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January 24, 2008

UK Tire Retailer Blackcircles.com Opens Call Center to Enhance Customer Service

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Online tire retailer Blackcircles.com plans to open a new call center to keep up with demand from Internet customers who like to get direct advice over the phone before making purchases online.
 
The retailer reviewed the Internet trends over the last year and realized that although customers may compare tire prices online, they still desire to speak with someone for expert advice before buying. This information led the tire firm to recruit new staff and invest in a new telecom system. Blackcircles.com also decided to re-train its existing staff in order to transform its headquarters (in Peebles, Edinburgh in the UK) into a phone support center.
 
Managing Director of Blackcircles.com, Mike Welch, said in a statement that one of the themes the company picked up from customers is that information on the Web does not “talk back.” Research also indicates that people feel there is a general lack of access to expert advice within the tire industry. By offering an expert call center operation, Blackcircles.com believes it can win more business by making the experience of purchasing tires online far more interactive.
 
Welch explained that, in addition to giving customers immediate expert advice, the call center staff will be able to check current market prices for tires across the Web. The goals is to ensure that customers are coming to Blackcircles.com confident they are getting the best possible service and price. He also believes that there is an opportunity to better connect with significant numbers of drivers through the new call center.
 
Although ordering online has become second nature for many people, Welch believes that in the foreseeable future there will still remain a demand for more traditional purchase methods. He noted that a significant number of drivers are used to going to garages and talking directly to service assistants. While customers are prepared to use technology to equip them with information, they still want to ask someone for advice before making a final deal.
 
Blackcircles.com has also further enhanced its senior management team with the appointment of Mary Lewis as Head of Operations. Lewis has more than 15 years of operations management experience in both the public and private sectors.
 
Lewis said in a statement that she is looking forward to enhancing the new call center operation and will be overseeing the training of staff to ensure Blackcircles.com continues to deliver high-quality customer service.
 

INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO East 2008 (ITEXPO (News - Alert)) is going on now in sunny Miami, Florida! For the latest show news, please visit Rich Tehrani’s blog.

 
Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha’s article, please visit her columnist page.

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