Contact centre calls: A premium service without the premium experience
Contributed article by: Neil Titcomb, SVP Global Sales, at IRIS Audio Technologies
In a world of changing customer service expectations,
consumers are measuring brands more than ever before. And, from messaging apps
to website chatbots, they have plenty of touchpoints to interact with.
In fact, a
recent survey found that more than half of customers only use calls for
critical issues. The very nature of contact centre calls are becoming a
premium, yet they are not being matched with a premium experience.
So what’s the main culprit for unsuccessful – and often
outright frustrating – customer calls? It’s background noise.
It’s rare for customers to call a contact centre when
they’re in a quiet space. On the flip side, agents are typically either in a
noisy call centre or at home with kids, pets, building works (and sometimes all
Noise is everywhere, and it’s getting in the way of
successful customer calls.
What are the risks here? Of course, customer loyalty can
falter, but it also impacts agent churn, wellbeing, and productivity. The
greatest cost to any call centre is their people, and these people need to be
able to do their jobs without disruption. Whether the KPI is to reduce time to
resolution or have better quality calls, employers should be looking for ways
to optimise their agents’ time and improve job satisfaction — all while keeping
Why combatting background noise is the golden ticket for
better call success rates
On paper, the link between background noise and call success
rates may seem fairly innocuous, but it has a range of knock-on effects,
including harming productivity, disrupting communication for both the agent and
customer, and damaging overall wellbeing.
In its 2022
of the contact centre industry, ContactBabel asked call centres to
rate their customers’ most important factors on a call. The two most selected
answers were ‘first-time resolution’ (45%) and ‘short queue / wait time for
Of course there are several elements at play, but background
noise has been proven to be a major issue on call results. Data from another survey into UK and
US contact centre calls uncovered that nearly 9 in 10 (89%) call centre workers
said background noise impacts key results, including the quality of calls,
ability to communicate, and time to resolution.
When agents feel hampered in their work, frustration can
take hold. The continual noise distractions, lack of clarity, and reduced
success rate can quickly weigh on their mental health.
Retaining staff, improving customer satisfaction, and
supporting wellbeing and happiness are pinned on the agenda board as
considerable contact centre challenges - and background noise is indisputably a
The risk, risk, risk of repetition on calls
What’s one of the biggest sticking points of background
noise? Repetition. The above-mentioned survey into UK and US contact centre calls
uncovered that 85% of customer service agents said background noise causes both
agents and customers to waste time repeating themselves. It’s a costly process,
both for people’s time and business budgets.
Saving just a few seconds per call by reducing repetition
and preventing mistakes quickly translates into massive savings for call
centres. When you do the maths, it’s a no brainer: take an average call centre
that makes 50K calls per week, averaging 120 seconds each. Saving just 5
seconds of repetition amounts to 69 hours per week. Even at a low cost per hour
of £18, you stand to save £65K a year. That’s 1-2 people’s annual salary!
How technology can transform customer and agent experiences
It’s all well and good listing the pros of ridding
background noise. How can you actually get rid of something that is different
for each user and happening in various locations?
Technology, as is most often the case in a digitised world,
has a huge role to play in revolutionising contact centre call experiences for
both the customer and the agent. Yet for years there hasn’t been a suitable or
effective way to eliminate background noise.
Now, AI-powered voice isolation apps are able to remove
distracting background noise on both sides of the call, allowing participants
to have clear, smooth, and uninterrupted experiences no matter where they are.
Of course, finding a solution that can seamlessly pair with
your existing setup and be scalable across the company is essential. With that
in place, centres can transform the experience for both customers and agents.
Giving agents and customers the premium service they deserve
Customer contact calls have become a premium service - so
agents and consumers rightfully expect a premium experience.
For companies, the costs of not tackling background noise
can spark a variety of wider costs, the greatest of these being to their
The technology is now here to eradicate this ever-present
problem. By taking out the nuisance of background noise, the latest AI-powered
audio technology can revolutionise the customer call process, offering the
premium experience it — and more importantly the people involved — deserve.