How to deflect inquiries to lower-cost channels

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Kay Vink

How to deflect inquiries to lower-cost channels

This post is part of a series on optimizing customer support operations. In it, we explain how to divert incoming requests to lower-cost channels to reduce customer service costs. Discover more ways to improve customer service efficiency by reading the full guide here.

Support calls are driving up your costs, while they might be hurting your image

When we ask customers which support channels they spend the most on, voice calls continuously appear at the top of the list. Yet, customers don’t want to be on the phone. It is the quality of the response they are after when they try to get in touch with a human. The problem is that they are often not aware of alternative support channels. While two-thirds of consumers have indicated, they prefer to reach brands on messaging apps.

What ends up happening is consumers default to voice, overloading contact centres with inquiries on their most expensive channel. And because reps can only have a single call at a time queues fill up resulting in longer waiting times. One of the easiest ways to address this problem is to deflect inquiries to lower-cost channels. On messaging channels, a rep can handle 3-5 concurrent conversations, compared to the single voice conversation.

Why isn’t everyone doing this already?

Unfortunately, up until recently, communication automation has been inaccessible. Building complex flows required expensive telecommunications tooling and significant engineering time. That is why we built Flow Builder, a communication automation platform that empowers cross-functional teams to collaborate on communication flow. It allows you to run logic, pulls in data from external data sources and performs actions in third party services.

Catch the incoming call

The simplest way is to catch an incoming call is to use a call trigger. Make your you have bought a number - as soon as you do it will show up in the number selector on the right.

If you pick a number and hit publish you’re ready to start receiving calls. But let’s continue to make it a bit more interesting.


Play a voice message to the caller

We are keeping it simple here and will be going straight into the voice message. If you want you could run some additional logic here. For example, you could check the number of purchases a customer has made and prioritize your bigger customers or pull an estimated waiting time from your call queue.

Use the say step to play an automated message. The step provides some customization options in case you are looking to use a different language or want to change the voice.

In this case, we ask the user to indicate whether they would prefer to be contacted on WhatsApp as the next agent becomes available by pressing 1 on their number pad.


Route the flow based on the caller’s input

Using the IVR step you can add branches to handle the input response. We are just adding the single branch for users who want to be contacted on WhatsApp for now, but you can add as many branches as you like.


Transfer the conversation to a different channel (in this case WhatsApp)

To initiate the conversation on WhatsApp we send out a template message using the WhatsApp HSM step. The conversation can now be picked up by your agents from their chat interface.

If you are looking for an easy way for your reps to talk to customers across all channels without leaving their CRM. Send us a message here and we’ll be happy to help you set it up.

Feel free to reach out!

Keep in mind, this is just a simple example of how it could work in the real world. We have seen people combine all sorts of data sources, third-party services, and channels. Sky's the limit.

If you have a problem that could be optimized with communication automation we would love to talk to you. Feel free to reach out here and we can set up some time with a product expert to help you flesh out your ideas.