Call Centres - Expensive overhead or valuable tool?

05 September 2012

Large retail groups can win more business by using their call centres more efficiently, but is yours geared up to ensure that the staff have the behaviours and processes to optimise what you offer to your customers?

Call Centres - Expensive overhead or valuable tool?

Coachworks Consulting believe that separating call handling from the service desk can be a catalyst for increased revenue and improved customer retention. Too many franchises are losing too many customers at the very point those customers start to deliver real profit to retailers and manufacturers alike.

Many retailers have already invested in expensive IT systems and call centres to try to address some of these issues. However, accepting that expensive IT systems can only accelerate good people, processes and performance rather than create them is an important part of starting to win the battle.

Only by recognising that it is the people rather than the systems in the call centres that ultimately deliver the results, can retailers start to boost business.

The following three pronged strategy is proven to deliver success

Employing call centre operatives who show natural empathy with customers is key. Building rapport with the customer will make it more likely that they will connect with your business and buy your products and services.

Allowing team members to critique their own performance after listening to recordings of their own call handling and receiving coaching from their manager will lead to a rapid improvement in the quality of call handling and, with that, improved results.

Allowing enough time for outbound calls to win back lapsed customers is vital. When times are tough, it is all too easy to look for opportunities to reduce head count and call centres often come under scrutiny. Creating the capacity to handle outgoing calls as well as handling incoming calls will pay for itself many times over. Think of call centre staff as an investment rather than an overhead.

Call Centres give franchised repairers an advantage over their independent rivals, but unless they are manned by a team that is well led, well motivated and well trained, much of this advantage is lost.

What then happens is that as warranties start to expire, the independent sector is marching ever onward, taking customers away from the franchised groups and it becomes increasingly difficult to win them back.

Take the challenge! Phone your dealership posing as a customer and assess how YOU would feel if you were a customer being handled by your business.

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