By Dana Allender
For many years, when an organization turned to a call center outsourcer to make and take phone calls on its behalf, there was just one major consideration: cost. Times have changed, however, and now organizations are beginning to see call centers less as a necessary expense and more as a strategic avenue through which they can engage and retain customers.
With today’s hard economic times, companies are looking for teleservices providers that can not only deliver expertise but also reflect the true culture of their company. The bottom line is that companies don’t need a call center; they need a solution to assist them in achieving their business objectives. The solution needs to be flexible, scalable, and easily deployed, while generating quantifiable and measurable results.
No longer do companies want a call center that just handles its calls; they want a strategic partner that serves as an extension of their organization and understands the specific needs of its customers and callers. Using a call center that focuses on quality and strives for 100 percent customer satisfaction gives an organization an advantage over competitors who take a cost-savings approach to their phone-based marketing and customer service. However, the call center must be able to do more than just talk a good game; it must be able to deliver the results it promises.
People expect performance right out of the gate; they need to see how it affects their profits. The outsource call center must prove that it can successfully execute strategy and produce results at or above their clients’ expectations, whether it is generating new sales, reducing costs, or retaining customers. The outsource call center partner should be brought to the table at the beginning so that they understand client goals and objectives and also are able to provide insights from their years of experience about how to achieve those objectives and overcome any challenges.
One issue for marketers today is that consumers want to be reached in specific, individualized ways. Therefore, to maximize its marketing and customer care efforts, an organization must have an in-depth understanding of its customer base. A good call center can provide a wealth of experience in targeted marketing to different segments of the market based on multiple demographics.
Businesses and consumers don’t want to be “mass-marketed,” but in the past it’s been cost prohibitive to reach every one of them individually. Now, however, with each person having his or her own unique ways of wanting to be communicated with, it’s up to each company to uncover those ways and deliver them.
In today’s economy, where competition for customer is extremely competitive, the strategic use of call centers can provide a company with far-reaching benefits to achieve its goals and find profitable solutions to its unique business problems.
Dana Allender is the director of business development for the teleservices company, InfoCision Management Corporation.
[From Connection Magazine – January 2010]