Nobody likes being held in a call waiting queue to speak to a customer service agent. With every passing minute customers on hold become more impatient. Some become frustrated and give up, ending the call before they ever speak to someone. Others may become angry. That is not the kind of customer engagement we want.
From the call center agents’ perspective the situation is no better. With dozens – perhaps hundreds – of calls waiting, agents are under pressure to deal with each call quickly, and customers who are already frustrated by the wait may feel they are being dealt with too brusquely.
What if we could take some of those customers out of the call waiting queue, dealing with their queries promptly and conveniently through messaging. That would keep him happy, shorten the queue for those who still want to speak to someone, and relieve pressure on your human agents.
The process is simple, automated and integrates easily with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
Here’s how it works. When a voice call comes into your call center your CRM software determines whether or not an agent is available to deal with the call. If no agent is available the call goes into a queue while the CRM checks unifonic’s contacts API to see whether this customer is able to receive WhatsApp messages.
If the customer has WhatsApp the system asks them whether they would like to move the conversation to WhatsApp instead of continuing to hold on the phone. If they accept the WhatsApp Business API senders a notification to their WhatsApp number asking them to opt in. Securing an opt-in is necessary to comply with WhatsApp Business API’s terms and conditions; you cannot deflect customers to WhatsApp chats without it.
As soon as a customer opts in an agent or chatbot can message them and start interacting.
You may seek further information before connecting them to the messaging channel. For instance, a utility provider with different support teams may want to ask a customer whether they’re calling with a household or a business query in order to direct messaging to the correct team.
IVR deflection helps you give customers a better experience. It allows you to help your customers faster, and it allows you to send them rich media when appropriate – if they’re asking about a particular product you can send them a video, a brochure or other documentation, let them know about promotion if you’re running one.
It’s also considerably cheaper than using the phone and can generate significant cost savings in the long term.
Evidence from our clients – and from use cases around the world – is that many customers prefer to make enquiries via WhatsApp. Once they’ve experienced it, they stick with it.
There are many reasons why customers may prefer to interact over WhatsApp. It’s private, secure, and available to them almost everywhere.
Not all customers will choose to do so, and it’s important to find the right balance between engaging customers with WhatsApp’s low-cost messaging and more expensive call center facilities.
IVR deflection illustrates how WhatsApp Business API integrates with your existing software and helps provide a seamless omni-channel experience for your customers. Combining voice engagement, text-based messaging and rich media, and automated chatbots with human agents enables you to present unified customer care across multiple platforms.
The result is better customer engagement, which helps build customer loyalty, which in turn helps you protect your revenue streams from repeat business. If you can offer this facility when your competitors cannot you will find yourself winning new business. Conversely, if your competitor offers the facility while your customers grow frustrated in call waiting queues, they are likely to grab some of your market share.
This is, of course, what customer engagement is all about. That WhatsApp can help you reduce your customer engagement costs is a bonus – an important bonus, and a welcome one, but still a bonus.
Are you ready to digitalize the retail sector and automate ecommerce? Do you want to provide simple and hassle-free purchases for customers? Request a WhatsApp Business API account from unifonic today and unleash opportunities for your business.