Call centers are used for outbound and inbound sales calls as well as customer service. While many businesses place more emphasis on sales numbers than customer satisfaction, perhaps they are placing too much stock on one aspect of the business. A poor customer service experience can cost your business more than you’re probably aware of. The average annual value of each customer relationship lost to a competitor or abandoned is a staggering $2891. Poor customer service could mean the difference in making expected profits and not. With 2013 just around the corner, consider your business options for a better call center, from
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Keep in mind why you should be paying attention to the customer service in the first place before you begin strategizing on how to make your call center support better. From the 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer from American Express, here are some numbers you should be watching out for as you lay out your customer service plan in 2013.
- Similar to 2011, only 7% of consumers said that the customer service experiences they have with companies usually ‘exceed their expectations’ (compared to 6% in 2011) and 31% said that companies usually ‘miss their expectations’ for customer service (compared to 29% in 2011).
- 90% of Americans prefer connecting with customer service representatives over the phone, followed by 75% preferring face-to-face and 67% via email/company website.
- Two thirds of consumers state that they are willing to spend more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service, compared to a slightly higher seven in ten in 2011 (66% in 2012; 70% in 2011.
American Express isn’t the only business that’s noticed the negative impact of poor customer service. Nearly 80% of consumers have quit in the middle of a transaction because of poor customer service2 and only 37% of brands received good or excellent customer experience index scores this year3.
Better Customer Service
In order to create a better call center in 2013, provide better customer service and give your customer a better experience. Using call center software to its maximum potential is one way to get started that may seem obvious, however integrating social media may not. Here are 5 steps your call center can take for a better performance in the New Year.
- Reward their agents based on customer satisfaction ratings. Use call center software for your business to see who is closing the most calls successfully, in the shortest amount of time, while providing the best service. Customer surveys can help you measure the experience they received.
- Monitor, respond and measure social media customer service questions and results. Your call center agents should be able to provide the answers to customer service questions on the phone and on social networks.
- Make sure your CRM or call center software allows for intelligent routing so that as people call, they are directed to the person most qualified to answer their questions. Keep it simple, however, as no one wants to spend time pushing through 10 menus before finally reaching a person.
- Enhance the training of your call center agents. Make sure your call center representatives are well-versed in the most common types of calls as well as some uncommon ones and that your business has regular training updates. Great customer service is when a question is answered correctly and quickly, the first time around.
- Track customer calls with account number and integrate call center software with sales/CRM software. Call center agents with easy access to the customer’s history with the company can provide a more personalized experience which can lead to a better customer experience and improved customer service.
How will you be changing up your call center customer service strategy for 2013?