In general, what do people think of call centers?
Maybe we shouldn’t use that kind of language.
Within the industry we see the efforts that have been made to upgrade technology and improve the quality of service, but too often these are not recognized by customers and by other divisions of the business. Is this important? Yes – because false perceptions undermine the services call centers provide, and may even limit their ability to make a positive contribution to their company.
Here are three opinions that are still far too common – and why they are inaccurate.
1. Call Centers Cost Money
Well, of course they do – someone has to pay agent salaries and buy the software solutions like workforce management that allow them to fulfill their function. But the data they generate through that software, and other solutions such as speech analytics, can be used in a variety of ways to generate revenue for the company.
Call centers boost customer loyalty. They provide direct customer feedback on which products and promotions succeed and which do not. They generate positive social media posts after a good experience that boosts brand reputation.
2. They Will Soon Be Obsolete
Who uses phones anymore to contact a company? That’s so last century now that we have apps and websites and Facebook.
Sounds good, but visit any call center and you’ll realize we’re nowhere near that point yet – and may never get there. According to a NewVoiceMedia survey, 59% of customers still prefer to contact a business by phone, and 75% believe it’s the most effective way of getting a response.
Perceptions that call centers are on the way out may result in a company hesitating before investing in the technology resources that allow them to be successful.
3. Cost-Per-Call is the Only Metric That Matters
For companies that view call centers as a necessary evil, the objective is to keep costs as low as possible. One way this is measured is in cost-per-call. It’s a number deserving of attention – but it’s not the most important metric anymore. The focus instead should be on customer satisfaction, and that sometimes takes a little more time and creativity to achieve. Besides, lowering cost-per-call the wrong way can result in lowering customers as well.