John Jantsch, President at Duct Tape Marketing, once said, “Customer service is an opportunity to exceed your customer’s expectations.” So here’s the question: are you exceeding customer expectations?
There have been countless studies focusing on the importance of customer service, but every single one of them has come up with the same result… customer service will make or break a company. It can be the gas that makes the car run or it can be the flat tire that causes your company stagnant. Customer service comes in many forms, but one of the main ways that customers interact with a business is through their phone lines. Here are three ways that call centers can make sure this point of entry into the heart of your company creates a positive, lasting image for your customers.
1. Call center representatives are ready when your customer is. – In this global marketplace that’s centered around eCommerce, you can literally be receiving orders from around the world 24 hours a day. However, if you only have a customer service representative during normal hours of operation, who knows how many orders you could be missing or customer inquiries you’re not addressing. Of course you may be thinking, “Isn’t that what my website is for?” Well, yes and no. You definitely need a website to capture orders and for contact information, but not everyone is comfortable putting their personal information in an online order form. There are also circumstances when the software may not be working right and your customer needs to talk to someone for additional help. This can be especially true if you find that you have an older audience who is used to calling for customer support rather than emailing their comments or concerns.
2. Call center employees can cater to your customer’s individual needs. – Technology is great, but there is something about the one-on-one human experience that takes service to the next level. For example, two weeks ago my mom was suckered into ordering beauty products from a Google ad that ended up being a scam. She was supposed to get three sample bottles of anti-aging lotion for free, but they billed her $200 since she didn’t send them back within a two week deadline. She called the beauty company who refused to give her a full refund and said she was now on the list to get monthly refills at $75/month. I suggested that she call the credit card company, and that made all the difference. The kind operator on the other end said she would give her a full refund and would also stop payment for any automatic charges posted by the beauty company. The operator was kind, patient, took care of the issue at hand and also addressed future potential problems. My mom couldn’t stop bragging about the credit card operator and told this story to anyone who would listen. (Don’t you want your customers to feel like this?)
3. Call centers have dedicated, trained professionals – Call center representatives have one task: to satisfy the needs of call-in customers. On the flip side, let’s say you decide not to use a call center but enlist your secretary or assistant to handle the phone lines. Their attention may divided into answering emails, preparing mailers, speaking with vendors, ordering office products, etc. Moreover, they may have years of experience at office management, but call center employees are trained to specifically for phone etiquette, addressing difficult customers, how to build customer relationships, the importance of representing the brand and more. Call center agents have video and live training, progress evaluations and strict protocols to ensure that your customers have the best experience possible. They have one job but they do it very well so that they can have positive outcomes.
Customer service boils down to customer loyalty. We’ve all had great customer service where we felt respected, appreciated and helped. Conversely, we’ve all had horrible interactions with a disgruntled employee and we vowed never to return to that business. A call center may seem like an added expense or an off-site extension of your company that you can’t control, but in reality, it’s an investment into relationship building to ensure that your customers return again and again. Call centers have refined their image and with competition increasing, it’s easier to find one that suits your projects and budget. To ensure that your business succeeds, customer service needs to be a priority and one way to achieve this goal is through enlisting the help of a great call center.