Sometimes, one shot is all you get. As harsh as that may sound, that is exactly the mentality that is required to succeed in any competitive environment. In our industry, whether it is taking a customer service call, or asking for a donation, our Communicators only have one opportunity to make sure each customer or donor leaves the phone call with a positive experience for the clients we represent. InfoCision has always been known for its impeccable quality, and that begins with our training process. That is why CUSTOMER magazine recently sat down with InfoCision Vice President of Training and Development Monica Ross to talk about how InfoCision ensures all of our Communicators understand the value of first impressions.
Time and Training in the Call Center – Monica Ross
Most companies know the key to long-term growth is generating repeat business. Repeat customers mean greater brand loyalty, higher referrals and a steady stream of sales. Adding a new customer also costs considerably more than retaining an existing one. Companies need more than just order takers. To be competitive in this disjointed marketplace you need call centers that can build outstanding interactions by being as professional and connected to the brand as your own employees are.
It really is all about the people on the phones. Your call center is the voice of your company, so it’s crucial to have mature, experienced professionals on the phones. The agents making and taking your calls are representing your company in front of your most valuable asset – your customers. Reputable call centers have highly selective hiring policies. At InfoCision the average age of our Communicators is 42 years old, close to 80 percent are full time and almost 75 percent are their family’s main provider. Successful call center companies will also have robust recognition programs to retain and reward top performers.
What separates brand ambassadors from typical call center representatives is their deep level of product and client knowledge, which can enhance the value of a call in a number of ways. Instead of just answering questions, brand ambassadors act as an extension of the brand they’re calling for, so they can do a better job connecting with the customer from the first phone call. They convey the feelings and voice of a brand. These ambassadors are also comfortable enough with the product or service lines to present other opportunities and upsell, increasing customer profitability. By enhancing brand value, brand ambassadors also add future value in customer retention. The real value comes after the phone call is completed: The prospect will have a stronger tie to the particular brand as well as a clearer idea of who the company is and what it has to offer. Even if it’s a purchase of a singular item, it’s a company that the customer will want to go back to.
When you know the product and client, and understand their business, you’re going to serve your client better, it’s that simple. In this economy where competition for customers is extremely fierce, strategic use of call centers can provide a company with far-reaching benefits to achieve goals, enhance market position and maintain your company’s good reputation.
Do you have any thoughts on the important role training plays in call center success? If so, be sure to leave a comment.