The very idea of a call center, a place that receives telephone calls from consumers in need of assistance, has become something of a cliché. An American sitcom was even created about the dynamics within a call center. But for companies like Teleperformance, the concept of a call center does not begin to describe what the company actually does.
The digital age has ushered in a myriad of ways for customers to contact companies besides voice. Whether through click-to-chat, email, or mobile app, among numerous channel options, customers can contact companies any time. The 12-hour window during which customers once had to call in order to get in touch with their brands is long gone.
With more options for products and services, customers can pick and choose, often hopping between companies that provide the best deals and the best service. As the Teleperformance Customer Experience Lab found during its 2017 Global Survey, the customer service experience of an individual can have an enormous impact on customer loyalty. Customers who had a positive customer service experience presented a 14 percent higher loyalty intention than those who did not contact customer service. On the other hand, customers who had a bad customer service experience presented a 29 percent lower loyalty intention than those who did not contact customer service.
How companies deal with their customer interactions, therefore, is essential to business success. The contact center, not to be confused with what was once a call center, is at the center of customer satisfaction. To stand out, companies must offer omnichannel strategies, delivered seamlessly across channels. What the contact center brings is the human connection, a level of understanding to customers who are trying to resolve issues, purchase products, or even gather information. The empathetic contact representative who deals with customers can be the ultimate differentiator, no matter the channel used.
Thus, companies can no longer afford to view customer service as a burden or external to success, offering only a certain period of time during which customers can call them. Rather, businesses must put their customers’ experiences at the center of what they do, ensuring that their contact centers are equipped with the right technology and have the right staff to meet demanding needs. Without such an understanding, in this competitive, digital age, companies are bound to fail.