Turning Contact Center Costs into Contact Center Profits
Exceptional customer service is increasingly important to build and maintain a dedicated customer base. In a survey of B2B companies released last year, Walker Information projected that by 2020, positive customer service will be the most important factor on customers’ minds when they make brand-loyalty decisions. Despite this, some brand managers still feel that customer service functions and contact centers cannot drive growth or generate revenue.
We would argue that with proper focus, contact centers can and should be both profit and money-saving centers.
Here are a few ideas on how you can develop your contact center function into something far more versatile and profitable than it might be today:
- Focus on quality interactions – First and foremost, the quality of every interaction must be top notch. Agents need to be trained and fluent in the brand they represent as well as consumer culture and language. If individual interactions are subpar, any incremental program or strategy to build loyalty or increase sales will falter.
- Get the metrics right – Contact centers are often evaluated using cost-centric metrics such as average talk time. These are necessary in most cases, but a more holistic measurement should be considered to get a sense of experiential and qualitative measures. Consider utilizing post-call surveys or incentives to generate more in-depth feedback.
- Set the proper sales tone – Consumers do not like aggressive sales tactics, especially when they are calling in for a service interaction. Rather, train agents in natural language and conversational sales interactions. Encourage them to cross- and up-sell in a way that provides real value to the customer, and consider adding multichannel capabilities that allow agents to follow-up with individuals via email or other methods later. Put their issue and satisfaction before the sale – it will follow.
- Adjust to an investment paradigm –By investing in the experiences of your customers and sales leads, especially in the highly-personal telephonic channel, repeat and incremental business will become a native part of interactions. Steer away from cost-centric thinking, and towards making this investment in your current and potential customers.
It is essential for organizations to rally around customer service when it comes to achieving growth and generating revenue. By shifting management mindsets away from customer service channels being costs, and towards them being a frontline for opportunity, you and your company are sure to see results you want and deserve.
We hope you found this month's Dialogue informative.