Call centers are typically in charge of handling phone calls from existing and potential customers. These centers usually offer product support and conduct telemarketing or market research. For the most part, customers call in to make complaints or inquiries about products and services, and the customer service representative is tasked with providing the needed support.
Although it might seem like a pretty straight forward operation, managing a customer service center can be a Herculean task. It can also be quite stressful, seeing as you have to manage both staff and clients simultaneously. You also need to ensure that clients are promptly attended to and satisfied with your services. If you’re a first-time manager and unsure where to start, here are a few tips to note when taking over a new contact center.
Call centers typically work with data that may sometimes be sensitive. What’s more, the management and communication with customers is an area of responsibility that many companies outsource to these centers. For this reason, customer service center managers must ensure the safety of their client’s data. This is when cloud technologies and cybersecurity comes in.
It’ll help if your center uses a reliable cloud storage platform that helps prevent ransomware attacks and keeps sensitive data well-hidden—providing access only on a need-to-know basis. This is all in a bid to keep the sensitive information of customers safe.
Companies like AVC Technologies (also known as American Virtual Cloud technologies) can help on that front. This is a United States-based cloud computing and cybersecurity company that offers hybrid cloud services. The cloud services they provide are more or less a bridge between private cloud services and public cloud services.
They also provide business communication tools that help customer service agents and offices ameliorate their internal communication systems and increase productivity and efficiency. In addition, AVC’s cloud systems are sufficient enough to ensure effective collaboration amongst workers. Large and small businesses, as well as government agencies, can operate an omnichannel contact center with their help.
You often hear many people say, ‘Dress the way you would like to be addressed.’ In that same vein, as a manager, you need to dress like one. This means looking smart and presentable at all times. A suit, shirt, tie, and any official wear will look dapper for men. Lovely suits and nice pencil skirts with crisply pressed shirts are acceptable outfits for ladies. Get a couple of go-to pencil skirts or other comfy and nice looking business outfits that can function as your professional wear.
White House Black Market is a women’s fashion brand that offers quality outfits at affordable prices. They equally have a wide range of clothing for their customers to choose from. More so, each item has been meticulously tested for comfort and quality so that you only get the best designs and outfits. They also offer free shipping on a $125 minimum merchandise purchase as well as gift cards, coupons, and discounts—which can be redeemed on their online store or in person in any of their boutiques.
Contact center software is a set of computer applications that provide the necessary functionalities to manage interactions with customers efficiently and ensure an optimal customer experience. This includes handling calls, electronic conversations, and receiving emails, etc.
As most call centers need to offer available services during their stipulated working hours, it would help if you used dependable and reliable call center software to make it a lot easier to run the company. Your chosen software must be easy to use and accessible by all customer service agents.
One example is software offered by brightpattern.com. Bright Pattern aims to make communication across contact centers easy, dependable, and fast. They believe that better customer service begins with innovative technology or software. To that end, they’ve created software that helps contact centers and agents interact with their customers efficiently. This can be through social media, SMS, live web chats, videos, messages, emails, or voice calls. The options to choose from are vast.
What’s more, this virtual and mobile customer service setup also reduces downtime as it lowers the average handle time. All you need is a good internet connection. You can also digitize and track the needs and complaints of customers to solve them.
The customer service department of every business is one of the hardest to run. Attending to people from different walks of life and backgrounds can be complicated. This is why you need to hire a qualified and experienced staff that is equally humble, patient, and tolerant—but firm enough to stand the heckling that sometimes comes from disgruntled customers.
Also, in this digital age, you need technologically savvy customer service agents who can use desktop applications, operating systems, and cloud platforms to offer customer support. So, during the interview session and selection process, don’t only focus on the candidate’s qualifications and degrees. You need to test their cognitive and emotional intelligence to see the value they can bring to the job. You also need to be transparent with them about what the business entails and demands. Be clear of what you expect, so they’ll be well prepared to work and give their best.
Regular staff training sessions are a must. This is because the agent has to know about the customer’s problem before they even have them on the line. This way, they can explicitly address the issue and offer a solution. The solution could be about a product the customer is enquiring about, or even a technical problem with a product already purchased.
It’s also fundamentally important that agents build trust with the customers. The best way to do this is with proper training and staff monitoring. Potential agents should also be time conscious and able to work under pressure, since most contact centers operate on a shift basis.
As a leader, you need to be firm with your subordinates, but that doesn’t mean you should mistreat them or be too harsh. Good leaders are known for the humility they exhibit. In this vein, you need to be considerate of their feelings and wellbeing. It’s not just customer experience you should concern yourself with, it’s employee experience as well. Although it’s often said that over-familiarity breeds disrespect, be friendly with them to a certain level, so they don’t mistake your kindness for your weakness.
Your employees need to feel comfortable and valued. They also need to know it’s a privilege to work with you so they’ll give their best on the job. Also, as an ideal manager, you need to recognize and appreciate your subordinates for the excellent work they do. This can go a long way to help with teamwork, reliability, and productivity.
Every good manager has goals on how they want to run the contact center. So, it would help if you had a well thought out plan on how you’ll achieve the call center’s goals and objectives. It would also help if you schedule a few goals within the plan, so employees will know what they’re working towards. Certainly, this will help prevent any setbacks when trying to meet deadlines.
Even more, setting achievable and sound goals can help you improve your contact center. It would be best if you were proactive in thinking and agile in your dealings as the manager.