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Ticking the boxes

Tue 1 Mar 2011
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Move to IP phone linesThe conversation about reliability of IP phone lines is fast becoming a thing of the past. Today there are many contact centres running on pure IP systems with crystal clear voice quality and high availability in place. It is still true that if you cut too many corners during implementation, you will end up with quality issues. However a professional IP systems company will be able to guide you through to successful VoIP implementation. One thing is certain though – VoIP technology does save money.Reduce 0800 costs with click-to-call, Skype or GoogleTalkToll-free inbound calls still come at a premium. Today there are more methods that are available to capture the inbound customer contact. Implementing a Skype or GoogleTalk line connected to your phone system is one method. The incoming call will be free to you and free to your customer. If the customer doesn’t have Skype, give them a click-to-call facility on your website.Send call centre staff homeAllowing staff to work from home helps business in two ways: it is a substantial cost reduction for business in space and office equipment; and studies show that staff job satisfaction and productivity increases when they are allowed to work from home.Increase revenueMost purchases today are researched online. Capturing customer interest right on the web will both shorten the sales cycle and increase sales. It can also allow better measuring of marketing efforts. This can be done in a few ways: Skype, GoogleTalk and web call back.When the customer is looking at your product and is ready to call you, you may want to make it easy for them to make that extra step. Clicking a button right there and then, when you are looking at the product online, is the easiest way. If you have Skype installed on the PC, the call can proceed straight into the contact centre. If not, a simple pop-up can request the customer’s phone number to initiate an instant call back.Some customers prefer instant messaging or screen chats to a voice conversation. Allowing customers to initiate the contact through instant messaging will capture interest from people who would not have otherwise called.Capture web dataToday’s technology also allows information about the web page that is the original source of the call or screen chat to be displayed on the call centre agent’s screen. This way the agent has a head-start – they know exactly which product the customer is interested in. This shortens the sales cycle and drastically improves customer experience.Keep customers satisfiedToday most customers will vent their frustration via social media – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, TradeMe feedback. The list goes on. Similarly, given the right tools, they will express satisfaction via social media.Monitoring social media and responding to customer feedback need to be included into customer care businesses process. Making it a part of the contact centre’s responsibility is one way to do this.A message posted on Facebook or Twitter needs to pop up in someone’s work queue if it is to be addressed. Addressing concerns quickly could turn a potentially damaging situation into increased revenue.Reduce call waiting times. One way this can be done is by reserving the place in the queue and calling back when it is that customer’s turn. Another way to do this is to display the queue status online as the customer hovers over the ‘Call’ button.Of course, the most talked about feature of social media is the "Like” button. The trick is to turn the "Like” action into a call to buy. I am looking forward to some neat marketing tricks where "Like” actions produce inbound inquiries, that result in eventual revenue for the business.

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