At some point in our lives, we’ve all called a customer service line, though we probably have mixed feelings about them. We all remember talking to an incredibly helpful and understanding agent that lifted a weight off our chests. Unfortunately, we also remember the eternal waiting times, the rude agents, and the “sorry, I can’t help you” ones.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty. It’s been found that during a crisis, human connections are crucial. This makes call centers more necessary than ever. In desperate times, many of us need an expert to solve our issue, so a call center is key to securing your business’s success.
While an omnichannel service is the latest trend, 76% of Americans prefer phone service over any other channel. This allows us to express our issues easily, and the human voice comforts us, especially in stressful situations. This means that if we work hard on our contact center service, we can directly improve customer trust. But first, what actually is a call center?
Call centers are a way for customers to speak directly to agents. They solve any queries a customer may have about the company. This can range from processing a refund to helping them navigate the company website.
They can be a great alternative for clients with issues that require a back-and-forth conversation and who don’t want to wait for email return times. A call center can be inbound or outbound. This means agents can respond to incoming calls and also contact customers to inform them of offers or resolutions to their queries.
Companies secure the quality of their calls by monitoring and evaluating them constantly. They can also provide training for new agents to ensure they’re confident talking about company-specific information.
Remote working is, inevitably, our future. After the COVID-19 outbreak, the number of Americans working from home increased from 5% to 60%. The pandemic has inevitably reduced our face-to-face interactions, so businesses are becoming more reliant on remote call centers.
Agents have had to move out of the office and set up their desks at home. The company usually provides them with headsets and any necessary computer equipment. Through specialized software, agents can answer customer calls from their front room or office space.
This can have many benefits for agents, like comfort and flexibility, but considering customer calls have risen during the pandemic, it’s also harder to control the sometimes chaotic contact center atmosphere. For example, securing data while working remotely can be harder if company equipment is not properly secured at home.
A call center is all about teamwork. Without a group of people that work together like clockwork, it’s impossible to offer good customer service. The main roles include the following.
· Agent. Agents have to deal directly with customers by answering their calls and solving any queries they may have. As they are the face (or voices) of the company, empathy and professionalism are their most important qualities.
· Team leader. Team leaders are responsible for organizing agents. They also speak directly to customers when necessary, like when dealing with critical escalations or call-backs.
· Quality assurance. This team rate calls by listening to how the agents handle them. Call quality monitoring is crucial to coaching agents on any mistakes or breaches.
· Manager. The manager is in charge of ensuring the contact center works well. They can also give instructions to the team leaders to deliver to agents.
A good call center should always be customer-centric. It should not be afraid to adapt itself to modern-day necessities. Customer experience has never been more important or more difficult to deliver, and companies need to do everything to make their service as simple and quick as possible.
This is why having different channels to help customers can reduce call volume and ensure you are offering diverse contact solutions for callers. For example, social media customer service can be a comforting solution to the younger generation, who may not be so comfortable calling.
It’s also crucial to note the facts and act upon them. For example, studies show that customers who speak directly with an agent are 27% more satisfied than customers who first reach an IVR system. By reading different reports, you can look for any changes you could implement in your call center to improve it.
Another crucial component in the quality of calls is your agents. They should sound confident and trustworthy on the phone. Most customers call for human reassurance. They need to feel their issue is in the best hands. By giving a professional service and building a strong call center quality assurance team, you can build customer trust.
It doesn’t matter if you manage a small business call center or a multinational contact center; customer satisfaction should always be your priority, and you should use as many tools and systems as possible to ensure this.
By offering personalized solutions and a swiftly working system that enables your center to solve queries quickly and easily, you can secure loyal clients who feel confident that, if they call, you will do whatever it takes to solve their problems.