What is a call centre?
A call centre is the part of a business that usually handles enormous volumes of calls from people who are either a brand’s loyal customers or potential buyers who may end up becoming loyal customers.
The importance of call centres is increasing as more and more business operations happen online. Another factor is an increasing number of services offering self-help options to customers.
A superior customer experience is one of the most significant contributors to a business’s success. And to maintain an excellent customer experience that is both, seamless and highly effective, call centres are essential.
Setting up a successful call centre
There are several factors that determine whether or not a call centre is functioning effectively. First and foremost is the performance of the inbound call team or the efficiency with which they handle customer queries.
This is followed by the technology deployed for this team’s operations, and thirdly, its customer base.
Needless to say, it is absolutely essential for every business to equip its call centres with the most efficient technology while also investing significantly in its agent recruitment and training.
Explained below are some major determinants of how a call centre can attain success:
1. Team of agents
The connecting link between every business and its customers are people—agents, managers, analysts and other leaders. A healthy agent team is one that is properly trained, has job satisfaction and is regularly rewarded with acknowledgements and perks for good performance.
A flourishing call centre puts its team above everything else to establish a holistic work environment.
However, even a successful agent team will lack stability if it has a high employee churn rate. The call centre will have to spend more energy and time to train new employees, and less time will be spent on actually doing the work.
One of the biggest reasons employees quit a company and move onto another is dissatisfaction with their existing job profile. Dissatisfaction amongst employees can be caused due to one of the following reasons:
- Too many redundant, manual tasks. This can cause frustration and helplessness amongst agents
- Dependence on KPIs that pay more attention to quantity than quality. Such indicators can make employees feel undervalued and unmotivated
- Worn out technological solutions that slow down the pace of work and drag team performance
A call centre works with a thorough programme that inculcates values and a workplace belief system amongst the employees. This system is accountable for providing training and engagement methods to help the workforce understand the kind of success they should strive for. It also gives them an understanding of the tools and techniques that can ease their workload.
2. Using the right technology
Using inefficient, outdated or unnecessary tools can hamper an agent’s experience and hinder a business’s success journey.
Suppose every agent has to switch between different technological pathways to deliver the best service to every customer reaching out to them. In such a case, their tools may be more of an obstruction than a solution.
Thus, it would make sense to narrow down technological solutions and only incorporate those that offer maximum services while demanding minimum resources.
One advantageous essential tool is a cloud telephony solution. It can be used to store and manage a large customer database, run an omnichannel communication system with features like call recording and effective call monitoring, monitor crucial KPIs and reduce overall expenditures.
Businesses must remember that one of the primary responsibilities of every call centre is to provide excellent customer service and aim for first call resolutions. Most customers are likely to be loyal to brands that offer highly personalised and thoughtful services, including reliable support channels and efficient communication.
3. Enhanced customer experience
The primary pillar on which every call centre’s existence relies is customer experience.
According to Call Centre Helper magazine, 95.7% of contact centre professionals view customer satisfaction as the most crucial call centre metric.
To ensure customers have the best purchase experience, organisations need to integrate a well-trained team with a user-friendly technological system.
Some essential qualities that all agents need to inculcate in themselves while working at call centres and tackling endless customer concerns include:
4. Keeping track of all important metrics
Ensuring that customer experience is being handled as one of the topmost priorities of a business involves paying close attention to factors such as the average call handling time, first call resolutions, average wait time before callers get connected to an agent and a track of the customer satisfaction ratings.
68% of call centre professionals consider first call resolutions to be an extremely important metric.
Informing customers of delays in their order deliveries in advance and regularly following up with them to collect feedback are additional steps a brand can take to ensure its customers feel valued and heard.
5. Offering empathy to customers
The foremost step in building long-lasting customer relationships is to let them know your business and your agents are there for them.
Speaking to them in a calm tone regardless of their demeanor, using easy-to-understand words in a sincere and comforting voice, and thanking callers for their patience when their query is resolved are some ways agents can help a call centre become more successful.
When working at a call centre, it is crucial for an agent to approach all situations compassionately and thoughtfully, even if they seem irrational or absurd.
6. Maintaining consistent responsiveness
Customers need to constantly feel heard and valued during their interaction with a business.
When they reach out to a company with questions relating to a product or a service, they must be offered seamless communication right up to the point where they feel that their issue has received complete resolution.
If a brand stops being responsive in the middle of a query and the customer feels they have been abandoned midway, they will likely not return to the brand for future business.
For call centres to be successful, they must maintain consistent and meaningful communication with their customers.
Prioritising customer base, monitoring KPIs that don’t burden the employees of a company, technological advancements that are easy to implement and understand, and a healthy cohort of well-trained call centre agents are all sure shot methods that guarantee a call centre’s success.
Call centres are meant to bridge the distance between a company and its valued customer base. In situations particularly like today’s where the entire world and the market are both driven by a pandemic, it is important to maintain customer support services that are fast, efficient and easy.
Identifying and fixing loopholes, integrating approaches that are mutually beneficial for a business and its buyers, and providing for an omnichannel experience can help every modern-day call centre attain the goals and success that it has set for itself.