Non-voice channels within the contact centre are rapidly edging into the territory once dominated by voice interactions.
Is your call centre a take-away joint or a fine-dining experience?
By Bruce von Maltitz, Director, 1Stream
Have you ever thought about what kind of person your business would be if it was human? Or what kind of car? Are you an entry-level Honda, a reliable Toyota, or flashy Jaguar? And what about restaurants? Are you a drive-through take away that focuses on efficiency and takes a no-frills approach? Or do you pride yourself on offering a five-star, fine-dining experience?
It doesnt really matter whether whether you position your business as a McDonald's or a Michelin star restaurant. Both models are successful because, while they meet different needs, they both provide excellent service - service that is consistent with their brands.
Consistent customer service is key
No matter what your business does or how your products or services are priced, your brand and its reputation are vital. It doesnt start and end with marketing and branding. If you want to build a base of loyal, returning customers, the promises your brand makes need to carry through into the experience people have after they have become customers. Your brand values should be evident and consistent in every part of the business if you dont want people to become disillusioned by bad customer service, billing or technical support.
If youve built a luxurious five-star brand, for example, your customers will expect the service they receive from your call centre to be world class. Equally, if your business prides itself on speed and efficiency, your call centre should be proof of that.
Its no good spending thousands on advertising if the post-purchase experience does not live up to the promises made by the marketing department.
Ongoing measurement is the only way to ensure consistency
The secret to successful, consistent customer service is the ability to manage, measure and maintain good standards. Gaining this level of visibility requires a robust system and well-thought-out and managed processes and reporting mechanisms.
Without the ability to measure things like productivity and service quality, maintaining good standards and a solid reputation in the long term is very difficult. And improving them is impossible. Luckily, there are technology solutions available that are designed to give contact centre managers insight into a whole host of key performance indicators like these - so there really is no reason for your business to be let down by poor customer service.
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With more customers owning smart mobile devices, companies are facing an ever increasing need to communicate and respond to customers using channels, other than a simple voice call.
If youíre in the business of developing and distributing insurance products, then you know that telesales should be an indispensable part of taking your products to market.
The 2014 Reinsurance Group of America (RGA) SA Bancassurance survey shows that call centres are one of the key channels for bancassurance distribution and the majority of banks rely on outsourced call centres to handle their insurance telesales.
What does a grocer, landscaper, bookseller and telecommunications business have in common? Staying profitable in an extremely tight economy. Offering customers something they canít get at their rivalsí businesses and a reason to come streaming through their doors.