6 Essential Contact Center Requirements
Is your business delivering high-quality customer care with modern contact center sales and service? If not, you could be missing out on revenue: A Salesforce survey on customer expectations found that 57% of people stopped doing business with a company after they’ve discovered a better customer experience (CX) with a competitor.
“57% of people stopped doing business with a company after they’ve discovered a better customer experience (CX) with a competitor.” Click To Tweet
In other words, your ability to satisfy your customers could be the deciding factor between you and your competition. Even if you’re currently dominating your niche in every other way, the quality of your customer service could dictate whether you continue to do so in the future.
That’s why so many businesses are outsourcing their customer care efforts. By partnering with an on-demand contact center service provider, companies can ensure that they’re doing their utmost to satisfy customers by meeting them on the tech channels they prefer on an around-the-clock basis, and at a budget-friendly price point, to boot.
Yet with a crowded market of outsourced call center service providers, it isn’t always easy to determine the right choice. With that in mind, we’re following up our earlier look at 5 essential contact center components with six more requirements to keep in mind when choosing an on-demand service provider.
6 Essential Contact Center Requirements
Contact Center Requirement #1: Fast Service (and the Data to Prove It)
There’s a good reason why one of the most important contact center metrics—the data points by which a center’s performance is measured—is the speed with which customer calls are answered and resolved: People demand it. According to a CX report from McKinsey & Company, three-fourths of consumers expect service within five minutes of contacting a business.
Luckily, this requirement is easy to measure. Your service provider should be able to regularly show you statistics on important metrics, such as average customer hold times and call-resolution rates. Furthermore, they should provide this information to you voluntarily via regular performance reporting. And if they have quality contact center analytics in place, they should be continuously improving this metric, too.
Contact Center Requirement #2: Staffing Flexibility
Providing a quality CX means having highly trained and skilled agents with access to the latest customer service technology. It also means having a staffing strategy to ensure that quality agents are always available, even during seasonal fluctuations (like the all-important holiday shopping season).That way, the speed and quality of your service doesn’t lag during busier times of the year.
On top of that, your customer service staffing plan should be able to scale up to accommodate special marketing campaigns or product rollouts, or industry-specific campaigns, such as special enrollment periods. Ideally, you should be able to easily scale down during periods when activity decreases, without having to lay off high-quality agents.
An on-demand contact center service provider should be able to provide the personnel you need to handle any of these situations without having to hire additional staff or rely on less-than-qualified temps. In other words, you should always have access to high-quality reps, whenever you need them, without incurring any additional operational additional expense.
Contact Center Requirement #3: Cultural Synchronicity
To ensure the satisfaction of your customers, it’s important to communicate in their languages and dialects. Because offshore call centers were prominent for so many years, a stigma has developed against customer care that’s based in other countries. When you partner with a U.S.-based call center service provider, you’re ensuring easy communications between customers and agents.
Contact Center Requirement #4: Multilingual Capabilities
Even if your customer base is limited to the United States, it’s important to remember that America is a melting pot comprising a variety of different cultures. Therefore, it’s in your best interests to communicate with each segment of your potential customer base as effectively as possible.
Expecting your onsite customer service staff to fluently speak Spanish as well as English—and occasionally other dialects, too, like Chinese, French and others—may be a tall order, particularly if you’re located in a smaller metro area. So when you partner with an on-demand contact center, make sure it has the capability to help you provide a fully multilingual customer experience.
Deeper Dive: The Importance of Multilingual Contact Center Agents
Contact Center Requirement #5: A Backup Plan for Outages
When putting together a plan for effective CX, it’s essential to safeguard against unexpected downtime, which can have a seriously negative effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty. And if you’re basing all of your communications efforts from your own facility, then you’re facing a serious risk should some regional event cause an unexpected crisis.
And in an era when natural disasters seem to get worse every year, those events are by no means rare. Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods and other extreme weather events have become distressingly common. There’s also the threat of outages causes by manmade causes, such as power grid failures (which recently beset New York and Washington, D.C.) and even, unfortunately, terrorist attacks.
It’s important, then, to make sure that your outsourced call center has a regularly updated disaster backup plan. Ideally, that company will have a large enough foundation to disperse its data centers across multiple sites, and to employ enough agents in different parts of the country to ensure that personnel are always available to fill in should a specific region be impacted.
Contact Center Requirement #6: Cloud-based Technology
Finally, you should ensure the service provider has a sophisticated, cloud-based technological foundation. Besides helping to ensure a cost-friendly solution thanks to more accessible tech availability, cloud-based communications offers more rapid deployment and upgrades, and the easier integration of evolving technology to better meet shifting customer patterns.
What Other Contact Center Requirements Should You Seek?
Of course, in addition to all of the items on this list, you’re likely to have an additional set of contact center requirements specific to your own unique operational needs. And a quality service provider should be able to meet all of those needs, and then some, going above and beyond in its mission.
With more than 20 years of experience helping businesses of all sizes, and across a wide variety of industries, achieve the best possible experiences, Working Solutions is the perfect choice for ensuring that you’re not only offering high-quality customer service, but also positioning yourself for success with long-term growth strategies that get real results.
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