Contact center and call center: what’s the difference

Author: Natalia Burdeinaya

Own client service center for the company is always an expense item, that is a fact. But this statement is only for those companies who use it in the format of the Call Center, rather than the Contact Center.

Under the condition of customer service processes that change the prefix “call” to “contact”, as the result, there are also incomes in the budget of the client service department.
What is such a weighty difference, which affects, among other things of the company’s business results?

The first and most obvious, that the customer service unit is a place where the client has an impression of your company, or the previously created one. You would think, that you can invest significant amounts in marketing activity, creating legends, forming a mission and vision of the company, launching a site with creative design, PR activity, selling a useful and high-quality product or service, but at the same time the client decides to change the company only for the reason that they did not answer the call or did not call back.

The level of service that was formerly practiced only in relation to preferred clients is becoming the norm now. And companies that do not provide this, lose out to a more client-oriented competitor. It’s not enough just to provide an incoming line with the operator that picks up the phone. This is the level of the Call Center.

Contact center is the same in terms of service, as:

  1. Enforcing ALL clients servicing with 24/7 support on all possible channels of circulation.
  2. Using of on-line services (chat, social networks) while advising the clients.
  3. Monitoring and managing requests, focusing at solving goals the client’s question, and not just picking up the phone or greeting the client in chat.
  4. Providing the client with self-service capabilities as a tool to optimize the company’s operating expenses.
  5. Standardized approach in the process of client service provision, which represents the company positions in the eyes of the client, as a single, harmonious organism, and not collection of different elements of a non-functioning mechanism.
  6. Using the CRM system in the work, as an automatic client search tool for handling. You should know the client “faces” under any condition. The statement “who owns the information – that owns the world” which sounds to the client service as “who owns information about his client – that is the market leader”.

Second, and in this the future of retail, few people have a sales function in the customer service unit, trusting the main resources for clients attraction to individual sales units.

But by applying an omniscient approach for managing of customer experience, you can raise sales by increasing the conversion level remote channels. Without attracting additional human resources, moreover, even by optimizing them. This growth in sales is due to the increase of purchase amount (up-sell), and cross-sell (cross-sell).

And success is not only in “cold calls”:

  1. Effective scripts can increase the level of customer satisfaction, sell an additional service. Success in applying the client needs identification approach and conversation management skills. These are business processes.
  2. On the bank’s example, due to the correctly built IT infrastructure and planned road-map of clients calls for a reminder, of the validity period of his card expiry, you can extend the client’s life to your company. These are loyalty programs.
  3. Use of systems that help to work in different channels from a single interface, analyze, plan and measure the quality and quantity of contacts. They will help to optimize the work of the contact center and to collect the necessary indicators for formation of KPI operators, sales funnel and understanding of the ROI service. This is a system for managing of client experience.
  4. Realization of seamless transition of the client between channels will allow to finish the client before the sale and not to lose it. This omniscience in the sales process.

But for everyone else, fortunately, the most valuable is the warmth of human communication. Therefore, the most effective way to be in contact with clients is to establish communication with employees who are “on the front line”. These are the people that buyers see and talk to every day. So make sure that your team members understand the mission and strategy of the business and know how to provide an amazing service. And you can help employees by identifying transparent KPIs that will motivate them.

There is a such definition of “client-centeredness” – a business strategy focused on maximum satisfaction of client interests in consumption and the joint creation of brand values. Because your business is created not only by you, but you and your client.

Natalia Burdeinaya

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