5 signs your contact centre needs an upgrade

Your contact centre could be the only point of communication your customers have with  your business after the initial sale. The ability for your customers to get in touch with you could be the difference between a one-time sale and a relationship that lasts decades.

you contact centreCustomer service should be at the top of your list of priorities and having a reliable contact centre is the best way to ensure your customers are happy with the service you provide. But what happens when it all starts to go wrong? How do you know that you need to upgrade your contact centre, or start to consider contact centre outsourcing?

In this article, we look at the 5 signs you need to look out for in your contact centre to know it needs an upgrade:

Losing customers

This is the big one. If your customer service is not working, you will lose customers. If you lose customers, they will inevitably go to your competitors–which is unacceptable for any business.

You can tell you have lost customers if there is a dip in profits at unusual times, if a competitor has an issue with  one of their products and it doesn’t lead to a flood of new customers for you, or if old customers are not remaining loyal to your brand. Not all these will be a result of an outdated contact centre, but they could be signs your contact centre requires an upgrade.

Customers tend to call a contact centre to deal with queries about your product or service, or fix an issue that has crept up. If they do not get the help they were expecting then it is reasonable for them to go elsewhere. Calling you is literally a cry for help. You need to provide the help in a quick and timely manner, otherwise it could seriously damage that relationship.

Bad tracking

‘Where is that customer?’ is not a question you ever want to hear in a contact centre. At all times you should know where the customer is, what their issue is and who the correct person to fix it is. If you do not have all this information, then your contact centre is in serious need of an upgrade.

There is nothing worse for a customer than to be passed around from agent to agent without their query being answered. You need to make sure customers are happy to call your contact centre in the knowledge that you are quick and efficient to help them. Tracking their query and call is the best way to ensure they are not only willing but happy to pick up the phone.

Tracking calls correctly not only helps with customer service but also product development. If issues are properly tracked, your business will be aware of the common issues around your product or service. The next time you look at developing new services you can make sure these issues do not happen again. With fewer issues you will gain a reputation for listening to your customers, and ensure that they remain loyal to you and your brand.

Tracking your customer interactions will also assist in crafting your digital strategy. With a clear understanding of your customers, you will be able to the deliver relevant and targeted content that  resonate with audience’s preferences and interests

Few methods of communication

Some people like to call and speak to someone, others prefer speaking via chat, others might like email. How many different ways do you offer customers to get in touch?

With all the methods of communication available to customers now, you need to make sure they are comfortable getting in touch in any way they like. Believe it or not, every one of your customers does not want to spend 15 minutes on hold waiting to speak to someone. They might just want to understand how a certain feature works, and it is not always worth the time and effort to call up a contact centre and move through the interactive voice response for a 30-second conversation. Chatbots are a fantastic way to answer frequently asked questions, or even email if it is not a pressing concern. Expanding your methods of communication beyond voice calls could be exactly the upgrade your business needs.

Agent fatigue and low morale

Not all contact centre issues stem from inadequate systems; from time to time look at your employees. How are they feeling? Are they tired? Or bored? Contact centre agents are operating in cramped conditions answering calls from annoyed and frustrated customers for up to 10 hours a day.

Customers see calling your helpline as the last line to solving an issue with your product or service, and the first person they talk to at your business may not be able to give them all the answers. It can very quickly become tiring to hear complaints all day, even for the most positive person. But what can you do?

The first thing to do is speak to your employees and discuss their concerns. Train agents how to deal with frustrated or, sometimes, angry customers. Introduce a reward system to give agents something to work towards, and be realistic–there is no point having a reward system that is too difficult to achieve.

You should also consider outsourcing your contact centre. The outsourcing provider has the experience to manage agents with low morale and difficult customers, and to create a happy, productive workforce.

No feedback

The best place to start with upgrading any system is to fix any outstanding issues. The best way to do that is to look at any feedback from customers about the service your contact centre provides. If you don’t have any feedback that is an issue in itself.

Customer feedback is the only way to discover recurring problems with your contact centre service. You should be looking for feedback from your customers after every call. You should have the customer’s email and telephone number for this purpose alone.

If a customer has a bad experience, they will be more than willing to share it with an anonymous feedback form. If they have a good experience they will give you 10/10 just because they have had no issues, and this is something you can use in your marketing to great effect.

Train your staff to finish any conversation reminding customers to fill out the feedback form. Upgrade to a system that automatically sends a text message or email asking for feedback. You will quickly find feedback flying in, enabling you to fix any issues that arise, to ensure future customers will not have any issues and keep coming back.