You Can’t Expect the Return Without the Investment

If you’ve sustained a successful career in business—or even if you haven’t—chances are you’ve heard that “you have to spend money to make money” more than a few times. Although it may be a cliché, the saying also happens to be true, especially as it relates to contact center services ROI.

Put another way, you are only going to get out of your call center what you put into it. If your agents are inexperienced or unprofessional, customer retention is going to be difficult at best. If you don’t have the cutting-edge technology to optimize efficiency, you are going to lose out on potential revenue. At the same time, if running a contact center is not one of your core competencies, simply pumping money into the problem isn’t going to solve it. The key to getting the ‘R’ in ROI is being strategic about the ‘I.’

One great way to maximize your investment is by teaming with a call center solutions provider like InfoCision. When you outsource your needs to us, all the pressure of running a contact center is lifted from your shoulders and placed in our capable, experienced hands. At InfoCision, we don’t have call center ‘agents.’ Our call center employees are called Communicators because they exude professionalism that leaves customers with a lasting impression. This special breed of employees:

  • Average more than 40 years of age
  • Have an average tenure of more than 4.5 years
  • Receive up to four months of client-specific training and are experts on your brand by the time they begin interacting with customers

Teaming with InfoCision is more than a smart business decision; it is an investment in your company’s future. And once you make that investment, it won’t be long before you start to see a big return.

Click here to learn more about InfoCision’s culture and history.

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.

Why the ‘Contact Us’ Form No Longer Cuts It

By Steve Brubaker, InfoCision Chief of Staff

At some point in your Internet life you’ve probably experienced it. You visit a company’s website to ask a question about a product or service and, after looking high and low for some kind of contact information, you realize the only way to reach the business is by filling out a generic “Contact Us” form. There’s no direct email addresses for different departments or individual employees, no phone numbers, no social media account contact information—nothing.

 

As a customer, think about the message that sends. At best, the business doesn’t seem to care much about making itself available to address your issue. At worst, it appears the company simply doesn’t want to be bothered. Either way, you probably don’t feel valued.

 

Now, flip that scenario around. If your website doesn’t include multiple avenues for consumers to reach your business, you may be driving customers to your competitors. Chances are you have simply put updating your contact channels on the back burner rather than neglecting it because you don’t care. Still, you are sending negative signals to your site’s visitors.

 

Today’s consumers expect more intimate, personalized relationships with businesses. As such, making your business easily reachable is part of providing a high quality of customer service. With so many industries saturated with competition, customer service is now a major competitive differentiator. In an increasingly multichannel business world, if customers can’t contact you how and when they want, they’re likely to simply take their business elsewhere.

 

Just as they do when they speak with call center Communicators, customers begin to form opinions about your company as soon as they land on your website. The first thing you want customers to think when they attempt to reach you is, “That was easy.” And for that, you need to go beyond the “Contact Us” form.

Don’t Have Time to Screen Call Center Agents? Let Us Worry About That

In this fast-paced, 24/7 business world, your company has plenty on its plate—from marketing your products and services to handling finances to fulfilling orders to empowering your employees. In fact, more than half of small business owners still don’t have time to maintain their own website, according to a survey conducted by Google and Ipsos. With only so many hours in the workweek, your company might also not have the time, resources or experience to effectively screen call center agent candidates.

But there’s no need to fret as outsourcing with a trusted, strategic marketing and communications partner can help offload not only the screening process but hiring and training, too. It’s a perfect alternative for significantly improving contact center services ROI. For example, here at InfoCision, we are committed to hiring well-trained Communicators with professional experience that your company can enjoy the convenience of tapping into. These professionals will relay your company’s unique message to customers to help establish and sustain long-lasting relationships, boosting your brand value.

So what exactly differentiates our Communicators from typical call center agents? First off, rather than hiring inexperienced or non-committed individuals, we employ established professionals who are seeking career longevity and success. They are dedicated, experienced, mature and motivated. Here’s the evidence:

  • They are 42 years old on average and have a typical tenure of more than 4.5 years.
  • Almost 80 percent are full-time employees and two-thirds are a family’s main provider.
  • There are performance-based compensation opportunities, resulting in inspired and professional employees.

