Building a Successful Call Center Strategy for 2013
January 04, 2013
By Susan J. Campbell
, TMCnet Contributing Editor
The call center may not always be the most innovative aspect of a company; however, as with every celebrated New Year, there are opportunities to help change that in 2013. First and foremost, the New Year serves as a wonderful opportunity to embrace a fresh perception of customer service as a whole, migrating from the standard, boring call center to the idea of being one that is key to winning over customers – one that is not a cost, but rather a revenue multiplier.
A recent Customer Think blog explored this potential, offering an examination of four areas that should be top of mind in the call center and virtual call center industries this year. For example, cultural compatibility is one vital ingredient when cooking up a perfect customer call center experience. Without it, agent know-how and the entire overall experience seem synthetic and forced.
Similarly, for the virtual call center provider hoping to up the ante this year, culture and values should be as equally important as the basics of efficiency and productivity. Companies should be taking this New Year to place unprecedented importance on customer-agent relationships. They are the foundation for creating an ideal culture for customer interactions; therefore, it’s not always about just being a problem-solver, but a friend for the customer calling in and a revenue booster for the company.
Finding the right fit is also crucial. When call center outsourcing first hit the scene, such a large majority of companies taking advantage of off-shoring jobs were so focused on cutting costs that they often didn’t pay attention to the number of providers they were entering partnerships with. As one can only imagine, fragmented relationships led to poor service delivery.
In light of this, a focus for 2013 should be on implementing the right partners according to not only culture, but size. For example, companies seeking the professionalism of outsourced call centers must be sure to select the perfect number of partners – the last thing they’d want happening is discovering they can’t satisfy all of their needs due to an overabundance (definitely not the way to get off on the right foot). This right-size approach lies parallel to ensuring the right attention is paid for the investment spent.
Agents continue to come in high demand, and this is not a trend spared in 2013. Agents who snag the best roles are those boasting the highest skill-set, the best education and who demonstrate the most sophistication when it comes to navigating call center technology and customer relationships.
While this trend of employing the best of the best is already expected in call centers throughout the world, the New Year serves as a good reminder to place an emphasis on some of the most critical aspects of these agents for optimum performance, such as those who can speak multiple languages – something that is always on call centers’ radars.
Again, the culture is critical to making direct connections between the company and the customer, therefore, outsourcing will continue to be heavily seen as companies continue to seek a cultural edge in various markets this year. Plus, the new partner won’t come with the status quo, giving the company the opportunity to create exactly the environment they want and need to drive success.
In related call center news, virtual call center and contact center software provider, 8x8 (News - Alert) Inc., recently revealed that it has set its Q3 2013 earnings date and conference call for January 24, in which the company will release its results for the period ended December 31, 2012. The company also recently revealed that its Chairman and CEO Bryan Martin (News - Alert) and CFO Dan Weirich be presenting at the 15th Annual Needham Growth Conference in New York City on January 15th.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo