This morning I came across two timely reminders of the importance of what we do in the Contact Centre industry. The first was a short well written commentary on Leveraging unified communications to improve customer experience from our telephone software provider, Fonality, and I found this interesting enough to look at the original US article cited there by industry expert Rick McFarland at UCStrategies article
In business we all find ourselves stretched more to respond on multiple channels, so that answering the telephone is only one channel among many - email, social media, groups, website interactions, conferences, advertising, public relations, newsletters, good old word of mouth all come to mind. However, I instinctively liked his comment 'Technology has a role to play here, but nothing is more important than listening.' This is so true.
At Well Done we are often asked to quote on a simple service with the advice that we 'just need to take a message'; this is exactly the kind of thing that all the big telcos offer, but the question in my mind when I call back people who are using mass market messaging services is 'how much better was this than leaving a voice message?'. The verdict to this question for me is often mixed.
And here's the point - we're not a telco and providing contact centre support is what we do; it's our core business. Our training is geared for speed and accuracy in the call handling, and we follow your brief, but this is not at the expense of providing good customer service and listening to your callers. Our systems allow us to handle a range of call scenarios and we can link to FAQs, websites, rosters, staff lists and more for various services. In general, we give the operator the precise greeting, and there may be some scripted responses for legal reasons, in but general we provide instructions so that our staff can respond in the own words in a natural conversational flow. This does take longer than a bald 'Can I take your message please', but rapport with your callers and training to allow the contact centre agent to direct the call so that they can efficiently meet your service brief won't actually make a Live Call Answering Service call longer, it will only make it better.
It isn't one size fits all at Well Done. When we set up your service to work with your team we routinely ask ourselves 'what key information should we collect to make this message, or this service, more useful?'. We need to know what you are trying to achieve from the service so we can suggest the best way to handle it here. We will also work with you as your needs change and your business grows.
Thinking of your
call answering as part of a Unified Communications Strategy is an
important shift to make. Websites are 'open' 24x7 and the general
expectation from customers is that they will be able to contact you 24x7
at their convenience. They can also share their displeasure 24x7 via
social media and do so. Well Done can offer that support for you at a
fraction that your could staff it yourself, or we can seamlessly take
over from your staff after hours. Much is possible.