Call centers typically started in the early days to address inbound customer calls. Over the years, companies have offshored or outsourced this cell, technology has enhanced its capabilities, and business executives have come to realize the big picture that a call center can play in the entire supply chain. Call centers are touchpoints for your customers to interact with your brand, and apart from product quality, they drive customer perceptions about your brand.
An effective call center can boost your brand image by delivering an excellent customer experience. The call center is the third stage of the business growth cycle after marketing and customer fulfillment. The call center provides customer service that brings the customer back to the initial stage of engaging with the brand marketing for other products or acting as brand ambassadors by referrals. In the current market conditions, the capability to deliver an excellent customer experience is an absolute must-have. Customers can easily sense and steer clear of brands that don't get it.
Call centers have been around for a couple of decades or more but have received the attention they deserve only recently. Part of the reason is a new technology that brought in increased transparency and customer interaction tools into business models that exposed the crucial role played by call centers. Businesses have upgraded the call center's role into more than just receiving customer calls, realizing their true potential. Let's look at a few vital roles played by call centers.
Receiving customer calls dealing with support and complaints remains a dominant component in the overall call center workload. Customers calling in are usually people who have tried solving their problems themselves or looking up the internet and are still unable to do so. They are at the end of their patience and typically expect a quick fix over the call. Handling such customers requires a delicate sense of the human psyche and empathy. Moreover, call centers are active beyond office hours and sometimes around the clock in a different time zone, which provides customers a sense of availability.
Call center agents are trained professionals who know various ways to put the customer at ease and offer a solution. First Call Resolution (FCR) is a vital KPI for call centers that indicate the percentage of inbound issues resolved in a speedy first interaction with the customer. A call center having high FCR is great for improving customer loyalty and brand image. Help desk solutions with a built-in knowledge base and automation help drive up FCR. Customers typically want to resolve their issues with minimal fuss.
The modern call centers are equipped with omnichannel capabilities to engage customers through various modes like phone, SMS, emails, WhatsApp, and social media. Helpdesk applications make it possible to receive and register customer issues as tickets through any of these channels for resolution. In certain instances, when a customer call does not get resolved in the first interaction, the agent probably registers a ticket in the system for tracking the issue until resolution.
Customer service agents at call centers perform the vital role of understanding the customer request or complaint and registering it within the system. The whole process of ticket resolution and the resultant customer experience hinges on a sound understanding of the customer's problems. A call center provides the opportunity to engage the customers, and understand their problems in-depth to take appropriate actions. Acting without a proper understanding of the problem is like running blindfolded. You run the risk of just running around in circles.
Call centers can engage with your customers to promote new products or follow-up on ticket resolution. Outbound calls through call centers are a sales funnel for businesses to bring in new customers. Having a call center execute the customer outreach frees up your business resources to focus on product development, branding, and marketing strategies. Delegating the responsibilities to call centers also speeds up customer outreach to bring in sales early on.
Follow-up after ticket resolution is a crucial step in retaining customer loyalty. People act more on perceptions and less on facts. A ticket resolution by a service agent may not be perceived as a solution by the customer. You won't know what the customer thinks about the experience until you follow up with a call asking for their feedback. And here comes the next important function performed by call centers!
Every interaction with a customer offers the opportunity to collect vital data. It provides a reading into the consumer psyche and common issues with your products that can be low-hanging fruits. Call centers equipped with helpdesk applications can register information coming in with each customer interaction in a way that adds up to business intelligence. Collecting customer feedback after every interaction helps gauge the customer psyche and do course correction to keep things under control. A typical business call center has tons of data inbound every day. What can a business do with this data?
A smart company will use the information coming straight from the customer to drive product improvement, process improvement, and even ideas for new products or sometimes, a whole new business. Customer-driven innovation has sparked numerous business opportunities, and companies have just scraped the surface. Driving product improvements and addressing customer problems is what makes a company customer-centric. Customer centricity is the framework on which strong and resilient businesses are built. In a world full of data, gaining insights from the data is key to success.
The call center offers immense opportunities to engage customers and improve customer loyalty. They act as vital touchpoints for customers and help you shape their perceptions and brand image. Establishing and operating an effective call center is vital for any business that intends to grow and establish itself as a brand. Call centers provide the much-needed customer support, engagement, and interaction that connects with customers at a deeper level.
At Wolken, we have been working with companies and helping them establish their brands through excellent customer experience driven by IT solutions. Our mission is to create a top-of-the-line customer experience and service that helps you grow your business to the next level. Get in touch with our team to explore how we could help your business.