2016-01

Want Your Call Centre To Drive More Sales? Here's How To Do It.

by Matt Carracher
 | 
18 January 2016

On the receiving end, customer-­centric service rates highly for customers, with 60% or more happy to pay more for a better experience.

Even with the growth of digital interactions like live chat, phone calls remain the most common, and often most preferred, way for your customers to interact with your business.

With such customer enthusiasm for the channel, why is delivering a positive call centre customer experience (CX) proving to be such a barrier?

In this article, we’ll look at a few of those roadblocks and what you can do to remove them.

Stop thinking in numbers

The top three reasons businesses invest in CX management are to improve and increase the following:

  • Customer retention (42 %)
  • Customer satisfaction (33 %)
  • Cross­selling and up­-selling (32 %)

Roadblock #1: stop viewing your call centre as a cost centre. Instead, start looking at it as an important research and development (R&D) asset.

Your call centre is one of your most vital links to the customer, and it’s often one of the first areas of the business you can start to optimise to drive customer happiness.

That’s right, happiness.

Customer service isn’t simply a means to an end (a sale). Sure, your customers are pickier than ever before, but you can use this to your advantage by tapping into the call centre to open up meaningful interactions with them.

For example, it’s no secret that most marketing powers­-that­-be use focus groups for R&D, but the very best R&D resource you have is your call centre. In fact, Jeoff Bezos, head of Amazon, works in his call centre once a month, so he can fundamentally understand the core problems his customers have.

Bezos has built a company on a die­hard philosophy of serving the customer across all departments, all the time.

This cross­-organisational focus effectively brings the customer agenda up to the executive level – just by getting the executive team in touch, real quick, with what’s actually happening on the ground. That’s not just invaluable research, it’s also seriously great CX.

Make it multi­channel

25% of customers utilise one to two channels when seeking customer care, and 52% of customers utilise three or more.

Roadblock #2: not anticipating this behaviour. The solution? Get your automation processes up to scratch.

Automation is a hugely important key in re­-engage customers who have reached out to you through a number of platforms, or touch points.

Something as simple a timely, well­-written acknowledgement email will go a long way in improving their brand perception, and it may just be the thing that takes you one step closer to closing a sale.

Here are three simple ideas you can action today:

  • Personalise your automated emails by using the customer’s name, and include avoucher (10% off, free shipping) to show your customer that your value their business
  • Included links to relevant content, or answers to common questions, in your automated responses – regardless of the channel
  • Loop in your team to expedite your response times – notify your customer that their query is being dealt with, and route all relevant feedback to your team.

It bears repeating: your customers are willing to pay more for better service and a superior experience. Seize the opportunity to deliver a better service across all channels by getting your automation processes up to par.

Hand it to your staff

Almost a fifth of respondents to a recent Business Systems survey said that said that they felt call centre management should be giving staff more responsibility to enhance customer service.

Roadblock #3: not empowering your staff to fix the customer’s problem.

A great way to get around this, while gaining some serious insight into your call centre scripts, is to ask your best closers to put their hints and tips into a workshop format to share with other staff members.

Ask top­performing staff to draft an example script, and then repeatedly test it to see what it is that’s working.

They key here is to not punish other staff members who mightn’t be hitting their targets, but to create a staff­led learning environment that empowers and educates the whole team.

The next step? Provide your staff with the tools to execute on any insights.

Build your toolbox

Roadblock #4? Not thinking about how you feel when your call gets passed along a chain.

It’s a horrible, time­consuming experience, right? So get rid of it. Start by looking to your customer relationship management (CRM) program to focus your understanding on the customer’s context at any given point in time.

Your staff need to be able look up the customer’s previous order history, see every issue they’ve had in the past, and see where they’ve been on your site, all in a few clicks.

Another method is to incorporate selling use cases. Again, look to your top closers, get them to work with management to document typical customer use cases, and then be diligent about having user acceptance testing (UAT)-­quality assured specialists work through them, kind of like mystery shopping for call centres.

The next step is to continuously report back on these use cases so that the entire organisation’s understanding of the customer’s context gets tighter, and more targeted.

Technology is helping contact centres develop a more customer­-centric service, but a focus on your team means you can actively create a more collaborative culture that empowers staff to help your customers in any way they can. And that’s where the magic will really happen.

Ready to optimise your call centre? Find out more about Salmat's contact centre offering here or call us on 1300 725 628.

 

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About the author
Matt Carracher
General Manager - Marketing Solutions