Furthermore, Communicators undergo meticulous, client-specific training so they become brand experts by the time training ends. And based on the Communicators’ passions, we are able to match them with their areas of interest, such as our customer care, political,  or nonprofit divisions. In addition, calls will be channeled to the most knowledgeable Communicators for specific inquiries because first call resolution, along with quality of customer service, are our top priorities.

We hope that your fast-paced business will consider taking advantage of our professional Communicators to ensure that customers and donors leave every call with a positive view of your enterprise. Click here to explore more.

The Importance of Delivering Contact Center Consistency

Consistency is crucial for any aspect of brand management and operations, but it is especially important for customer service. Providing a single first-class experience is great, but if your goal is to retain customers—and it should be—you have to be confident that your contact center is delivering a high quality of customer service with every interaction. But how do you ensure that your representatives handle each inquiry with care?

Consistent customer service starts with the employees delivering that service. That’s why at InfoCision we take a unique approach to hiring and training our Communicators. When you partner with InfoCision you get more than just an employee; our contact center experts become a personal yet professional extension of your own internal team and we ensure they are fully prepared. Our Communicators:

  • Have an average age of over 40 years and an average tenure of more than 4.5 years, and 78 percent are full-time employees
  • Receive up to four months of client-specific training and are brand experts by the time training is complete
  • Are provided the opportunity to earn performance-based compensation and, as such ,are committed to the highest level of professionalism

When it comes to interactions with your business, customers have a long memory. It takes numerous positive experiences to make up for a negative one—that is, if the customer even decides to give you another chance. With that in mind, our Communicators immerse themselves in your company culture and core competencies before ever taking a call and are better equipped to handle a wide range of customer concerns as a result. Additionally, because they know your brand so well, these Communicators can consistently project the image and deliver the message that you want.

An easy way to think about best practices for contact center operations is to remember that your service is only as good as the last experience you provided. So it is critical to make sure you have experienced, professional Communicators in place to handle every call like it’s the most important your company will ever receive.

Five Attributes Every Great Communicator Needs

Every second that a call center rep spends stumbling over facts about the company’s product or putting a customer on hold to find information is a second wasted on the customer service front. And, eventually, if the customer reaches his or her boiling point a hang-up is inevitable. Just like that, another consumer is lost because the quality of customer service does not meet the mark.

Customer service reps, called “Communicators” at InfoCision’s call centers, must possess specific skills and characteristics to retain and attract customers. Here are five of the most important attributes that every great Communicator needs to succeed:

1.     Patience: Customer service reps should follow the customer’s pace. It’s important to make the customer comfortable with his or her frustrations and concerns, instead of pushing the individual and causing more confusion. In fact, putting a customer at ease can actually increase sales: 62 percent of B2B and 42 percent of B2C customers bought more after a positive experience, according to market research by ZenDesk.

2.     Empathy: Seeing a situation through the eyes of a customer is critical for a call center representative. At one time or another, all customer service reps have been on the other end of the conversation, frustrated with poor service. They must therefore learn to listen and build a bond with the customer, using whatever customer information is available to help smooth out the process.

3.     Focus: Customers want to have the call center rep’s full attention at all times. If they feel the agent is not focusing on them, they’ll be heading to a competitor for business. In fact, consumers are 81 percent more likely to return to a business after a positive service experience.

4.     Drive: A great work ethic and tenacity is key for customer service reps. By building strong relationships with customers, reps can help enhance brand value and maximize ROI for the company. Customers will remember that work ethic and continue to return instead of heading elsewhere.

5.     Product/service knowledge: The bottom line is that customers do not want to hear, “I don’t know” from a customer service representative. As such, it’s paramount that employees gain a deep knowledge of the product they are advocating through in-depth, company-specific training. If they don’t, your company’s bottom line will suffer.

What makes InfoCision’s Communicators unique in the industry? Click here to find out!