Dispelling Call Center Myths
In order to know how to approach call center utilization, it helps to know what call centers are not. Heres a brief rundown of the major myths associated with them and how a business can remove them from expectations, as relayed in Call Center Times:
- Call Centers are More Than Just Numbers. While metrics are important, its the personality of the operation that gives it its real value. Call centers are about customers, not statistics.
- Traditional Training Is Not Enough. Customer interaction must change with the economic landscape. People are naturally more careful with their money during an economic downturn, reserving it for the companies that respond to their needs. Companies should train their people to address those needs.
- Customer Service is also a Sales Opportunity. In fact, any situation where a company representative interacts with a customer is an opportunity make a sale--if not immediately, perhaps on down the road.
Turbo-charging Call Center Capabilities
Gary Barnett, chief technology officer and vice president of Aspect Technical Services, presents the concept of unified communications--connecting call center functions across mediums for maximum efficiency. While the process may seem complicated and pricey, they results are hard to argue with. In a case study, data demonstrated that a 120-person contact center handling approximately 280,000 inbound telephone calls per year generated an additional $5.59 million in monthly revenue and handled 80 percent of customer service calls in-house.
To achieve that level of results, companies must aim to synchronize enterprise applications, collaboration applications and communications tools. And they must avoid the tunnel vision that most organizations cling to when implementing call center strategies for the first time. One way to do this is to create an investigative team that can take the time necessary to research technologies and implementation. This outside type of approach can be invaluable for those CEOs and admins who feel like they may be too close to the project to make an objective decision.
Evaluating Call Center Operations
A couple of different options exist for adding call centers to current operations: create a department in-house or access third-party vendors. The decision most often comes down to a cost versus control issue. Creating a department is certainly more costly, but there are a variety of factors that the company can control throughout the process. Third-party vendors are cheaper, but they also influence operations decisions independently.
According to Call Center Comparison, collecting customer feedback and researching multiple vendors are primary methods of weighing the options. Businesses should take customer comments and compare them with what a call center organization offers. If theres a disconnect on any level, its time to move on to another vendor. Completed thoroughly, this process encourages proper matching of providers and companies, greatly decreasing the chances of a mismatch.
Call Center Comparison