Whenever you visit the grocery store, a shopping mall, or a retail outlet of any sort you hope that you’ll receive good customer service. Sometimes, when we visit these places, we’ll need questions answered about the product itself, discounts, costs, and anything else that might crop up while we’re shopping. Though face-to-face customer service is preferred, in other cases that can’t occur. When we call a company or business, seeking information or to have our question answered, we’ll often call a contact center. Contact centers are centralized locations that are used for receiving and sending a large volume of calls.
Call representatives are who most callers will reach with their questions on a variety of topics, depending on the industry which each center is servicing. These centers strive to practice the best practices when it comes to providing a customer with an enriching experience. In the United States alone, there are approximately 7,400 call centers that employ about 50 workers on site. These call centers total more than approximately 2.3 million employees at locations across the country. Call centers have progressed past the days of antiquated switchboards. Each of these locations contains technology and modern customer service rules which provide a customer with the best phone call experience ever. Below are a few tips on how to run a modern contact center for the safe entrepreneur.
1. Install the best tech.
Having the correct technology on hand in your call center can help you to provide the best customer service experience for callers. As mentioned before, gone are the days of calls being routed through switchboard operators. The playing field for call centers has become even more digitized as computer and telephone technology have become pretty well intertwined in the call center environment. In many cases, when a phone call comes through to a call center, a call center rep is able to pull up the client’s information with ease on a computer, allowing the phone call to move smoothly and unabated.
There are companies like Bright Pattern Inc which provide such software. Bright Pattern’s software can offer cloud contact center solutions for all types of business. It can also be used to deliver a great customer experience across a variety of communications and messaging channels. The type of technology that has become a staple in many call centers across the United States includes AI Agent assistance, conversational IVR, digital channels, malware protection, Chromium virus removal, more interactivity with web browsers like Chrome, and greater social media interaction. Making sure that the best tech is installed is a good way to run a modern customer service center.
2. Hire the best people.
When you hire someone for a new job, you want the person best suited for the job. You don’t necessarily need someone with a Ph.D. or someone who can figure out what the TIE ratio signifies. You just need someone who knows how to do the job, who can show up to work on time, and ensure that they are helping your company to succeed. When you are running a modern call center, you want to hire people who fit various criteria.
They’ll need to be effective communicators, in addition to being able to handle pressure well. You also want to hire people who can creatively solve problems, in addition to being emotionally stable. Staying organized, being quick, and also being able to retain a lot of information are also key things to look for in customer service reps. For instance, say you are running a business that tries to provide the best practices for entprepreneurs. You’ll want your call center reps to be able to provide direction or advice on a host of topics that fall underneath this umbrella.
Say a potential client calls your business and needs questions about such entrepreneurial topics as interest expenses, income statements, interest coverage ratios, annual interest expenses, and what it takes to become a business owner. Having a person answering calls who is well versed on such matters, in addition to being adept and able to handle a day filled with answering multiple phone calls, is essential to running a successful call center.
3. Provide incentives.
People love being rewarded for things. To be seen by your place of work for doing something good brings satisfaction which can make you feel happy. A company’s ability to acknowledge such great work can be beneficial, as you’re providing an incentive for an employee to continue performing to the best of his, her, or their ability. The same goes for contact center representatives.
Encouraging your employees to do the best work possible ensures that you will get their best effort. Imagine having to deal with a daylong deluge of phone calls about the ins and outs of business-related topics like financial statements, cash flow, interest payments, and annual interest expenses. After dealing with many phone calls like this, you would want a break or maybe even a reward for such hard work.
As a boss, you have to find the best way to incentivize working for your workers. Figure out what the next step should be with giving your workers a “prize” of sorts. Maybe set up some sort of quotas to be met, contests, and rewards. These can help an employee stay motivated when things get difficult. Maybe provide a grand prize like a Nintendo Wii, or a PS3. Whatever the incentive, going this route is a great way to run a successful contact center.
4. Balance workflow and team size.
One thing which you’ll also need to do is make sure there’s enough work for your team. Stop hiring when you’ve brought on enough people to do the job at hand. If you bring in more people to do this work, then you’ll wind up having to let them go. A company’s ability to balance the workflow with a prospective or current team size is crucial to its business model. With your currently employed contact center workers, make sure that everyone is assigned a particular task. You don’t want anyone at your job thinking they are wasting time that could be better spent doing something else.