18 months ago, customer service organizations experienced their greatest crisis ever. They had to send agents back home while getting overwhelmed with a surge of calls and inquiries. The industry stepped up, implementing the infrastructure required to support work from home (WFH) and deploying automation. Along the way, customer service agents saw their profile raised, now recognized as essential workers.
Fast forward to today. Despite the changes implemented and investments made, contact centers are still suffering from a volume of calls larger than they can accommodate. Full containment in self-service channels remains limited–13% according to Gartner–and most inquiries require speaking with a human. Digital processes are also generating additional assistance requests.
A bigger issue is looming: more agents are quitting their job and recruitment of new ones is getting harder. It’s a combination of multiple factors. Some employees want to continue working from home but are asked to go back to the office. Some are looking for better-paid jobs and recognition. All expect more flexibility.
What was a demand issue when COVID erupted has become a supply issue. The whole industry is now facing a capacity gap calling for new approaches. Surprisingly, callbacks with a twist–managed as campaigns–offer a breakthrough:
- Instead of distributing calls to the then-best available agent, inbound inquiries can be turned into scheduled callbacks.
- You can manage the callback experience end-to-end through confirmation and notification messages. It offers both a better experience and a larger time window for callbacks and thus for finding the best-qualified agents.
- Similar requests can be grouped into batches, faster to process than randomly. Combined with optimized agent selection, it can deliver up to a 20% capacity increase.
- From an agent perspective, it is well suited for WTH and allows better matching and time blocking.
Campaign-driven callbacks have emerged as a transformative solution to help close the capacity gap and offer more flexible work arrangements. Check out the art of the possible with callbacks: