Contact Center: Luxury or Necessity?
Today, Contact Center is an essential part of any business that strives to maintain active communication with its customers and partners. Contact Center is absolutely vital for the companies engaged in provision of services in banking, insurance, telecommunications and entertainment industries or dealing with e-commerce. However, regardless of the business profile, the winner in the competition race is the one who keeps in touch with its customer in the most efficient manner. This implies provision of timely responses to requests and advice concerning its products and services, finding effective ways to manage and resolve any arising conflict, as well as sustaining successful supplier-buyer relationship.
Which Corporate Tasks Are Contact Centers Handling Today?
In most cases, the work of the Contact Center is synonymous with the hotline, and rightly so. In the 70s, when the incoming telephone traffic of the companies started growing as a result of advertising activities, the companies began to wonder how to accept a large number of calls to a single number, how to process them efficiently and how to ensure that every customer reaches them and receives a response to his/her questions. That is exactly when 0-800 multi-line telephone numbers and telephone companies which handled corporate sales calls have emerged. Development of call centers and hotline service takes its beginning from the very telephone services described above.
Today, Call Center turned into a Contact Center, since it uses a number of customer communication channels. Apart from a regular phone, these are E-mail, Web chats, social networking websites, mobile apps, IMs etc. The range of services has also expanded quite significantly. Aside from handling the hotline calls, Contact Centers take care of other business processes of the companies, for instance:
Conduction/support of marketing activities (voice campaigns, bulk SMS and E-mail marketing);
Lead generation (search and capture of new customers and partners; this is particularly efficient in B2B market);
Conduction of surveys and questionnaires;
Mystery Shopper service used to assess the quality of company's services and sales managers' operation etc.;
Customer loyalty management etc.
In-House Versus Outsourced Contact Center
Which one to choose depends on the company's client base, tasks to be accomplished and number of channels to be used for communication. In cases where the client base is not large and the tasks can be easily handled by 2 or 3 managers, the In-House Contact Center is your best bet. On the flip side, if we are talking about non-standard tasks, development of original scripts and large base of contacts with whom you have to interact on a continuous basis by means of multiple channels, it might be a good idea to outsource these tasks, since professional contact center has every resource needed to implement any projects of varying degree of complexity.
Thanks to product trainings, operators of the outsourced contact center can study the market, learn about the products, services and even the In-House Customer Service Standards, enabling them to operate as a fully-functional Customer Service Department, only an external one. This results in significantly lower costs as compared to those associated with arrangement of in-house contact center.
How Does Contact Center Facilitate Improvement of Customer Loyalty
Through the use of high-tech equipment and software, Contact Center has the necessary means to ensure excellent corporate customer service.
l Feedback. Thanks to applied technologies, contact center can promptly handle all incoming requests, while the buyer can count on guaranteed feedback by phone, email or in instant messenger. It is important for the customers to know that their requests are addressed by the company's employees.
l Omnichannel. The Integrated Communication System enables the operator to interact with the customer in a manner which is the most convenient to the latter. Operator accepts request and provides response, using desired communication channel.
Personalization. Contact Center operators work within CRM Systems which allow to save customer request history. This helps the operator to "recognize" the buyer almost instantly, address him or her by the name, tackle the problem easily and find relevant solution, as well as offer a specific service or product based on the buyer's interests and needs. This gives the customer a positive impression that he or she is already recognized and understood here which, in turn, builds stronger customer loyalty.
Contact Center is able to conduct surveys to monitor the level of customer satisfaction with the goods and services offered by the company, accept and process complaints and requests. Typically, information collected in such a way is provided to the top management of the customer company for subsequent product improvement and relevant corrective measures regarding shortcomings that lead to consumer dissatisfaction.
As a rule of thumb, Contact Center records operator's conversations with the customer in order to identify new, more effective ways to provide advising, track errors in operator's work and eliminate them in the future.
If you need Contact Center services, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.