It may sound contra dictionary, save costs without changing your customer service telephone accessibility. Don’t you have to sacrifice something to achieve such a goal? Less time available, fewer employees on telephony or slowly phase out telephony. But that isn’t necessary. By making a thorough analysis of your current customer service infrastructure, you often discover that there are possibilities to save costs you haven’t thought of or come across before.
Love it or hate it
Telephone customer service is often a topic of discussion within and between companies. The channel evokes a kind of “love it or hate it” feeling. Some find it old-fashioned, cost too much time and money, and have more faith in digital channels where you can help several customers at the same time. The other is a fan because telephony is the only channel where you can really make a personal connection with customers and create trust. Where it doesn’t matter how long a conversation lasts as long as the customer ends the conversation with a good feeling.
Cost item or profit center?
How you feel about it, is often related to your opinion of customer service. Is it a cost item; a ‘must’ that should cost as little time and money as possible and where you see a high turnover of employees? Or is it a profit center, where employees continue to work for years, care for your company, and know a lot about it and your products? A department that contributes to customer retention, to creating fans, and to the company’s turnover.
Providing good customer service costs money. You need committed and skilled employees, the right platforms, and infrastructure. But if you set it up properly, it will also make you money. After all, it costs more money to acquire new customers than it does to keep the current ones. And to do that successfully, good customer service is an indispensable link.
Where do you start?
How can you save costs without affecting telephone accessibility? While retaining employees and opening hours? It starts with an analysis of the following:
- Which customer service platforms do you use?
- What functionality do you really need?
- How many suppliers of these platforms do you have?
- How many suppliers of customer service phone numbers do you have?
- How is the infrastructure arranged?
Not in control
If you work with multiple platforms, uniformity in numbers, control information, and data exchange is often a daily concern. You are not ‘in control’ and you lack the flexibility to switch between suppliers. This is reinforced by the fact that telephone numbers are often linked to the platforms. A platform change can result in no longer being able to use your recognizable service numbers and being temporarily unavailable. So, you don’t want to burn your fingers on that.
A logical attitude, but one that stops you from innovating and saving money. And one where at some point you run into that inevitable moment where the emergency bandages no longer hold, and things explode. Not literally of course, but no less annoying.
Party and platform independent
What to do? A good solution is to hire a voice channel expert with a high-quality routing hub with the right connections. Telecom carrier and customer service platform-independent. Such an expert can map out which platforms offer the best solutions for your company and connect their hub with your platforms. This way you can temporarily switch off one of your platforms or migrate to another environment. Without jeopardizing your customer service accessibility.
More insight and possibilities
This routing hub also offers companies a lot more insight into telephony traffic. Because all telephony traffic runs on one platform, you have access to more and more specific data than via the separate customer service platforms. These insights can be translated into actionable solutions. Like information about “drop-off moments” in telephony. Or when the lines become congested, the platform ensures that callers do not hear a busy tone but offer an alternative. For example, by providing them with an option to be called back when it is quieter. Or to receive a text message with a personalized link to the desired information.
Save costs and be optimally accessible
Now physical shopping is declining in times of COVID-19, the importance of (telephone) accessibility is increasing. Good customer service is crucial to consumer confidence and the reputation of your business. It is the key to sustainable success. Therefore, make sure that the accessibility of your customer service is optimally arranged. Without neglecting opportunities for improvement and cost savings.
If you want to explore the possibilities for expert advice, simply get in touch.
We’re happy to help you out.
This article was originally published in Dutch on Emerce.