Mind the demand gap – A 4 step approach to improving CX for charities

Not-for-profit organisations face several unique challenges that must be tackled head-on to meet the demands of their customers. Firstly, the charities I have spoken with tend to face large volumes of calls, which are putting voice systems under significant strain. Combined with the added stress to the volunteers and staff on the frontline for answering these calls, it becomes a more intricate problem.

Suppose you combine this with the unfortunate fact that many organisations are utilising legacy technology, which is naturally less agile. In that case, you have a genuine long-term problem on your hands. At Cirrus, we work closely with not-for-profit organisations to provide practical solutions with immediate effect utilising a four-step approach.

1 Understand who and why
This starts with data analysis, and this is where our first point of consultancy comes in. We help you understand what insight you can gain from your data, for example, what are the common issues your customers are you calling you about, who are they, how frequently they are calling you, and who your VIP customers are.

Alongside this, we need to analyse which channels customers are contacting you through and how effective these are. Typically, we find that 80% of customers will contact you via a mobile device and via a telephone call, webchat, or email. It all comes back to smartphones. Therefore, if you go back to voice as the primary problem, we need to turn your approach from reactive to proactive, and to do that, you need to understand your customers.

2 Stay in control!
Our team will help you to identify which calls are urgent in nature, whether your VIPs or return callers are kept on hold, and how best to approach these situations. Digital deflection is a crucial technique for this strategy, which effectively enables your systems and teams to maintain control and efficiency at peak periods.

An example of this has the option to give customers a chance to receive a call-back, stopping them from having to sit on hold for extended periods. Another example is getting customers to switch channels to tackle their queries efficiently, if simple, like utilising webchat or SMS, where AI and automation can answer their questions at speed.

3 Maintain cost-effectiveness and maximise value
Next, we do the heavy lifting by looking at what technology you have in place, and we recommend bespoke improvements that are carefully based on your own requirements and those of your agents. We do this through an overlay approach, which isn’t a rip and replace process. Cirrus is designed to complement other systems and applications thus maximising your existing investment and reducing unnecessary disruption to existing processes.

For example many organisations have adopted Microsoft Teams, and Cirrus native integration with Teams provides users with a secure single sign-on that reduces administration and provides full contact centre capabilities within a single familiar environment, reducing training time for volunteers. It also neatly joins up the contact centre with the rest of the organisation so back office staff can help when needed with specific enquiries.

And of course step 3 would not be complete without mentioning Cloud, because it really does offer maximum flexibility and scalability, and therefore incredibly cost-effective. It also supports homeworking and hybrid working models – the same user experience and capabilities wherever they are located, which is great for widening the recruitment pool!

4 Introduce Digital Options
No doubt about it, digital transformation is a buzz word here to stay. But what does it really mean and how to avoid getting it wrong?!

For a contact centre it means providing digital options – chatbot, webchat, messaging, social media etc to improve access to services. The end goal is to manage the pressure and demand away from one option, such as busy phone lines, and spread the workload to other channels to help you manage your customer enquiries more efficiently and cost effectively.

Our Omnichannel approach will help find the right combination of channels to meet the needs of your organisation, agents and customers. It is a low risk, phased approach that ensures adoption success, and customer service improvements at every opportunity.

If you’re interested in seeing an example of how we helped Cats Protection, which resulted in a 56% reduction in lost contacts, as well as 1,946 more calls being answered than their previous solution, then why not check out our case study here.

Written by Pippa Rhys – Channel Marketing Director at Cirrus

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