Businesses the world over are beginning to find out customer service is the key to success. With regard to their chosen brands and those brands' respective call centers, customers are driving the demand for interactive services that include video chat, texting, email support, and a host of other capabilities that reach far beyond the traditional phone call.
In addition to what TMC has previously discussed, a recent blog post at AT&T's Network Exchange lists several ways in which call center managers are innovating their businesses' practices by focusing on their customers above all else.
First, AT&T says managers are trying to meet customers where they are. This is not just a matter of location; instead, it is allowing the possibility that customers can reach customer service from any device regardless of where they are physically stationed. Managers want customers to speak to business representatives through social media and online video portals from their phones if they want and through voice or texting if necessary.
Once customers initially connect with their brands, representatives need to route them to the correct people who can answer their questions and solve their problems. Callers do not want to spend time jumping from person to person, and managers are using intelligent computer systems to help representatives route calls effectively and efficiently.
Smart managers are also beginning to measure success by their quality of customer service. Research has shown that not every manager is making the connection between revenue and customer interaction, but modern call centers are starting to add personal engagement into the equation when they consider their key performance metrics. To that end, managers are beginning to analyze representatives' performance with advanced tools such as speech analytics that provide measures of customer/representative interaction without forcing customers to fill out satisfaction surveys.
Finally, AT&T notes that call center managers are working with other business departments to make themselves more agile and more knowledgable. For instance, they may work with marketing departments to provide company salesmen with feedback about how social media is affecting overall customer satisfaction.
The face of the modern call center is rapidly changing, and managers in the know are adapting with the needs of their customers. They are responding to customers' collective desire for technology and personal interaction, routing and analyzing calls with speed, and ultimately making their departments more effective by tearing down the wall that has long existed between the call center and the rest of the business world.