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Keeping Phone Calls Relevant: Why Call Centers are Valuable
September 13th, 2016

Keeping Phone Calls Relevant: Why Call Centers are Valuable

Kathi Fuhrman

More than 80 percent of all businesses believe they offer an excellent customer experience. In reality, only 8 percent of their customers believe they do.Businesses are using social media, email, and...

More than 80 percent of all businesses believe they offer an excellent customer experience. In reality, only 8 percent of their customers believe they do.

Businesses are using social media, email, and live chat more to manage customer needs. As these communication methods gain popularity, the antiquated call center is losing its momentum. Many businesses move away from call centers to save money on high customer service costs. Think twice before you make this big mistake. Call centers still provide a great number of benefits for businesses.

Immediate response for customers

Customers expect answers almost immediately when they contact customer service. Social media and email don’t allow for this. Often times, businesses can’t keep up with electronic requests. In order to maintain low costs, they avoid employing enough team members to respond in a timely manner. Unlike social media, live chat offers a faster response but it’s not always immediate. Customers with complex questions and problems are more likely to become disgruntled when communicating through chat.

Call centers provide relief to unhappy customers as representatives have the ability to calm these customers down. Representatives can talk customers through a problem, telling them what steps to take to solve the problem.

Build and maintain customer relationships

Relationships play a vital role in business success. They are often lost or become irrelevant when businesses remove call centers. Solid relationships are built on connections and trust. Social media, email, and live chat make businesses appear robotic and unemotional. Customers utilizing call centers get to be “heard” (literally) and they can hear the emotion in the service representative’s voice. Both of these increase trust and connection between the customer and business.

Increase customer retention

Immediate response paired with strong relationships creates happy customers. Happy customers tend to become loyal customers and increase customer retention. It costs companies 5 times more to recruit new customers than it does to maintain existing ones. Call centers may have higher costs than more automated customer service methods. But, if you factor in the potential loss of customers, is it too costly?

Make your call center worthwhile

It’s not enough to just have a call center. Educate and coach customer service representatives on the value of their service. Make sure they understand why they are important and how their actions impact the business. Train employees on how to properly interact with customers.

Set goals for your service team that reinforces the importance of customers. Track these goals and compare them to overall customer satisfaction. Adjust training as needed to focus on areas that lack consistency.

There are plenty of financial benefits to using social media or live chat to communicate with customers. However, call centers have just as many benefits and cutting yours could negatively affect business. Satisfied customers are the lifeline of a business. Analyze the pros and cons before you go all in on automated, less personable customer service solutions.


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