The era of call centers is receding into the past. With the advent of new means of communication, users tend to give up on voice calls, and 8 out of 10 millennials would rather text to a company than call. Adaptation is needed – and since it is usually impossible to completely abandon telephony so far, call center transformation into a multichannel contact center would be an optimum solution.
This is what Alma TV, a TV and Internet provider in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the hero of our story, has decided. Let us tell you how the Chat2Desk chat center has helped the company reform its call center into a full-fledged contact center, revise the format of operator work, and get more loyal customers.
Before the chat center was connected, Alma TV had processed 99% of requests via a voice channel. Online chats with an operator on the corporate website had formed only 1% of conversations. The average waiting time (AWT) had been 4 minutes 49 seconds, leading to a lost call rate (LCR) of 60%.
In order to relieve the workload from the call center, a channel was required that would be familiar to customers and already in use for their daily communication. WhatsApp™ is very popular in Kazakhstan. A 2016 internal research of Alma TV showed that 80% of subscribers had access to it.
It was important to keep the existing means of communication with the company while adding other popular messengers – the system should be multichannel. Requests were aggregated through a business chat center, that would provide ample opportunities for analytics in addition to sales and support tools.
Call Center and Contact Center: What Is the Difference?
A call center
- works with phone calls,
- an operator has to finish a conversation with a customer to switch to the next one,
- customers cannot choose a convenient communication channel,
- response waiting time is critical – if an operator does not answer for a long time, a customer is likely to hang up and be unsatisfied.
- works with several channels, such as phones, e-mail, messengers, and social networks,
- an operator working with texts can handle several customers simultaneously,
- a customer can choose the most convenient way to contact the company,
- waiting time is important, but not critical – after a customer has sent a request, they are guaranteed to receive a response and will not have to hang on the phone.
How the process is organized
Although WhatsApp™ is the leading messenger in Kazakhstan, Alma TV decided to use a multichannel strategy, not limiting customers in communication platform selection. Therefore, users can text to the company via Telegram and Online Chat as well.
Chat2Desk chat center enables one-on-one communication with customers in real time, i.e. identifying their needs and finding suitable services. It is convenient not only for customers, but also for operators, as the entire communication history is stored in the same place.
Additional functions that simplify the use of the service:
- chatbot integrated with the database – it can provide balance information to customers, enable trust payments, and send automatic responses if necessary,
- statistics that made it possible to analyze request processing and identify periods of delayed responding.
Following the analytics, Alma TV completely reformed operator work – the company changed the working schedule and created a new project Home Office so that operators could work remotely. Such changes have made it possible to reduce the response time while staying in touch around the clock.
The share of the digital channel has increased from 1 to 30%. It has helped offload the phone. The AWT in the voice channel has decreased by 10 times, from 4 minutes 49 seconds to 30 seconds, and the LCR – from 60 to 10%.
40–50 thousand messages are processed via messengers every month, 21 operators work in the chat center, and a 24/7 support is available. The average response time in this communication channel is 10–20 minutes, depending on the operator workload.
At first glance, this result exceeds the telephony waiting time. However, as we noted above, AWT is an important but not critical indicator for messengers. After texting a user will get a response from an operator even if the messenger is temporarily closed.
Active service reformation helped AlmaTel Kazakhstan with the Alma TV trademark for the first time win as many as three statuettes of 2018 Crystal Headset, an international nomination program in the industry of contact centers and customer service:
- Best Customer Service Practice in Digital Channels,
- Best New Platform or Contact Center Opening Project – a prize called High Approval by the Jury,
- Galiya Kenes, an operator of the AlmaTel Kazakhstan contact center, entered top 10 in the nomination Operator of the Year and became Miss Call Center 2017/2018.
What is the essence of innovation
The experience of Alma TV demonstrates that radical measures are not suitable for everyone. There is no point in rushing headlong into messengers if a large number of customers still need telephony. Multichanneling can simplify things not only for customers, but also for operators by distributing the flow of requests to several platforms that are equally professional and equally efficient.