Guide: How to optimize complex conversations

The level of complexity of customer conversations is usually both industry and company specific. While most companies are concerned with solving customer problems quickly and efficiently, companies with many overlapping and complex questions are concerned with solving the problem during the first call. We will guide you through how to optimize complex conversations in your customer center.

The amount of complexity and overlapping topics in Scandinavian customer conversations often depends on the industry in which you are positioned. E.g., conversations in utility companies are often complex and contain more overlapping topics compared to conversations in other industries. For employees, this requires a high level of know-how and ability to quickly find answers in systems or from colleagues.

So, while long conversations are usually not a good thing, they can be absolutely necessary in customer conversations in the utilities sector. Because in these types of conversations, overlapping topics and complex queries are common. This results in high expectations on both employee know-how and customer patience.

If your company is one of those that experience many complex requests, it is important to have a clear overview of which topics typically overlap. That way, you can better equip your staff to handle as many inquiries as possible in a professional manner. At least that is the experience of a larger Danish utility company.

"We use conversation analysis to get a better insight into which topics typically overlap. So even though we can't expect employees to be razor-sharp in all areas, we can get better at coaching them on the themes that are most often mentioned in certain types of calls," says the director of the utility's contact center.

He elaborates: "For example, we can see that meter reading and billing are mentioned in 83% and 86% of all calls regarding energy consumption, respectively. So in these cases, it's quite obvious that the employees who answer calls about energy consumption should also acquire some skills in meter reading and billing."

When other types of organizations optimize customer calls, they often focus on minimizing call length or improving customer satisfaction. But when it comes to companies with many complex calls, optimization is also very much about avoiding too many call forwardings to other departments.

"In our contact center, we generally see a relatively low number of diverted calls. However, the same does not apply to the operations and energy departments. Therefore, it is important that we continuously pass on knowledge about overlapping topics so that the employees in the two departments can answer all relevant questions themselves and give customers an even better experience," concludes the contact center director.

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