Managing a customer call or service center is a lot about managing the numbers. Both the macro ones – how many calls, how many agents. And the micro ones - how many calls can one agent take on, how many calls can one agent take on happily.
A lot of managing these numbers depends on our ability to work with that which we cannot see. Those invisible, but important soft-skills necessary to field a customer call responsibly and professionally to:
Connect quickly with the caller
Address their spoken and unspoken needs
Manage the call time efficiently
Deliver pleasant and genuine communication
Every call is an opportunity to perform the skills that leave a lasting impression. Which means that these skills are the real deal. And they produce real solutions.
The rise of access to information and devices has made it easier for the customer to call us. This growing accessibility has created an even stronger need for real solutions now.
So, what are real solutions in this business? What game plans, tools, and strategies exist for business leaders to manage real challenges? We need best-in-the-world resources to:
take on human resource struggles
keep costs down.
It takes real solutions to find the talent, resources, and strategies to control these challenges.
Case in point: In 2014, a municipal agency contact center in a city of eight million people was struggling. More specifically, their Customer Service Center was failing to manage some of these real challenges.
They were facing three, clear, yet complicated problems that were both systematic and cultural – a daunting and toxic combination in a business that thrives on efficiency of time, attention, and service.
Customers weren’t happy: As call volume in the Customer Service Center increased, the level of quality, care, and attention on calls decreased. Customers were regularly experiencing inconsistent and poor service levels.
Poor morale among those engaging with the customers: As call volume increased, agent morale deteriorated. This negative attitude led to poor agent work attendance, inferior work habits, and adverse customer interactions.
There was no budget to improve: There was no doubt that the increase in call volume meant longer wait times and lower satisfaction for customers. Resolving both or either situation required resources that wouldn’t break the budget.
It was a complicated and difficult situation. There was a disconnect because the existing vendor’s core business was not call centers. They failed to understand the culture and process by which call centers operate. Yet they were trying to be responsible to a community of over eight million.
This respective agency needed a real solution.
They conducted an 18-month long selection process to find a new partner to help them tackle and resolve these challenges. They were seeking a vendor committed to and capable of running its Customer Service Center. They clearly defined its expectations.
They wanted a partner who could:
Improve customer service levels
Increase customer satisfaction
Adhere to a strict budget
After reviewing proposals from a dozen companies, the municipal agency selected GCS Agents. GCS would be responsible for not only managing the struggling Customer Service Center, but also providing a strategy to maintain a culture of communication, trust, and respect that inspired a quality, customer service experience.
Because the GCS team understands the fundamental components that build, operate, and drive the success of a best-in-class customer service center, they were able to address the challenges by:
Enlisting customer service experts to manage reservations and resolve issues
Establishing a fresh company culture using local talent
Setting new expectations and standards for customer service that delighted the clientele
GCS ignited this transformation by taking an industry expert approach that also achieved cost and budget goals.
The results of the partnership have been game-changing for the agency internally and for its customers. In 2015, the agency was recognized for Best Customer Service Center in its class. It has regularly exceeded all contract Service Level Agreements (SLA). Customer satisfaction is at an all-time high with the center and staff. Now several years into the program, they are maintaining staff count commitments and keeping costs under budget.
Truth be told, real solutions are only possible when they’re fueled with real expertise.
Maybe it’s time for your business to consider the benefits of sourcing to contact center experts. Partner with an expert to gain the game-changing knowledge, professional power, and expertise for your people, processes, and customer service. When you add their customer service strengths to your core service and expertise, all stakeholders benefit.