One of the most important parts of running a successful business is having outstanding customer service. Beyond the typical “the customer is always right” mentality, customer service is truly about fostering relationships.
Many B2C companies choose to house the customer service representatives in a call centre setting, which can help streamline the process and improve overall efficiency. But running a call centre can be quite tricky, especially if the company receives a high volume of calls. Here, we explore four tips to help ensure that your call centre is a successful business venture which helps cultivate customer interactions in a positive way.
Modern call centres are typically dealing with two forms of requests: phone calls and emails. For either type of communication, it is always in the company’s best interest to provide a prompt response.
With phone calls, answer within 3 rings, then greet the caller in a friendly way. Make sure that the customer knows the name of the representative whom they are speaking with.
For emails, the process is quite similar to phone calls. The response should still be quick—preferably within 12 hours of when the email was received. Additionally, the representative who responds should still make sure to introduce themselves, as it makes the experience feel more personalised and relatable.
Represent Your Brand Well
It is incredibly important for call centre agents to maintain a high level of professionalism. In many cases, they are the face of the company and voice of the brand, so make sure that representatives are adequately trained and monitored in order to maintain high standards.
For some high-volume call centres, the process of upholding high standards and keeping up with requests can become overwhelming. For many businesses, this is why outsourcing makes sense. Bringing in customer service representatives in another location is an increasingly popular option for growing businesses. Particularly for B2C companies with a highly specialised service (like a product that speaks to the tech industry), it can be easier to find specialists outside of the United States. Outsourcing can also be a more cost-effective option.
Maintain Proper Equipment
With a higher volume of calls and emails comes an ever-increasing need for equipment. Office equipment can break unexpectedly and during inopportune moments, so being prepared is essential in order to keep both employees and customers happy.
The best call centres are fully stocked with extra headsets, phones, keyboards, and other essential supplies. By always providing agents with equipment that properly functions, they will be more likely to do their jobs effectively.
Be Smart about Putting Customers on Hold
It is incredibly common for call centres to put customers on hold, but there are right and wrong ways to do it. Be polite about the process and ask the customer if they are okay with being put on hold. Also, be honest and upfront by informing them of how long the wait may be.
With call centres, remember that sometimes silence can be golden. Most customers prefer to wait in silence or with very soft hold music. Avoid using a pre-recorded voice that talks to the customer while they are on hold, and also avoid loud, dynamic music.
Courtesy can go a long way. When a customer is taken off hold, ensure that they are thanked for waiting. This will help remind the customer that the company appreciates their business.
By providing a quick response rate, picking the right people in the right place to represent your brand, maintaining proper equipment, and being respectful to customers, a call centre will become an important business asset. Think of it this way: behind every lucrative business is smart, efficient customer service.