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Prioritizing the call center in a connected world

 

How important are phone engagements to a brand?

How important are phone engagements to a brand?

With numerous communication options available today, customer care centers may neglect the channel that was the bedrock of the industry: the phone.

Business 2 Community said the phone’s history as a primary care solution is both an advantage and a disadvantage. People recognize it as a means to speak directly to the company, but it also has a negative reputation with some consumers. Many people want innovative solutions so they don’t have to deal with hold lines or hard to understand automated messages.

Social media engagements may demonstrate optimal service to a public audience and live chat allows agents to work with customers while they browse eCommerce sites, but the phone holds its own unique advantages. If a company recognizes the value of its customer call center it can provide consumers with the benefits they expect from this particular channel.

“The phone holds its own unique advantages.”

Recognize the benefits of phone
Social media and email responses are not fast enough for some consumers. Smart Insights shared eDigitalResearch surveys that compared and contrasted multiple care center channels. The research found many companies don’t have the resources available to respond to online communications as fast as consumers would like.

Customers prefer to use the phone when they want to talk to a company representative immediately. They will also use live chat to do this, but not when they want to discuss complicated matters like financial histories. If a consumer wants to have an immediate and involved conversation, he or she will pick up the phone.

Invest in call center employees
Some companies start promising employees in call centers to give them direct experience with customers, other institutions may hire people with technical knowledge and soft skills directly suited for phone interactions. A customer call center must be a priority, so it’s important businesses find some way to invest in the talent responsible for daily activities.

If an organization doesn’t feel like it has the experience or resources to re-evaluate a call center workforce, it may want to bring in a customer relationship management consultant to help coach employees and redesign training and hiring procedures. In other situations, it may be best to outsource responsibilities to companies that can offer staff with specialized training.

Create metrics for success
Managers have to know what to expect from employees and daily interactions. Decision-makers should design specific goals for each engagement. Once standards have been created, call centers can use tools like CRM software solutions to measure and record data generated during every phone conversation.

TechTarget suggested response time, abandonment rates, average handle time and first-call resolution are excellent places to start. After that, a company should recognize standards for its particular industry, consumer expectations and brand.

Use technology to integrate
Companies must recognize the phone as its own unique channel and then realize its place in an omnichannel care center. CRM software can help by providing a centralized data solution, so all employees can offer consistent answers across every channel.

Collecting data from each interaction should also show why a brand’s consumers favor a particular communication tool. This may help employees anticipate demands and refer consumers to particular channels to provide optimal service in the future.

 

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