Customer Service Call Flows: Everything You Need To Know
One of the primary goals of businesses should be to make customers feel comfortable with their products, service, and employees. Part of making customers feel comfortable is simplifying the way they connect with you. This is the reason why managing inbound calls is so extremely crucial. Customers waiting in a queue for hours with an automated menu will most likely be dissatisfied and disgruntled. Your business can’t afford that.
The good news is that this is easily avoidable. How? By creating an efficient call flow that assists customers through the process, allowing them to arrive at their destination with minimal or no difficulties.
In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about customer service call flow to ensure a positive customer experience.
What Is Customer Service Call Flow?
Taking the time to get to know your business’s customer service call flow enables you to better manage inbound calls. How?
Let’s first define customer service call flow.
A customer service call flow refers to the map or diagram that guides how inbound calls are managed when they become part of your office phone system. To put it simply, a call flow details what will happen when a caller or potential customer tries to connect with your business through calls. Customer service call flow also outlines how the conversation between the caller and the business representative should progress.
The call flow process will vary depending on what the business wants to provide its callers. For instance, are customers calling because they’re looking for specific departments? Are they calling for support? Are calls connected to multiple locations? Will the calls be transferred depending on the caller’s location?
Call flows enable businesses to map the best way calls should move inside the system so that callers experience the best customer service.
Related: Customer Service Process Flow
What is the Purpose of a Call Flow?
The primary function of a call flow is to streamline inbound calls by helping customers get to the right staff or department and get help immediately.
Callers definitely don’t want to be stuck waiting in line for a long time, and they surely don’t want to be passed around from one department or employee to another just to rectify an issue. What they want is quick and convenient service with accurate information. As a business, it’s your duty to provide exactly this. It’s also your duty to have the right tools in hand to provide customers with reliable and remarkable service.
Having a call flow mapped out enables you to make an effective call management system that benefits both you and your callers.
Further reading: Why is Call Flow Important?
What is Call Flow in Customer Service?
Customer service and call center companies, regardless of size and sector, have some form of customer service call flow. Although contact centers have started implementing other communication channels such as chat, email, and instant messaging, the term Call Flow has stuck. In customer service, call flows serve as an agent’s road map, directing them to which instruction they need to follow from the moment they pick up the phone until the telephone call comes to an end. This guide enumerates the questions that should be asked, actions to take, and whether a call should be brought to a manager.
What is Call Flow in Sales?
Much of the time sales representatives are dumbfounded when selling on the phone. Without a fool-proof plan and structure for handling sales calls, agents have a harder time closing a deal.
Each sales call, regardless of whether it is a cold call or a closing call, should follow a standard protocol. This predetermined structure is designed to improve the chances of getting the desired goal, but that does not mean that slight detours will not occur throughout the process. Think of it as being like driving on an unfamiliar road for the first time–you’ll most probably want to use Google Maps to provide you with directions. Each subsequent time, you might rely on your map less.
A typical call flow in sales follows the steps listed below:
1. Making an Introduction
The goal of the first step is very simple: to talk to the potential client and get them in your desired mindset. This step is about building context and good rapport. In this stage, you need to ensure that the prospect is present and engaged in the conversation before trying to make a sale.
2. Asking Questions
The second step is about asking questions. This is where you verify the lead if this is the first time you’re calling the prospect. During later sales calls, this step is where you ask deeper questions. This is also where you determine the prospect’s current status and whether changes occurred or transpired since the last time you called the client.
3. Delivering the Pitch
Now that you’ve had a successful introduction and you have asked the client all the important questions that will help you get acquainted, it’s time to deliver your pitch.
The goal of the pitch is not always to sell a product or service. Rather, it’s about selling the call’s objective to the prospect. The objective of the call can be an in-person meeting, a follow-up conversation, a demo, or a close. The question you asked from the previous step should prepare you for this stage.
4. Managing Objectives
It’s almost impossible for a prospect to bite on the pitch without asking a question or raising a concern. So in the fourth stage, you must look forward to questions and objections. You also need to successfully address and manage such concerns. Check out this article to help you effectively manage objections.
5. Ending with a Call to Action (CTA)
Lastly, every sales call must end with the right call to action. Call to action comprises any design that prompts the prospect to take an immediate response or encourage a sale. If you don’t have the right CTA. then the next conversation with the prospect will be a challenge.
