4 Ways to Drive Better Customer Experiences with Call Centers
- byNick DAlleva
- onFebruary 4, 2020
Every customer has felt the pain of calling a business after hours and not getting quite the same level of service they’d get if they called during office hours. They’re told they need to call back during office hours between 9am and 5pm, they’re told they need to call back on Monday, or someone simply says ‘Great question. I have no idea.’ In short, they’re dealing with the inefficiencies of an improperly tuned after hours call center.
Why can’t customers get the same level of service after hours like they do when they talk to one of your in-house staff? Customers are more often loyal to a company or brand because of the customer service they provide. Customer service is just as important as your product or service. So, if you’re outsourcing to a call center, great first step! If you’re not using the call center efficiently, shame on you.
In this article, you’ll learn about what a call center can do efficiently to help you establish the best outsourcing model for the best customer service. We’ve laid this out as a four-part action plan:
- Discover all call center services available to you from your call center provider
- Decide which of those services you should implement into your call center blueprint
- Monitor customer satisfaction by tracking essential metrics
- Engage with your call center to iron out issues
1. Give your sales rep a buzz and discuss what call center services are available that you may not be using
Believe it or not, call centers can do more than just answer your phones! They are great for handling all types of customer communication throughout many different channels, while giving your customers the same level of support they are used to receiving from your own employees. Here are some popular call center services that you might be missing out on:
- Emergency dispatching: If you run a small business, you may not have the budget or resources to be available to your customers 24/7. However, when your customers are having an emergency, you need to be there when they call. Call centers that offer emergency dispatching allow you to be there for your customers around the clock without breaking the bank. Integrating your on-call schedule with your call center is an easy way to make sure everyone is on the same page, and the right people are always being contacted.
- Automated support: As a call center service provider, we think that live support is the bee’s knees. However, automated support can be beneficial as it helps cut down operator talk time and lets customers help themselves. This is great for simple Q&A like checking their account status or checking business hours or your company address.
- Outbound calling: Cold calling leads can be tough. Instead, outsource those tasks to a call center while your in-house team focuses on closing hot leads and creating customer relationships. Whether you need B2B telemarketing, lead generation services or need some extra help with market research, call centers are great at handling your outbound communications.
- Bilingual support: Is your company international? Do you have a lot of Spanish speaking customers? Are you just trying to broaden your customer audience? Utilizing bilingual agents might just be the feature that sets your company apart from your competition. Bilingual agents can handle all of the same tasks English speaking agents can, and utilizing them generally won’t incur too many extra charges.
- CRM integration: If you’re entering customer data into your CRM after your call center gathers caller information, you’re not using your time wisely. Call centers that can integrate with the CRM platform you are already using want to help your business maximize productivity. Once you integrate your app, whatever information the call center agents gather can push directly to your platform and update customer details in real time.
2. Decide what to implement and come up with a deployment timeline
After you’ve learned all of the features your call center offers, the next step is to decide what features to implement and how. While it may be tempting to implement multiple features at once, it’s a better idea to take it step by step. That way, you can address specific issues as they arise instead of having to deal with multiple issues all at once.
For example, adding an on-call schedule might be a feature you want to implement first so that your call center operators can dispatch urgent message after hours as soon as possible. Once you get your dispatching protocol squared away, then you might want to focus on integrating with your CRM platform. Having an idea of what features you want to use and when you want to use them will help you and your team stay organized, which will allow you to maximize productivity.
3. Listen to calls and get feedback from your customers to see if your new process is improving customer service
Once you implement your new features, don’t just “set it and forget it.” Keeping a hands on approach with your call center will allow you to pick up on problems as they happen and nip them in the bud. Here are some great ways to stay involved with your call center:
- Listen to calls: If listening to your own calls is not a feasible task, designate a team member to spot check calls every few days to see how agents are performing. Weekly meetings can then be held for everyone to listen to the feedback and input their own ideas if updates are needed.
- Survey your customers: Whether it’s by phone, email, or in person when you see them, asking your customers their opinions will not only give you valuable feedback, but will also make your customers feel like their opinion matters. When customers know they matter, they are more likely to commit to brand loyalty. If you don’t have time to send out surveys, see if your call center can send them out on your behalf after each call.
4. Close the loop by taking that feedback and working with your call center to patch holes
After you’ve gathered feedback from both your team and your customers, the final step in maximizing call center success and increasing customer satisfaction is to implement the necessary changes that will help resolve any hiccups. For example, if you notice that operators are stumbling over your company name in the greeting, you may want to add a customized recorded greeting that announces your company name first, and then have the operators greet the callers without saying your company name.
If customers feel that the call center operators are not answering their questions, arm your agents with the resources they need to best help your customers. This could include adding more FAQs or updating the script to better match your in-house procedures.
Are you ready to really start using your call center to improve customer service? See what call center services we offer and learn how your customer service can go from ho-hum to fireworks diamond disco party by implementing the right features.
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