Customer service and experience has been a growing priority for businesses, and in 2019 it is no different.
Businesses want to meet the growing needs, questions and concerns of customers, and a call or contact centre is a central and pivotal point where these can all be addressed. While some businesses may not feel they can justify the need for a call centre the truth is that a call centre can add value and efficiency if there is a glaring need for it.
If you’re struggling to answer your phones and simultaneously manage your online and offline customers, it may be time to consider setting up a call centre. To help you figure it all out, here are four signs your business is big enough to benefit from a call centre, written in collaboration with Merchants.
Unable to keep up with increasing queries
Customers expect almost instant communication or replies from businesses when they call or submit a query online. In 2018, Toister Solutions found that, out of 1025 survey respondents, almost 40% expected a reply to an email within one day, 21% expected a reply within an hour, and 13% expected a reply within 15 minutes. With regards to Facebook Messenger the trends were relatively similar, with 17.4% expecting a reply within one day, 12% within an hour and 8.9% within 15 minutes.
If you are unable to keep up with the number of queries flowing in and reply within these time frames, it’s certainly time to consider opening a call centre. If you can’t get to all the queries, resulting in customers persistently following up or, worse, dropping off your radar entirely, you’re on a slippery slope to potentially losing clients.
Drop in regular customers
Following on from the point above, if you start to see regular clients falling away, making less regular purchases or enquiries about products or services, it’s already too late. Customer satisfaction and, ultimately, retention should be a high priority, and you’ll know your customers aren’t getting the attention they deserve if their spending habits start to decline.
This is where the various customer service channels become extremely useful. An online messaging service, chatbot or Facebook Messenger become key channels for your regular customers to receive information quickly, while freeing up your phone-line for your call centre agents to take the time to deal with bigger and more important customer care issues. In this way, both small and big queries can be dealt with efficiently.
Drop in staff efficiency due to the attention on customer service
If you’ve started to see your staff slacking on deadlines or not producing the quality of work you expect from them, due to their time spent on answering customer calls and messages, your business is suffering without a team of dedicated call centre agents.
While there’s no harm in your staff learning the customer service ropes, and getting to grips with the types of queries your business receives and how to answer them, if it isn’t their core function and it’s negatively affecting their work, it’s time to organise a call centre and hire a team of dedicated customer service agents.
This sometimes can’t be spotted immediately, particularly if you aren’t on the floor to see what your employees are doing each and every day. If you see the quality and quantity of work declining, it’s a good time to sit everyone down and chat about the possible causes.
If you know that, in the past, the lack of a call centre has put a strain on your employees, then this could very well be the main cause. Putting a call centre in place will not only help your customers get timely and professional responses, but also allow your employees to focus their full attention on the job you hired them for.
While putting a call centre in place can be a big task that may require more time and dedication to your business than usual, it will set your business and your customer relationships up for long-term success. Whether you employ 50, 500 or 5000 people, an established business will benefit from the help of a call centre if the need is there.