Choosing a Contact Center Partner: Why Experience Counts

Understanding organizational limitations is a crucial requirement for a successful executive. If you’ve determined that your organization needs some outside assistance from a multichannel marketing partner to boost your contact center services ROI, you probably did so with the understanding that operating a call center is not among your core competencies.

You won’t have any shortage of options out there as you look for potential partner organizations: So how do you make a decision? As in any business relationship, vetting the vendor to determine how successful it’s been previously is always a good idea.

In the contact center space in particular, taking a close look at an organization’s history is crucial; the industry has and will continue to evolve quickly, so it’s important to know that a potential partner has been able to successfully adjust to new trends and technologies through the years.

In addition to adjusting to the industry as a whole, contact center services vendors with a history have had time to refine their hiring, training and quality assurance best practices. For instance, InfoCision provides exceptional Communicators—rather than merely call center representatives. These professionals are more than agents; they become true brand ambassadors for your business after receiving several months of training on your specific messaging. In other words, Communicators feel more like your own employees rather than outsourced workers.

Now you may be asking: “Does experience alone ensure a partner will meet my needs?” The answer is no, but an experienced partner with a proven track record of excellence and success guarantees a partner will do right by your organization. So be sure to do your homework before you sign on the dotted line.

If you’re interested in learning more about InfoCision’s history, click here.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the American Teleservices Association (ATA). He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s higher honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.

Rumors of Direct Mail’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Direct mail can get a bit of a bad rap these days. Often referred to sarcastically as “snail mail,” many people now view it as nearly obsolete.

An important distinction to make with print mail, however, is that although it is older than other channels, it is far from antiquated. That principle is supported by a plethora of recent statistics and reports, many of which reveal that consumers find print mail more personal than online communications.

Direct mail can still be extremely effective but, like a strategy for any other channel, it has to be tailored to specific consumer groups to achieve maximum impact. Customizing direct mail marketing, however, can seem like an overwhelming and time-consuming task for many companies. In that case, a multichannel marketing partner can be essential for businesses without the time or capability to drill down on data and personalize direct mail for different customer segments.

A true one-stop marketing shop has robust print solutions that fit seamlessly with phone, email, social media and other channels. Working closely alongside businesses to help them execute their strategies, these top-shelf marketing partners can actually break down information far enough—using sophisticated business intelligence—to create unique mail pieces with personalized messages for each customer.

Despite what you may hear, direct mail remains a critical ingredient for marketing success and probably will for some time. There’s a reason people generally don’t send wedding or gala invitations through email or on social media—print mail offers a personal touch other channels simply can’t match. In other words, implementing multichannel marketing solutions is always a good idea, as long as you don’t neglect the most tried-and-true method of all.

Click here to learn more about InfoCision’s print mail solutions.

 

Five Steps to Becoming a First-Class Customer Service Organization

As a business executive you are probably well aware by now that customer service is a top competitive differentiator. In fact, according to a recent report from research firm Walker, quality of customer service will overtake price and product as the single most important differentiator by 2020.

While that is certainly useful information, it’s doesn’t do a lot of good for businesses that don’t know how to improve their customer service practices. For those organizations, it’s a little like being told by a personal trainer to “get in shape” and getting no further instruction about how to do it. Of course on this blog, we are here to help provide perspective into creating great customer experiences. So here are some of the most effective strategies your company can employ to become a customer service superstar:

Embrace the Omni channel environment

The time when customers accepted a phone call as the only means of reaching out to a company is long gone. We live in a multi-channel world; if your customers feel limited in their options for a service request, they may not stick around.

Focus on Communicator development

Your contact center Communicators are often the first point of direct contact for customers and the determining factor in the impression they form about your company. With that in mind, you need to feel confident that every inquiry that comes in is handled by an experienced Communicator that has received robust training and understands the image you want to project.

Invest in a multichannel marketing partner

If training Communicators and refining contact center best practices are not part of your core competencies, it might seem like an overwhelming challenge. If that is the case, you can get the help you need by partnering with a multichannel marketing organization that focuses on nothing except providing excellent customer service. A full service partner provides your company with Communicators company-specific training before they interact with customers, meaning they are fully prepared to tackle any situation.

Adopt business intelligence

You might be tired of hearing about data analytics by now, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Every customer interaction, and every piece of information you extract from that interaction, helps your company improve customer service for the future—but only ifyou have the tools to make sense of it all. Great customer service is about personalizing the experience for the customer. You can’t do that effectively without data analytics.

Be transparent and honest

Nothing puts customers at ease like transparency—and nothing frustrates them more than dishonesty.  Think about your experiences with delayed flights. Wouldn’t you rather be given an honest estimate of your wait time rather than an unrealistic promise that gets broken every 20 minutes when departure is pushed back again? Everyone appreciates timely communication to help manage expectations.

Putting all of these plans in place at once may be overwhelming, so consider taking baby steps and implementing one at a time instead. Even if you don’t turn your customer service around 100 percent immediately, your customers will notice you are making strides—and they’ll appreciate the effort.