What makes a great call center?

Posted on: November 06th, 2014 by Art Barger

The one question every call center manager seeks to answer is, “What makes a contact center great?”

Is it a friendly voice? Speedy service? Or, is it more hands-off solutions that allow customers to resolve issues by themselves? The answer isn’t necessarily up to us to define. Rather, it’s our customers who are best equipped to answer that one. In the eyes of consumers, the answer is, to a certain degree, all of the above.

In the article, “Good to Great: What it Takes to Raise Call Centers to a Higher Standard,” the Boston Consulting Group found that millennials prefer speed, ease, efficiency and convenience above friendly service.

Tim Pickard of NewVoiceMedia said that in order to improve your customer service environments organizations need to provide service delivery that matches customer expectations.

“Amazing customers through exceptional service may be the goal of many service centers; but what customers actually value most is a consistent, low-effort solution to their problem, delivered quickly and without the need to switch channels.”

We know that telephone agents are on the front lines of customer service. So, it’s only natural that we give them the training, tools and resources needed to meet customer demands. The only problem is customer expectations can be a moving target. Determining the right solutions that best serve your customers’ needs isn’t always that easy.

Claire Sporton, VP of Customer Experience Management at Confirmit, said the only way call centers can really know what customers want is to ask. Ask them how you’re doing in helping them achieve their goals, and what you can do better to improve their experience.

She also provided some tips on how contact centers can move from good to being excellent.

  • Integrate the customer’s voice: Getting frontline feedback directly from your customers can help improve your customers’ satisfaction scores and provide a holistic view of your service experience.
  • Adapted a ‘customer experience’ philosophy: To transform your call center environment, customer service teams need to understand the different stages of the customer lifecycle and their preferred channels. This is critical since customer needs can change based on any number of factors along the customer journey.
  • Improve how customer information is distributed across your organization: Since customers have different preferences on how they contact your business, making sure all channels are on the same page can make your representatives effective customer advocates across your organization.
  • Help customers help themselves: Since more people are technology savvy, they often prefer to conduct transactions and resolve issues themselves, whether online or over the telephone channel. Integrating solutions that help them safely do it themselves can lead to faster query resolution and improve customer satisfaction.

We all want to provide a seamless, consistent and more personalized experience for our customers. Deploying the right tools and processes that help you better understand their needs, strengthen the security of your customer environments and resolve issues or requests faster, can help you provide the service your customers require within your call center, and across your entire organization.