Article

The Important Role of Call Centers: A Guide for Keeping Your Customers

Luna Tidrick

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In many cases, call centers are the main point of contact between a business and its customers—sometimes even acting as the voice of the company. The interactions customers have with call centers can determine their trust and loyalty to the brand. The sum of these interactions can greatly influence a company’s reputation, determine if customers return, and ultimately affect its bottom line. 

Decades of research has shown that retaining existing customers is more profitable than acquiring new ones. In fact, Forbes reports it can cost five times more to attract new customers and according to research by Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company, in some industries a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an astounding 25% to 95% increase in profits.  Customer retention can be influenced when brands interact with customers whether on their website, in a commercial, or through their call centers. 

Successful companies know the importance of customer service when it comes to retaining clients and increasing profits. At SupportNinja, we partner with organizations to ensure their call centers are set up to deliver consistent, positive customer interactions. In this guide, we share the basics for building an excellent customer service team to make the most of your call center.

Remote worker at desk

The Right People

Entrepreneur, billionaire, and business magnate Richard Branson once said, “a company’s employees are its greatest asset and your people are your product.” This is especially true for call center employees. They are your greatest asset when curating positive customer experiences and ensuring retention. The ideal call center team is made up of people with the experience to help customers and the temperament to keep things positive. Here are some top qualities successful companies look for in their call center candidates:

  1. Has Call Center Expertise: This is a must. Every customer call is unique and each customer should be treated as individuals with distinctive needs. Knowing how to handle these varied situations comes with experience. 
  2. Enjoys Their Job: A call center should be staffed with people who are not only good at what they do, but also enjoy it. Customers are smart, they can tell when they are speaking with someone who is genuine and happy to help. When your call center employees enjoy what they do, they will go out of their way to support and delight your customers.
  3. Communicates Well: Call center employees need to have a tremendous ability to keep harmonious conversation with frustrated customers. They use techniques to keep calls positive and build trust by making things go smoothly. Continual communication and transparency throughout the interaction will go a long way in retaining customers. 
  4. Thrives In a Team Setting: Effective call center employees work as a team. Sometimes a customer may call in with a question the representative does not know how to resolve. That is where teamwork comes in! Representatives who work well as a team can openly ask each other questions and collaborate to find the best solutions for customers. 
  5. Manages Time Well: The best customer service representatives will have effective time consciousness. They will be sensible in processing concerns in a timely manner making their interactions efficient, reducing call waiting times, and increasing customer satisfaction. 

Picking the right people for your team will be the best thing you can do for your call center. Your people are at the core of the operation and will not only implement your customer service strategy but also serve as the voice of your company with many customers.

Building blocks

The Right Process

The key to success in the call center industry is to discover what your customers want, then deliver that experience. This happens intentionally as businesses ask questions about customer needs and create a team to meet those needs. Here is a process for setting up a team that addresses customer needs:

  1. Identify What They Need: The first step in customer satisfaction and retention is identifying the problems they may have and what customers need or want from your call center representatives. 
  2. Determine KPIs: Once you understand your customer needs, develop your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). At SupportNinja we like to use the following questions to determine KPIs:  1) “What experience do I want my customers to have?” 2) “What KPIs will measure the success of my support team in delivering that experience?”  It is critical to identify what you want to accomplish before getting to work. 
  3. Build Your Team: Hire a team with the experience and qualities to achieve your KPIs and ensure a positive experience for your customers. 
  4. Train Employees: Rigorously train your call center team to ensure they can achieve your KPIs to address customer needs.
  5. Review and Improve: Whether it is customer surveys, reviewing calls, or frequent meetings with your call center team, regularly review and analyze customer interactions. Doing this will ensure you are reaching your KPIs or will flag a need to readjust your strategy to stay on track.
Business partners having a meeting

The Right Partners

Investing in a high-quality call center will benefit your company's bottom line. Sometimes that means building your team in house and other times it may include extending your existing team by outsourcing some operations to a reliable partner. If you are looking for an outsourced call center partner, make sure they have all the resources, expertise and features you need; including live chat software and analytics tools. 

At SupportNinja, we provide a full suite of customer support outsourcing services including integrated business process outsourcing (BPO), 24/7 staffing, industry-leading employee training, and more. At SupportNinja we have the expertise to help you make data-driven decisions, scale your customer experience, and strengthen brand loyalty. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can partner to set up an outstanding call center and ensure positive experiences for your customers.