The call center is a “make it or break it” function for every company with customers. While many companies view it as simply just another department, or just another link in the chain, this patently isn’t the case. There is ample evidence that customers make their decision to remain a customer or seek out a competitor based on the treatment they receive in the call center. Customers finding a poor experience – especially on the very first interaction – are at high risk of defecting, and even long-term, satisfied customers will take steps to share an unhappy experience, often with dozens or even hundreds of others via social media.
Couple this with the fact that customers are more demanding today than ever, and it seems obvious that getting customer service right is critical. It’s no easier than it used to be: it’s simply more important. It needs to be prompt, it needs to be multichannel, it needs to be integrated, it needs to be positive and it needs to be correct.
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Getting all these things right is a bit like solving an algebraic equation in which you already know the final answer but must determine the value of x and y (and in the case of a call center, u, v and w, as well). For instance, you might already know that happy customers plus happy agents equals a successful call center, but do you know the solution to happy agents? If you have happy agents but unhappy customers, where are you missing an element of the equation?
Agents are critical brand ambassadors, so most companies know (at least in theory), how critical it is to have them properly trained and prepared with the right technology. Call centers must arm them with better technology so they can do their jobs well and enable a better agent experience and, consequently, a better customer experience. That, in turn, will drive customer lifetime loyalty and revenue for the brand.
Sounds easy? It’s not, but successful contact centers can learn how to accomplish it by better understanding their own operations and learning from experts.
On Tuesday, August 27, from 10 to 10:45 a.m. PT, TMC (News - Alert) will present a special session at ITEXPO that will examine the greater issues of building the right customer experience by first assembling the correct ingredients and understand how they go together. The discussion, entitled, “Solving the Customer Experience Equation,” will be moderated by call center industry expert Jon Arnold and will include panelists Steve Brubaker of InfoCision (News - Alert) Management Corp., Steve Chirokas of VoltDelta, John Cray of Zeacom and Ann Sung Ruckstuhl of LiveOps.
Edited by Alisen Downey