“You are number 3000 in a queue, please hold and an operator will be with you soon. Your call is important to us”. Cut to Mozart. Repeat. Sound familiar, or is this a distant memory?
Customer service centres used to hinge around the telephone. With customers held in queues and wait times causing high levels of customer attrition, outdated contact technology can make or break a company’s reputation.
The modern call centre is better described as a contact centre
The old world of waiting on hold listening to classical music or recorded messages has – or very quickly needs to change. Instead of bottlenecking everything around telephone operatives, organisations that have embraced digital transformation are utilising digital contact to create better customer experiences. These can include email, chat bots, social media, contact forms, and self-help forums. Not only can this approach bring more satisfied customers, it can also significantly reduce the cost of customer service operatives.
Key questions to modernise a call centre
The most effective approach to modernising contact centres is to transform in stages: introduce automation, optimise customer engagement, and transform. Here’s the key questions to ask:
How important is customer service to your organisation? Is it vital customers can speak to a person or get in touch in ways that are convenient to them? What do your competitors offer? Knowing
How complex is your offering? Simple, impulse purchases or some SaaS-based services may not need comprehensive customer support to be available, whereas a more involved offering will obviously need experts on hand to help customers get what they need from your product or service.
How critical are your products to your customers? Do they need 24/7/365 support? What languages will they need? How about interruption or downtime? To answer this, you need to consider disappointment (e.g. a swimming pool pump malfunctioning in summer, compared to a boiler malfunctioning in January).
By creating optimal channels for your customers to contact you at their convenience, you can create a positive perception of your wider organisation, recruit and retain call centre operatives, and capitalise on the evolving innovations in technology to create cost savings through efficiency.