Is Your Company in Call Center Denial?

cloud contact centers ease caller and agent frustration

Are you in denial about running a call center? Lots of companies are. They don’t think that the heavy incoming customer calls they take really constitute a “real” call center or—if email, web or chat is also involved—a contact center.  They’ve grown—often quickly—but can’t quite think of themselves as needing a call center, which they perceive as huge and expensive things, complete with a cast of thousands, taking calls somewhere in a cavernous room in their facilities.

Corporate Denial is Not Pretty

It’s human nature, I guess—kind of like what some of us discovered when we went shopping for a new car as 30-somethings. I don’t know about you, but my brain was still screaming “sports car” or “turbo-charged European luxury car,” and I had visions of zipping along on lonely winding mountain roads and feeling the wind in my hair.

What’s Your Company’s “Real Life” Like Now?

But when I really thought about it, the life I was leading was quietly insisting “mini-van”— driving for the company lunch group, picking up my kids’ social groups, and hauling stuff from the home improvement store.

That was my real life. Those everyday events outnumbered every fun midnight drive I ever took by, oh, I don’t know, a bazillion to one. I needed to face the fact that even though I thought of myself as a sportscar kinda gal, I was leading a mom-mobile life. (It was tough, but I learned to repeat, “My name is Lisa, and I need a m-m-m-minivan.)

Don’t Risk the Penalty for Running a Call Center While Unconscious

So what? Your company gets by—though customers might have to wait on hold, miss chances for self service, and maybe give up after the first missed call—giving your competition a chance to steal their business.  Or maybe your employees get frustrated whenever they call HR and can’t get quick answers about their health plans, family leave or 401K accounts?

Meanwhile, the people who work the phones end up feeling like they’re the last line of defense against hordes of irritated callers storming the corporate gates. And, they’re spending a lot more time than they would have if they’d had contact-center features designed to help answer questions and help callers more quickly.

The risk?

That’s the problem with running a call center unconsciously: It can cost you in efficiency as well as in customer goodwill and willingness to buy.

5 Ways to Tell if You Need a Real Contact Center

Your business might be running a call center unconsciously if any of these sound familiar:

  1. “We don’t have a call center—just a couple of guys answering phones.”
  2. “We’re just a help desk serving our own employees.”
  3. “We juggle inbound and outbound calls in sales, but we’re not a call center.”
  4. “Personnel is totally overwhelmed with questions about our health plan changes. Can’t we do something to get them some help?”
  5. “Why do our agents have the same glassy-eyed look—like they’ve just been in a firefight in Caller-ticked-off-istan?”

Not Your Grandfather’s Call Center

The good news is that cloud-based contact centers can give you these features as part of your monthly phone communications service.  No PBX closet, no huge monthly bills from Grandma Bell—just a cloud-based service that can be turned on quickly, supports agents wherever there’s an Internet connection and/or smartphone, and has all the features you need to manage calls so that customers come away from conversations impressed and satisfied with your ability to meet their needs.

And, you’ll get key features that often make the difference between success and failure with the people who do business with you:

  • Simple, complete reporting that shows how groups are performing
  • Smart call routing that gets callers to the right person—fast
  • Easy dashboards and wallboards that spark competition—and better management
  • New ways to collect customer contact histories that show ALL previous contacts—including phone, chat and telephone calls—so you can help them or upsell them when they call again
  • A chance to impress your callers—who are often customers—with how easy it is to do business with you

There’s No Longer Any Reason to Do Without

Don’t do without anymore. Lose the denial, and see how you can improve the way your company interacts with customers, prospects and other callers. And the beauty of the cloud is that you can scale your contact center up or down, just by changing your subscription. Join acclaimed customer service management expert Nancy Jamison and Max Ball in this March 31 webinar showcasing new cloud-based solutions. They’ll cover:

  • What your agents and workgroups really need
  • Management tools for success
  • How to get more customers to self service

Here’s the registration link. Now repeat after me, “My name is (insert name here), and I need a REAL contact center.”

 

Lisa Stapleton

Lisa Stapleton

Lisa Stapleton is a marketing manager at 8x8. She holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, an MA in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a bachelor's degree in applied math and physics from UC Berkeley. Read More>

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