A Company’s Strategic Resource
For years, call centers were thought of only as a means for handling transactions. Whether it was purchasing airline tickets, renting a hotel room, or paying off a credit card, most people would associate call centers with a transaction process. However, call centers should no longer be viewed in that light. Now, call centers should be viewed and valued as a strategic resource vital for any company.
Perceptions of Today’s Customers
The needs, perceptions and opinions of customers have enough power today to shape a company’s direction. Because of this, most business experts would agree that a call center needs to play a more prominent role in a company’s business strategy. Daily interactions between call centers and customers gauge the positives and negatives within a company. A properly trained call center representative can strengthen the relationship between company and customer – thus strengthening the company’s brand and boosting profits.
Benefits of Training Call Center Representatives
Ideally, each call center representative is well trained in how to handle every kind of customer. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. To get the most strategically out of a call center, a company must place an emphasis on training their representatives. Call center staffers must be trained on how to properly listen to a customer and understand the true value of them. If a representative treats the customer as a valued part of the company that is vital to its success, a strong, trusting relationship between customer and call center is sure to take place. A representative that is trained to manage and grow the customer asset is one that is in line with a company’s strategy for success.
Growing the Relationship
One key example of a call center representative being focused on growing the relationship between company and customer is a customer that is irate over a small service charge. If the representative has the authority to waive the fees as opposed to following procedure, charging the customer and perhaps aggravating them, it is in the best interest of the company to do so. Having call center representatives trained to read the situation and do what is best for the customer relationship is a huge strategic resource. Instances such as this may cost the company a few dollars at the time, but what is lost will be gained, plus some, when the happy customer inevitably returns in the future.
Redefining the Call Center Roll
Rethinking the role of a call center as more than just a means to conduct a transaction allows a company to put more emphasis on the relationships built and data collected within. A strong relationship built between the customer and a call center representative can mean a customer is more willing to share information to be collected and used for marketing. This is more than just having someone provide credit card information over the phone. For example, a travel company’s call center being able to collect travel preferences allows the company’s marketing team to strategically target their wants and needs at certain times of the year. The more targeted this travel company’s marketing strategy is, the more likely they are to book vacations. Knowledge is power, and the data collected within a call center can play a key role in the success of a business.
In short, call centers are a huge strategic resource for a company. Focusing on proper training of call center representatives can lead to tremendous success. Those that are properly trained will know how to build strong relationships with customers, collect the proper data needed for future marketing strategies, and do what is necessary to please the customer and keep them coming back for more.