We live in an age of instant meals, on-demand entertainment and same day delivery. People and their expectations have evolved to come to expect this. They have become accustomed to expect fast results, available customer service and are increasingly impatient.
The first point of personal contact for many businesses is still via the telephone. The manner in which your company will be perceived will be determined in the first few seconds of contact. Receptionists who lack a pleasant demeanor do more than merely annoy your clients or customers and the potential harm for your business and it’s reputation cannot be understated.
A lack of concern and no vested interest in a company’s affairs, has unfortunately created the perfect environment that will kill your future growth and trust in your business or brand. There are a variety of factors that can damage a company’s reputation and none causes more immediate harm to your bottom line than lost business. Signing a new customer can cost 4-10 times more than keeping an existing one.
The overwhleming majority of customers have ended their relationships with a business due to poor customer service. According to a survey commisioned by Interactions Corp., IVR systems continue to alienate customers, with close to 83% stating that they provide only a cost savings benefit or none at all. Most customers prefer speaking with a live human being, rather than navigating an impersonal synthesized voice prompts.
Even when a live human is on the other end, the way in which the customer is dealt with can either make or break a sale and most certainly affect future sales. Most people are willing to pay more for better service. When businesses seek to save on cost of labor and outsource their call answering services, they have a lot of options to choose from. The temptation for the business owner seeking to boost his bottom line, is to go with the cheapest option available. The old adage: “You get what you pay for”, is especially true in the realm of call center or answering service operations.
Time is Money
In an industry where time literally is money, calls are handled very differently depending on the quality of the call center and its staff. Calls are met with either an automated answering service, or an actual individual. In an attempt to remain competitive, many call centers offer little to no training and staff are strongly encouraged to keep calls extremely short. The corners that are cut to save a few bucks can be detrimental to your business or brand.
Outsourcing overseas is one of the easiest corners to cut, and so are home based operations. Reduced wages offer big incentives that many call centers take advantage of when cutting costs. Utilizing remote staff reduces overhead and operating costs. Businesses seeking the lowest cost per call are often attracted to these call centers, and rarely understand the consequences.
In environments where labor is cheap, unsupervised and with low morale, there is little incentive for excellence. Custom call packages are non-existent in these operations and your customers will know the difference.
The Price You Pay For Bad Service
A few years ago, a well known technology manufacturer started suffering heavy retaliation by its own customers. They were frustrated by the poor service and notoriously bad support, due in part to outsourcing their call centers to India. The web is littered with video rants and reviews, with yet more websites bashing them and their poor customer service.
The negative stigma attached can become very hard to shake, and needless to say, will develop into a PR nightmare. The easy access to review sites give many angered customers a voice to vent their frustrations. The resulting problem now causes a permanent record of the company’s failings, scaring away future business. What’s the fix you ask? Try forking out tens of thousands in online reputation management each month.
Before you outsource this vital part of your business, seek out companies with good reputation and those that have been in business for a while. Call centers that have low turn-over and have on site staff tend to offer a much higher level of service. Happier employees will translate into many more happy interactions with your clients. The call centers who invest in more advanced training, and who offer bilingual services, will undoubtedly elevate the quality of interactions with your clients. Call centers of this high caliber often offer custom services as well, giving you a seamless transition and operate as a true extension of your business. Your clients may never know that they’re dealing with a call center. The end result is a boosted bottom line due to satisfied customers, better PR for your business and higher customer retention. Isn’t that the ultimate goal of any business?
If you’re seeking a custom high quality call center, look no further. Get a free, no obligation quote today.
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