5 Essential Call Center Tips for 2019
Is your customer care team ready for the year ahead? From expanding your tech footprint to using home-based agents, here are 5 key call center tips for 2019.
From a greater emphasis on social media to the importance of off-site flexibility, we recently explored the top customer service trends to expect in 2019. But it’s not enough to simply know what the future will hold: Real customer care success requires starting off the New Year fully ready to take on the challenges ahead.
With that in mind, here are five essential call center tips to help ensure that your customer care efforts not only meet but exceed the demands and expectations of your customers in coming months and beyond.
5 Essential Call Center Tips for 2019
1. Don’t lose the human touch. Automation is becoming increasingly used in customer care, and with good reason—it’s an efficient way to provide customers and prospects with instant answers to basic questions, a feature they increasingly demand.
That being said, it can also be risky to rely too much on automated responses. While consumers do appreciate quick answers to basic questions (like what hours your retail store is open), for more complex inquiries, they’ll want to speak to a real, live agent. That’s someone who cannot only answer basic questions, but actually engage in a conversation with friendliness, empathy and maybe even a bit of humor.
Taking this concept one step further, it’s also important to make an effort to breathe some humanity into the responses that are automated. The idea isn’t to try to pass off your website’s chat assistant as an actual human—that’s not going to fool anybody—but to inject enough humanity into those automated responses that your customers leave an interaction with a smile on their faces (as opposed to scowls of frustration).
2. Connect culturally with your customers. For interactions that are handled by live agents, it’s important to communicate not only in a language your customers and prospects understand, but in a conversational style with which they’re comfortable. For companies based onshore, that means making use of call center agents who are here in North America.
Offshore contact centers have lost some of their appeal. Today, customers are savvy and more demanding, and agents from a different cultural background are less likely to engage in ways that work to meet your operational goals. And because of innovations—the on-demand, remote workforce, which was pioneered by companies like Working Solutions—the cost of onshore customer care isn’t as prohibitive as it was just a decade or two ago.
In other words, if you’re truly looking to deliver a great experience in 2019, it’s a good idea to use a network of agents from the same cultural background as the customers you’re trying to reach. If you’re not doing so already, this is the year to start.
3. Be proactive. Having a proactive call center strategy for 2019 means meeting your customers where they prefer to congregate, be it an easy-to-find landing page, a kiosk at the local mall or social media hotspots, such as Twitter or Instagram.
The exact locations will vary, of course, depending on the nature of your business and demographics of your customer base. The point is, though, that it’s important to determine where the people who are most likely to engage with your brand are most likely to be looking for you—and then get a presence there, ASAP.
And we’re not just talking about setting up a cursory presence in those locations: We’re talking about offering 24/7 availability, so your customers know they can count on finding you there, whenever they want. That’s the kind of proactivity that leads to customer satisfaction, and even better, real customer loyalty.
4. Get tech savvy. If you haven’t already expanded your customer care footprint to go beyond basic channels, such as a voice line and email interaction, it’s time to get technological. More than ever before, customers in 2019 will engage with their favorite brands via smartphones, and the businesses that aren’t offering an easy-to-access mobile presence are likely to get left in the cold.
As our experts put it in a recent look at the rapid evolution of call center technology: “Just as the savviest, old-school business leaders embraced online selling at an early stage and leveraged it for their own growth, instead of being defeated by it, today’s businesses have the same choice: Embrace the new trends in contact center technology, or be left in the dust by the competition.”
In other words, it’s time to adopt an omnichannel strategy. That means not only launching customer care services on today’s most popular (and profitable) media via live chat and social media, it also means putting in place agents who are savvy enough to communicate on those channels in ways that get real results.
5. Get onboard with on-demand agents. Even for large, multinational companies, maintaining an elaborate (and expensive) onsite call center has become a real challenge, at least in financial terms. As technological channels continue to proliferate, and the hardware and software needed to keep up with them multiplies, managing and maintaining a proprietary call center just isn’t feasible for most businesses.
Of course, partnering with an on-demand contact center service provider like Working Solutions helps offset this expense in a big way. But maybe even better, it also offers a variety of additional benefits, including access to a network of remote agents with the flexibility and expertise to handle customer inquiries in ways that gives you more bang for your buck.
That’s because on-demand agents are passionate about customer care. These are highly skilled and experienced customer care reps who have chosen customer care as a career path—not just a means to earn a check. Because they can select clients, set their own schedule and don’t have to worry about commuting expenses, their level of job satisfaction is high—and that satisfaction readily transfers to the customers with whom they interact, too.
The Best Call Center Tip of 2019: Partner with the Pros!
Feeling overwhelmed by any of these call center tips for 2019? It’s not too late to enlist expert help!
Contact us today to learn how our industry-leading, on-demand contact center services can help you.Learn how.