Any business that is serious about success needs to establish some form of customer support system. Generally, there are two ways to go about it. You can put in place an in-house contact centre or outsource the customer care services to a provider.
Understandably, establishing a fully functional contact centre and equipping it with the necessary resources is pretty costly and challenging, which means many businesses will not be able to afford it. However, considering customer care is essential, the usual cause of action, especially for small businesses and startups, is to outsource their customer service for cost-effective and efficient outcomes.
Contact Centre Or Call Centre: Which Is Which?
Back in the day, we only used to have what’s called ‘call centre' because there weren't any other fast and convenient way of offering customer support except through voice calls. This is not the case anymore. Today there are instant chats, emails, and video calls that are just as fast and convenient as voice calls.
So, therefore, the difference is, it's not just voice calls anymore. There are other mediums of communication involved in customer support, which gave rise to the all-inclusive name: contact centre. Still, the names are often used interchangeably.
Are Contact centres Still Valuable Today?
There was a time when contact centres were nothing but the cost burden businesses had to contend with. When it came to managing the expenses incurred by their contact centres, businesses had to ensure strict KPIs and AHTs (average handling time) the agents had to follow. But that was then.
Today, contact centres can bring in up to 25 percent of a business' annual revenue. This is because technological advancements have brought about a multi-channel approach in contact centres. It’s not just about services anymore, but using services to drive sales, and this makes contact centres huge marketing forces in today’s business environment.
Also, one of the trends that make contact centres valuable is outsourcing the services. It cuts down on overhead costs while maintaining customer satisfaction, retention as well as the brand's image boost. Here is a highlight of what a business stands to gain by investing in a contact centre:
- Improved brand image by being proactive in customer relations.
- Quality customer engagements through multi-channel support.
- Increased sales via sales-through-service marketing strategy.
- Improved customer satisfaction and retention.
- Understanding customer behavior and preferences through customer analytics.
- It offers frequent opportunities for additional or complementary sales.
The Role of Agents in Building Customer Relations
When we talk of contact centres, we may think first of the technological processes and resources, when in fact, it's the people behind it that are of the highest impact. Contact centres are the agents, as they are the first point of contact with customers.
The relevance of agent experience in England is vital in customer relations. According to one report, half of UK consumers will be ready to change brands in the event of bad customer experience. What this means is that investing in the right people, training as well as giving them room for progression, in turn, results in effective contact centre operations.