Singaporean call centers providing customer care or customer support services are often treated as cost centers. It is simply treated as an expense tied to marketing a product or service.
However, due to resource pressures and for the sake of “efficiency” these are typically understaffed. This creates the long queue and waiting times that one gets when you try to call them. If your customers are waiting in a queue, queues can be a detriment to any form of selling. In addition, this spoils the client’s experience and casts a shadow over the company. It is sad. But it doesn’t have to be like this.
IDEA: Treat your customer contact center as a REVENUE center!
Work with your marketing department and you will discover that they have challenges as well. They are often asked to develop new markets, new clients, find new insights by soliciting feedbacks from their clients. Isn’t this happening right now with your customer support center?
We have been in projects where call centers are paid to do outbound telemarketing. The way it works is for us to design effective call scripts and have them delivered by the most experienced (read:battle scarred, battle hardened) agents. We load a bunch of leads into our predictive dialer and let the campaign ‘rip”. These cold calls are to people that typically :
- Do not know the company. (Not yet anyway)
- Have no wish to buy anything from the company.
- Annoyed at being disturbed. We do not have their permission to engage them in a conversation.
Is it any wonder then, that even the best telemarketing campaigns have a success rate of less than 5% of all the numbers called? However, consider the calls that you are now receiving in your customer contact center. These callers typically :
- Already know about your company and your products and services.
- Already bought one or more of your products or services
- Have given you the permission to engage them in a conversation.
All that is needed here is a consistent program that helps your agents to REALLY help your clients. Put more resources to it. Reduce your queue. And once the client’s issue is resolved, they are typically more receptive to offers that will further improve their customer experience.
It is really about TIMING. Giving the up sell, revenue generating ‘suggestion’ to the client at the right time, along with a smile and a geniune concern, this little persuasion is very effective!
A case in point is the technical support section that gets clients whose laptops have been infected.
The upsell here maybe to offer an anti-virus solution to them AFTER the technical support team have shown them how to detect and remove virii from their laptop. This technical center sold more anti-virus programs than their marketing department did.
Steve Coscia, best selling author of two best selling call center books, TELE-Stress and Customer service Over the Phone has this to say:
“Your phone systems also represents your company’s culture. And what customers are experiencing when they’re going to your phone system, affects their perception of your organization.”
Think about it. I’d like to hear about how this article has helped you. Leave a comment okay?
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