Knowledge Center

How to Improve Call Center Satisfaction and Grow Revenue

By Tim Deuitch

Are your customers dissatisfied after interacting with your call center? Does your company use every customer call as an opportunity to increase value through improved customer satisfaction? In this video, Joanne Ramsey and Tim Deuitch discuss the importance of call centers in improving customer interactions that can lead to increasing revenues.

Joane Ramsey: 00:01 Hi, I'm Joanne Ramsey, Senior Performance Improvement Consultant, and today I'm joined by my colleague, Tim Deuitch, Vice President - Client Success.

Tim Deuitch: 00:17 Thanks, Joanne. It's good to be here.

Joane Ramsey: 00:19 Today we're going to discuss a topic that comes up in conversations when discussing how to improve customer interactions and increase revenues in a call center environment. I'd like to start by defining what is a call center because, as simple as it sounds, different organizations have different definitions of what that is for them. In this case, when we refer to a call center, we're talking about the department that handles inbound and outbound customer calls from either an existing or potential customer. It is that one person that your customer will talk to that is not their salesperson. In some organizations, that could be a project manager or a customer service representative.

Tim Deuitch: 01:03 That's a good point, Joanne. Not all call centers are created equal, but what they all have in common is a customer on the other end of the line calling in hopes that you can address their need, or issue or their question. It's a great opportunity for your company to grow customer satisfaction and potentially increase their revenue. Related, our clients sometimes ask if we can help their call centers get better at upselling. My response is always, "To what degree do your customers currently say you give them a first-class call experience?" This is because the key to upselling is a call center that builds basic trust. Only then does an upsell suggestion even feel right. The challenge is so many customers experience subpar customer service. Trust can be low before the first conversation takes place, but the good news is that if you provide a good customer experience, your customers will be quicker to call you back and eventually listen to an upsell idea.

Joane Ramsey: 02:13 Yes, we all have been there, Tim. The reality is that every call center moment is an opportunity to add value, cross-sell, or upsell a product or a service, but the key is to ensure that the customer experience meet their needs, not just yours. This is where an organization can really distinguish themselves. We all know how hard it is to find new customers. It's a lot easier to work with an existing customer that knows you, trusts you, and relies on your expertise. Great customer service is a retention strategy, and organizations that focus on training their customer service representative to provide an experience that goes above and beyond just fulfilling a request are standing out.

Tim Deuitch: 02:58 Very true, and this starts with the customer believing you will provide the opposite of a bad experience. This moment will not be frustrating, confusing, or full of conflict. It will be comfortable, easy, and expedited. We'll speak to the skills of delivering a great experience in a moment, but it begins with complete alignment between management and the call center team on the experience they want to provide a customer.

Joane Ramsey: 03:29 I could not agree more, Tim. Often, the most frustrating customer experiences are not the fault of the call center team. If management does not provide the resources, empowerment, or policies that ensure a great experience, the team has one hand tied behind its back. But let's presume the alignment is strong and switch to the skills needed to succeed. Understanding how the tone in your voice, your oral presentation, the courtesy you display when speaking with someone, your listening skills, and having empathy for what the customer is saying is how you build a positive relationship with that customer. Knowing how to guide the call, hope for questions to uncover wants and needs, and objections is also a critical skill to be developed. Opportunities surface when we're listening.

Tim Deuitch: 04:20 It's a great list and entirely possible to pull off. It takes just a few hone skills to make the difference. Listening well, asking good questions, and the ability to expedite information and answers. At the beginning of a call, you can hear the customers thinking, "Will this take long? Is this going to be a pain?" The customer wants to hear you say in your actions, "I'll get right on that," or, "Let me clarify exactly what you're after before I take care of it." Now, one thing we haven't mentioned is when the customer already has a relationship with a salesperson from the company. Several of my clients work hard to make sure the call center is just as much a problem solver as the salesperson. They train them on the same trust-building skills, and they make sure the call center players are partners with the salesperson, so everyone is on the same page with information and decision-making. It can be very frustrating if a customer needs to tell the call center person something they should already know.

Joane Ramsey: 05:27 Tim, you bring up some really good points. As we wrap up this conversation, I would like to leave our audience with some questions as they think about how their organizations are evolving. Are you looking at your call center as a critical success factor in your organization's strategy for the future? Do you have alignment on the desired customer experience between management and the call center team? And has management made it possible for the call center to deliver this experience? Are you investing on training the people who represent you every day when interacting with your customer? Do your people have the skills to ensure great customer satisfaction while adding value, cross-selling, or upselling your products and services, and does the call center work in partnership with sales to make sure that the customer receives the same caliber of service no matter who they talk to?

Tim Deuitch: 06:28 Well, those are the questions, Joanne, and this is where it comes full circle, isn't it?

Joane Ramsey: 06:33 Yes.

Tim Deuitch: 06:33 When a call center is looked at as a critical success factor and leadership invests resources and training, it's a win for the customers and the company. High satisfaction for them, and good word-of-mouth retention, and new business for you.

Joane Ramsey: 06:50 Tim, thanks for being here today. If you are interested in additional information on how we can help you, please contact us at StrategicEnhancementGroup.com. We look forward to helping you take your organization to the next level.

Published: June 19, 2024

Does your company treat every call center moment as an opportunity to add value, cross-sell, or upsell a product or a service?

We can empower your call centers with training that is a win for the customers and the company through high satisfaction, good word-of-mouth retention, and new business for you.

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MEET THE AUTHOR

Tim Deuitch

Vice President - Client Success

Tim brings over 25 years of experience working closely with business leaders throughout the Twin Cities and the USA. He has worked within a multitude of workplace cultures and economic cycles, helping leaders and teams improve their effectiveness and results. Since joining SEG in 2007, Tim has continued his work as a change agent, helping organizations meet their goals. Tim graduated from Warren Wilson College in 1983 with a B.S. degree in social work.

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