What are the Steps to Call Flow?
Call flows have a number of actions and interactions that dictate how a call is managed. A VoIP phone feature, such as a call flow builder, enables you to manage such actions. That way you can build different call flows for each office number and extension. A typical call flow will include the following steps and interactions:
- Automated answering services
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu
- ACD or Automated call distributor
- Call to voicemail
- Fax to email
You can utilize these various call flow features to build a customer service call flow that helps your business offer an outstanding customer experience, no matter where your business or customers are located.
Read more: Parts of Call Flow
What Makes a Good Customer Service Call Flow?
An effective call flow takes away the guesswork and streamlines the process. Efficient customer service call flow is akin to a finely tuned system that accounts for almost every aspect of a phone call. This lets your customer service staff focus on improving customer satisfaction as fast as possible. One important aspect of a good call flow is an intuitive UI with direct navigation across all touchpoints.
Omnichannel Call Process
A good call flow contains an omnichannel call process that considers each customer’s potential point of entry. This applies if you have more than one way to reach your customer service team.
If you’re already taking advantage of an omnichannel process, Great! You’re ahead of the crowd. However, if you’re still working in a silo with each point of entry functioning independently from another, then no worries. Many companies are still figuring their way to get an omnichannel system
Typically, a non-omnichannel customer service call flow would look something like this:
- A client starts an interaction by messaging the business using the chat function on the website
- A customer service staff replies capturing basic client information
- The customer calls the business back after a few days and talks to a new staff person who has no knowledge about the previous interaction and has no access to the chat trails
- The client requests instant messaging
- A different customer service employee responds to the text but does not have access to the past communications and information
Omnichannel systems enable integration from various interactions with multiple agents so that the client’s information is accessible to customer service staff every step of the way. The simple and more connected your customer call flow is, the more satisfied your clients will be.
Want to learn about legacy phone systems? Check out this article: Analog Phone System
Why Is Call Flow Important To Call Centers?
Call flows are vital elements of any contact center. A conversational flow is what your staff follows while talking to the customer. This includes the way they turn questions into steps. Alternatively, routing is the way calls are transferred within the system, such as inbound leads and outbound sales inquiries. Both components of the call flow are important so as to avoid confusing customers during either part of the call.
You can reap the benefits of an effective customer service call flow when the process is set up correctly. Take a look at these three primary advantages.
Improved First Call Resolution Rate
Clients want to have their issues and concerns rectified as quickly as possible, ideally during the first interaction. Unfortunately, customers usually have to contact several agents and repeat their concerns each time. With a correctly designed call flow that leads to different departments, the customer can easily be connected with an agent who has sufficient skills to immediately solve the issue. Since customer satisfaction is closely related to the first call resolution rate or lack thereof, you can improve both customer satisfaction rate and agent confidence by rectifying your customers’ concerns right away.
Read more: How Does VoLTE Work?
Improved Employee Efficiency
A simple and straightforward call flow is a great timesaver for your employees. First of all, they’re assured that only calls relevant to their skills will be routed to them. This alone saves your employees several minutes since they won’t need to direct calls to other agents. This is time that they can instead use caring for other callers.
Second, having one source of truth when it comes to customer information even before the call begins significantly increases employee productive efficiency. While callers are waiting in the queue, they can enter the necessary information. That way, the agent already has access to the information needed and can go straight to solving the problem.
Lastly, an optimized call flow reduces costs which leads to higher savings. The more time spent on the phone with one customer, the less time your agents have to talk to other clients, and the more you’ll pay for that interaction. Everyone benefits by automatically distributing calls to the appropriate department. Agents are more productive and customers will be more inclined to contact you when they run into a problem. Meanwhile, you get a savings benefit.
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A poorly built customer service call flow damages customer satisfaction. The catalyst for this could be an overly complicated and long menu or the fact that callers have to listen to multiple messages before getting the help they need. Instead of increasing employee productivity, this only causes more misrouted calls and more bottlenecks. When optimizing your call flow, you have to think the way your callers do. Is it easy to navigate the menu? Are the options sufficiently accessible? Can callers locate the information they need in a minimal amount of time? We highly recommend that you look for a call flow designer to assist you in creating a smooth and seamless call flow that you can configure with just a few clicks. Then, all that would be left to do is to reap the advantages of having a simplified customer service process call flow.