3 Ways To Use Call Centers To Focus On The Customer

Customer service is taking center stage! With more interactions happening online, and more competition online for retailers selling the same products at the same prices, customer service is getting the spotlight it deserves. Businesses are realizing that top notch customer service is a business grower. They’re also realizing that outsourcing customer care to call centers is a quick, low cost, high impact way of achieving customer zen.

So with all eyes on customer service, it can be daunting to know how to develop the best call center solution. Where do you start tapping into the power of hundreds of agents waiting to represent your business?

I’d start with 3 critical points that should be a priority for small business outsourcing their calls to an inbound call center: don’t have the call center do too much (unless you’re using dedicated agents), use the call center as your tier 1 group with tier 2 escalations to your in-house call center, and monitor customer feedback to forever improve the experience.

1. Know the limits of your call center agents

Call center operators are great, but they probably can’t do all of the same stuff your in-house employees can. Knowing the limits of what your agents can and can’t do is the first step in setting up your call center for success.

For example, if your in-house employees are currently logging into a software platform to manage customer data, the chances of the call center agents having knowledge or training on that specific platform is slim. Instead, see if your call center can integrate with your CRM platform so that way operators don’t need to worry about logging in or learning a new system. They can just gather the caller’s information, and then push the data through the integration which will update the records on your side automatically.

Another way to set up your call center agents for success is by not expecting them to know everything about your business, but arming them with the most important details which will allow them to help answer customer questions. For example, including a list of the most frequently asked questions is a great way to familiarize agents with your brand, and allows them to handle the small stuff while you and your team can focus on bigger tasks.

2. Use the outsourced call center as a front end to your own in-house agents

Call centers can be used in many different ways, and how you choose to use your call center depends on your specific business needs. Many businesses may find that they don’t necessarily need a call center to help callers place orders or troubleshoot issues, but rather to help route calls to the appropriate person on their team.

Some other alternatives would be to hire a receptionist or set up an automated system that allows callers to route themselves. However, hiring more staff is expensive, and automated systems can be more frustrating than not talking to anyone at all. Using a call center as a front end to your own in-house agents is both affordable and effective. Operators can provide a live voice to callers while making sure calls are always being routed to the appropriate person based off specific protocols you’ve set up.

3. Find improvements through monitoring and surveying

When we’re talking about customers, we want them to have the best experience possible. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your processes, gather feedback and make improvements as needed. One way to see how your call center is performing is by placing test calls to your service. This will give you insight as to what your customers are experiencing and may give you some ideas on how to better improve and streamline interactions.

Another way to gather feedback is to go directly to the source – your customers! Customers appreciate when their opinions are taken into consideration, and asking for their feedback will go a long way. Not only will you receive valuable information that will help improve your call center experience, but your customers will be grateful to be included and may even refer your business to a friend!

Are you already using a call center? The 3 points above aren’t just useful for customers looking to hire a call center, they are also great if you’re looking to revive and revitalize your current call center experience.

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