Chat, phone, email, or internet messenger – which is the best call center solution for a company? The answer to this is, ALL OF THEM!
Call centers some years ago were populated with headset-wearing operators for inbound and outbound calls. They were located in one physical space but because of the pandemic and health concerns, many are now working from home. Nowadays, call center operators have options for communicating with a company’s clients. They have email, chat, and IM, along with the standard phone facility. The popularity of social media has paved the way for another fast way to interact with clients.
The challenge for companies is finding the most effective means. But there’s no need to sweat this out! A company can use all of these opportunities when available.
Traditional or Digital Means
Customers are now used to communicating using various media. However, there are still factors to consider – age, familiarity, experience, and comfort level using technology. Even client location should be considered.
The millennials are more adept with smart phones and laptops. They would most likely prefer communication through SMS or IM. Seniors may have difficulty with engaging using social media and email would be a preferred method. Studies show that 85% of those above 65 years old would most likely send an email to the company.
Despite the trend, call centers can improve technology investments in digital communications, together with traditional communications. Seniors and the younger generation may have different preferences when it comes to how they communicate. A recent Consumer Reports survey revealed that 1 out of every 5 people would still want to call through telephone and talk with a real person for customer service. 2% prefer live chat and the rest would send an email.
This is the reason why call center answering services are still proliferating. Despite the availability of communication tools, the phone is the very first tool that people resort to for inquiries or complaints.
Value What Customers Decide
A company’s customer service must provide options or choices for people on how they want to communicate.
The choices can be fitted to the scenario they have. Some have opportunities to use live chat when they have access to the company website. A contact email address would work for people who want to send details for the inquiry or complaint.
Time is of the essence for some clients and a live chat facility is ideal. People do not want to be put on hold for phone calls. This shows weak customer service support. The same Consumer Reports survey found out that 60% of respondents prefer a method depending on the nature of the situation. An emergency needs an urgent solution and reply and should always be a high priority.
Customers want to use the phone most of the time if they do not know there are other communication tools available for them.
BPOs and their call center operations must be ready to provide communication tools other than the telephone. The service must always have the ease of customer use and responsiveness in mind. A call center solution best fit for the company requirements must be put in place for better customer service.
Callers must not be routed to a voicemail or placed on hold for half an hour. Live chats must have operators knowledgeable and available to reply to any complaint or question given at any time. Email response time should be publicly stated to be between 24-48 hours. Customers can expect a reply within those timeframes and when possible should be sooner than stated.