Providing excellent customer service while also keeping your contact center running efficiently is a difficult juggling act. But with the right automation, you can accomplish both at once.

Good call center software keeps things moving smoothly, but in a way that provides the level of customer service your callers are expecting. Here are just three ways you can go about doing this.

Automatic call distribution

An ACD call center uses an “automatic call distributor”. As someone reaches out to your call center, the ACD system uses that first interaction to quickly route the customer to the best agent.

How to use it well: To get the most from your ACD system, choose one with omnichannel integration. This allows your agents to quickly review all interactions with a caller across all communication channels. Instead of forcing callers to rehash an interaction history, your agent can get right down to solving the problem.

Be sure to carefully plan how you route to agents. In some cases, you may want to route calls based on seriousness or wait times. At other times, you may want to slot VIP callers to agents with special training. The goal is always to make that first interaction efficient and effective.

How it helps: Few things frustrate consumers more than having to repeat their problem to several people before they get an answer. Getting the right agent up to speed on the caller’s needs quickly enhances customer service.

Agents benefit from an ACD system as well. They are empowered with the information they need to provide good service. They are more likely to have a pleasant interaction with a caller, which keeps morale high. Motivated agents and satisfied customers lead to an uptick in efficiency numbers.

Customer self-service

Automated customer interactions let callers solve simpler issues on their own. Self-service is a popular option with consumers, and while you will always need agents, you can provide good service and increase efficiency by using this automation.

How to use it well: The key is designing automated customer interactions that are relevant and easy to understand. These interactions should link with your FAQ web pages and online knowledge base so common issues get resolved as quickly as possible. The interaction also needs to give you the information you need to choose the right agents to interact with any caller.

Setting up your automated interaction is the trickiest part, and the more context you can give it, the better results you’ll achieve. Take the time to do setup right and you’ll reap the benefits down the line.

How it helps: If done poorly, these interactions can send the wrong message. When done well, automated interactions communicate that customers’ time is valued and your call center cares about empowering them.

For agents, a well-designed automated customer interaction avoids wasted time. Agents can improve on first call resolution, get to calls faster, understand caller needs more quickly, and keep your call center moving efficiently

Automated forecasting

Your call center is generating an enormous amount of data. Automated forecasting can intelligently use that data to see trends and make predictions that let you put the right people in the right places at the right times.

How to use it well: The key is setting up your forecasting automation with the right data. This is a time-consuming step, and it can be tempting to throw a few datasets at the software and rush on to the next thing.

Just remember that the more information you give your model, the more accurate the predictions will be. By taking the time to do things right at the outset, you can leverage the full power of this automation and save time and effort down the line.

How it helps: With accurate forecasts, you can keep your call center running at peak efficiency. You’ll know when to bring in more agents and when to sign them out. You’ll be able to predict which calls are most lucrative and find out what factors are causing long calls or inefficient agent numbers.

With accurate forecasting, callers spend less time waiting for help and have their issues resolved more quickly; while your contact center becomes more efficient.

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