Overcoming 7 Costly Challenges in the Telephone Answering Service Industry
Challenges, Solutions and Practical Use Cases for Implementing Automated Quality Assurance Software or Cloud Solutions
The Telephone Answering Service (TAS) industry plays a vital role in managing customer interactions for businesses, but it faces several significant challenges that can impact success and profitability.
Ensuring high quality customer service, improving agent performance, meeting customer satisfaction, managing remote work, controlling costs, and integrating various technologies can be difficult and time-consuming. However, innovative solutions such as AI-driven and automated software can help TAS providers overcome these challenges and achieve their business goals.
We will explore challenges the TAS industry faces and how automated quality assurance solutions can help providers overcome them.
7 Key Challenges for Telephone Answering Services
The Telephone Answering Service industry faces several major challenges that can impact their success and profitability. Here are seven of the key challenges:
Quality Assurance: Maintaining quality standards and ensuring that agents are delivering a high level of customer service is crucial for the success of any TAS. However, monitoring and evaluating the quality of interactions between agents and customers can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive task.
Agent Performance Improvement: Improving the performance of agents is essential for providing better customer service and achieving business goals. However, identifying areas for improvement, providing effective training and measuring progress can be challenging.
Staffing Shortages and Retention of Qualified Agents: The Telephone Answering Service industry faces staffing shortages which can lead to negative outcomes. Strategies to retain qualified agents include offering competitive compensation, employee recognition and rewards, professional development, flexible work arrangements, a positive work environment and encouragement of employee feedback. An employee-centric approach is needed to address staffing shortages and retain qualified agents.
Customer Satisfaction: Ensuring customer satisfaction is a top priority for TAS providers. However, with high call volumes and diverse customer needs, it can be difficult to consistently meet customer expectations.
Remote Work: With the increasing trend towards remote work, managing and monitoring remote agents can be a significant challenge. Ensuring that remote agents are productive, adhere to scripts and protocols, and provide quality service can be difficult without the right tools and processes in place.
Cost Control: TAS providers need to balance the cost of providing quality service with the revenue generated by their clients. High costs can eat into profits and providing low-cost service can impact quality and customer satisfaction.
Technology Integration: Integrating and managing various technologies such as phone systems, call recording and customer relationship management (CRM) software can be a complex and time-consuming process. Ensuring that these technologies work seamlessly together and are effectively utilized can be a challenge.
These challenges highlight the need for TAS providers to find innovative solutions that can help them improve quality, increase efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction.
Overcoming the Challenges to Achieve Business Goals
An AI-Driven and Automated Solution for Quality Assurance, Agent Performance Improvement, and Client Satisfaction
Telephone answering services play a key role in managing customer interactions for businesses but with a high volume of calls, managing quality assurance (QA) and agent performance can be challenging. Outsourcing QA or conducting QA manually for a small sample of calls can result in delays, extra expense and the loss of valuable information related to agent performance and customer satisfaction.
In the past, the lack of availability of AI-driven and automated QA specifically for the TAS industry, the prohibitive cost of QA products, as well as the cost of adding IT personnel and data analysts needed to use Automated Quality Assurance (AQA), prevented telephone answering service providers from using AQA to process all customer calls without delays. However, an AI-driven and automated QA software solution can directly address these challenges.
9 Benefits of Using an Automated Quality Assurance & Analytics Solution
When designed specifically for the TAS and teleservices industry and especially as a cloud solution, automated quality assurance with analytics provides a range of benefits that include:
Analyzing and performing automated QA on 100% of calls to support effective quality assurance and compliance management
Discovering areas for training, agent call avoidance, and extended periods of silence
Identifying both poor and top-performing agents for training or recognition
Measuring both hard skills and soft skills such as professionalism, cordiality, empathy, etc.
Allowing remote and at-home agents to be better managed with visibility to the quality of their work and productivity
Determining customer sentiment and dissatisfaction that should be mitigated to avoid customer attrition
Providing bottom-line actionable reports with valuable business insights
Reducing payroll costs due to either agent attrition or agent unproductivity without adding headcount
Improving First Call Resolution (FCR) by detecting repeat calls and implementing corrective actions
Practical Use Cases for Automated Quality Assurance with Analytics for Teleservices Providers
Retaining Qualified TAS Agents and Improving Agent Performance
Interaction analytics can help providers in the Telephone Answering industry overcome challenges related to the retention of high performing agents by providing a holistic view of agent performance.
Automated quality assurance evaluates 100% of agent interactions and scores their performance automatically. It can help users identify top-performing agents, analyze performance trends, monitor agent satisfaction, identify training needs and improve quality assurance.
This information can be used to develop customized training programs to address specific skills or knowledge gaps, leading to higher retention rates. By analyzing call metrics and speech patterns, companies can improve overall service quality, leading to better retention rates.
Overall, the Return on Investment (ROI) for retaining qualified agents and improving agent performance in the Telephone Answering industry can be realized in the form of cost savings, increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, and higher efficiency and productivity.
One of the challenges TAS providers face is prolonged silences during calls. Silence during a call can be an indicator of call avoidance or poor service which can cost an average of $43,500 per year. By using automated quality assurance with analytics, providers can identify which agents have the longest periods of silence during their calls and exactly when those silences occur.
By eliminating silence, users add back unproductive time that enables the handling of more calls and with reduced call duration which contributes to increased agent and customer retention, profitability and revenue growth.
Additionally, automated quality assurance scoring can identify whether agents meet service level thresholds on an account-by-account basis. Aggregated agent scores can indicate how well the TAS services each account.
In summary, the Telephone Answering Service industry faces significant challenges including quality assurance, agent performance improvement, customer satisfaction, remote work, cost control, and technology integration. To address these challenges, TAS providers can implement innovative solutions such as AI-driven and automated software solutions for quality assurance.
This solution offers benefits such as analyzing and performing automated QA for 100% of calls, identifying areas for training and agent call avoidance, measuring both hard and soft skills, allowing remote and at-home agents to be better managed, determining customer sentiment, providing actionable reports, reducing payroll costs, and improving first call resolution. Practical use cases for this solution include silence detection, agent performance, and account performance, in addition to analyzing and scoring 100% of interactions.