There’s no getting around it: these days, your business absolutely needs a functional, effective, highly available customer service department, and, lately, data trends show customers remember a good interaction surrounding a purchase more than a good product. Thus, you need to do everything in your power to ensure customers can count on a positive experience.
So, before you invest too much time and effort into creating a customer service department without results you can confirm, you should make sure you have control over some of the technological and current standards shaping call centers business leaders consider a success today.
Opt for a cloud-based system
If you’re setting up your own call center for the first time, chances are you’re a relatively new business owner. This may further mean that your resources are limited and you don’t necessarily boast the full force of the manpower your business could use. Therefore, it’s critical you select system tools and software that not only align with your interests, but also come with a certain level of affordability.
Cost savings are always a priority of any profitable business, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should spring for the cheapest systems. Cheap, frequently, translates to mean a service is ineffective or that it will end up costing you more down the road. The same applies to free systems, which are often peppered with hidden fees, costs, or entirely ineffectively.
This is why cloud-based systems, like Bright Pattern Call Center Software, are making such a difference in the name of customer service for any number of businesses and service providers. Not only do they allow for remote customer service departments, which means you’re saving major money on added office space and call center hardware, but cloud-based systems also offer a good amount of automation and AI integration to set up interactive call menus, appropriately forward incoming calls, and offer callbacks so your customers, to name a few of the more celebrated features. Good hold music is low hanging fruit to capture a good experience, but you should go for the sure bet of gold! After all, customers who don’t feel like they’re spending an eternity on hold are happy, more likely to return and become repeat customers.
Be smart about your hours
When you’re starting out, running a 24/7 operation simply might not be feasible or economical. Whether you’re still building the resources to afford a night shift customer service representative team or currently unable to dedicate someone to troubleshooting in the early hours of the morning, there are plenty of reasons to avoid stretching your business too thin to accommodate the luxury of around-the-clock service.
In fact, many businesses are only making use of extended hours, expanding its customer service hours only for a certain amount of time after the regular business day has closed. Business studies show this is often only until 10:00 p.m., although some operate up until midnight, giving customers who work nontraditional hours extra time to get in touch without alienating the majority of consumers operating at conventional times.
What’s more, with the previously mentioned automation capabilities, you can extend your customer service reach without having to staff at off-peak hours. This is due in large part to interactive voice response (IVR). If you’ve ever called a hotline and had to navigate through a series of menu prompts, you already have an idea of what a difference this feature can make.
IVR allows you to provide basic information to the system without a representative on the other end of the line, and, depending on the time of day, it can either then direct the call to the correct department or allow you to set a callback time. That way, when a representative is able to reach out to the customer, they already have some basic information or the essentials and are able to assist with an inquiry or problem much more quickly.
Starting a call center, like starting anything good for a business, can be overwhelming, but, if you’re making smart software choices and properly weighing your needs with financial realities, you’re certain to find a solution that works both for your business and for your budget, all while enhancing an experience where it matters most–with the customer.