Telephoning for customer service is often a stressful or confusing experience. By the same token, a good call center can make all the difference in customer retention by building a lasting, positive relationship. Optimizing the results of these interactions demands a strategic approach that’s closely aligned with the organization’s overall brand and philosophy for sales and service. Here are the three qualities that define a strategic call center:
1. Makes smart use of offshoring to manage volume
“Organizations can handle a high volume of contact by offshoring.”
Organizations that engage in extensive contact with customers can handle that volume in an efficient, cost-effective manner by offshoring some or all of their communications. As Network World noted, there are several different models for offshoring, whether based on augmenting staff the long term, taking on a project for a limited time or serving a particular channel or user need. Different models may work best depending on the industry or business, but customer services management must be prepared to engage via multiple channels.
2. Seamlessly builds on the customer experience
To make the call center a beneficial part of the brand, the staff must be equipped with the knowledge and resources to respond to customer questions, concerns and complaints with clarity and precision. It’s therefore essential to have subject matter experts in place to train agents, manage escalations and develop a robust knowledge base. Call center expert Kathleen Peterson explained to Forbes the problems in customer relations that can result from a failure to align the business in this way:
“When the brand promise includes promptness and accuracy (critical for healthcare, insurance, finance, utilities, etc.), but the back-office operations are flawed, the experience and the brand are exposed to damage—not to mention the additional contacts from customers to straighten out messes or answer status inquiries,” she said.
3. Offers guidance for the organization
A strategic call center goes beyond reacting to issues as they arise to proactively find ways to improve the customer experience. Agents and management play a leading role in finding out how people are responding to products and services, in turn providing meaningful data to the organization. The company shows its commitment to the best possible service by having high-quality contact center solutions in place.
Contact centers should not be perfunctory afterthoughts. With a thoughtful approach to leadership and outsourcing, all those calls can make for happier customers and a better-informed overall strategy.