to save the order, and to up-sell or cross-sell appropriately. Alternatively, a company can use this Call Center technology proactively when the shopping cart amount exceeds a specific threshold. It is a valuable interaction, and every organization should want as many of these contacts as they can get when an interaction can save a sale or increase the sale value.
Another example might include when a customer or prospect has been hovering on a site for an extended period. Perhaps it is an application for a loan or information about an expensive piece of jewelry. Wouldn’t you want to connect with that person? Perhaps they have questions or have a specific situation not addressed on your site. Providing these people with the opportunity for a one-to-one interaction is a good investment of a Contact Center’s time and offering this click-to-agent option can help guide the customer through the buyer’s journey.
Real Success Story: While working with a financial services company, we placed a click-to-agent option on a loan application. This decreased abandonments and over 75% of applicants who engaged with an agent, completed their applications. The agents were able to discuss the issues holding them back (primarily giving their social security number and feeling as if they were unlikely to have their application approved.) If they weren’t able to address their fears, surely most of them would have abandoned the application.
Another excellent use of click-to-dial technologies is to stay close to your best customers. If you have a website where your customers have a recognizable IP address or have to log in, recognizing your best customers, or customers most likely to respond to a specific offer, can allow a company to serve a click-to-agent button that is customized and timely.
Real Success Story: A bank, using its vast database was able to match products and services to individuals and subsequently serve offers with a customized invitation to talk. The customer was typically intrigued with being able to bypass the IVR and go straight to a knowledgeable agent.
Click-to-agent technologies are increasingly common. Most cloud Call Center technologies offer them including Genesys, InContact and Five9 and CRM platforms like SalesForce and ZenDesk. They are incredibly easy to integrate with existing systems and easily customizable for a branded look and feel.
Staffing & Training:
Good sales and customer service skills are common across channel and not limited to voice. Product, soft skills, and system trainings are required for any center and agent. Channel specific training is often brief and typically can be completed in less than a day. Templates, process documentation, and navigational aids all help simplify the training process.
Most Call Center or Contact Center staff, as a result, can easily toggle between channels so workforce management shouldn’t be too big of an issue. Also, most click-to-call technologies can be turned on and off as required or based on the availability of resources. If for some reason a center is being slammed by voice calls, the click-to-agent function can be turned off automatically so that all hands can be on deck for the spike.
Click-to-call technologies allow an organization to:
- Increase revenues
- Develop better relationships with selected customers
- Give customers and prospects some choice over what channel they wish to engage with you
It is very Zen to feel “less is more”; however, click-to-agent allows “more to be more” and better too.
We encourage you to share your insights on this topic, in the comment section below!