Many companies underestimate the marketing potential of their call and contact centers.
In a large number of cases, marketing experts fail to convey their objectives to call center agents. Similarly, call center employees do not provide marketers with valuable customer data. The word-of-mouth marketing thus tends to be overlooked.
Marketing objectives need to be translated into call center operations. Effective call center strategies are customized and incorporate the organization’s brand values. Through one-to-one interactions with customers, properly trained call center agents are not only able to provide exceptional customer service, but they also represent their company’s values.
Effective Call Center Strategies
Effective call center strategies require agents who are knowledgeable about the products and services their company offers. In addition, call center agents need to fully understand the way their organization operates. They must familiarize themselves with the existing special promotions, business conditions and marketing strategies.
Call center agents need to continually improve their knowledge and skills. A lack of in-depth knowledge undermines both the agents’ confidence and customer trust. It also compromises the agents’ ability to further engage customers and communicate brand values.
Effective call centers utilize the technologies and processes that enhance the agents’ relationships with their customers. Flexible call guides provide agents with guidelines that enable them to build rapport with customers and at the same time, focus on the important marketing objectives.
Call centers represent a valuable source of customer data and feedback for marketing purposes. Agents should be encouraged to ask questions necessary to gain marketing insights. In addition, call recording and reporting can help in utilizing customer feedback.
Marketing experts know what type of information to look for and can gather it from recorded calls. Rather than having call center agents organize and interpret customer responses, the recorded calls are simply submitted to marketing analysts for review according to their own criteria. The marketing team can then listen for key phrases and information that agents might not see as relevant.
Call center software solutions help analyze marketing data by creating a map of each interaction between an agent and a customer. By capturing entire dialogues and providing them to marketing experts, call center employees reduce the possibility of overlooking relevant information. For instance, a mention of yesterday’s Twitter promotion or a year-old video will provide marketers with insights into where customers are looking and what they are searching for.
There is no better opportunity to collect customer feedback then continuous, personal engagement with customers via the call center. Customer feedback is vital to interpreting and focusing marketing campaigns. Marketers should therefore convey to agents the right questions to ask in order to elicit meaningful customer responses.
Contact centers and marketing should work in partnership to exchange data and customer insights. This can help both business functions to better analyze and refine their own effectiveness. Shared outcomes and brand obligations should be aligned to help call centers develop more productive workflows and assist marketers in constructing more effective campaigns.
Communication in Call Centers
Multi-channel communication has been widely used by marketing experts for some time now. Call centers should also adopt this approach in relating to modern customers.
With the expanding use of mobile phones, telephony solutions for call centers are more important than ever. Also, as people spend more time on social media, social sites are quickly becoming a crucial channel for reaching out to customers and clients.
Helpful videos engage customers, and should be made available online to help customers resolve common issues on their own. Providing alternative resources to customers frees up call center agent time so that agents can focus more on each call. Customers able to research and answer their own questions may not feel the need to contact call centers. This consequently results in greater customer satisfaction and company cost savings.
One thing separating marketing from customer care is the nature of the conversation when dealing with specific customer issues. Speedy resolution and rapport may leave little time for brand promotion. However, business owners expect business-based dialogue. A company’s style, advertising, and message are essential elements of marketing, and agents should be taught to hold branded conversations that reflect the company’s values. Agents’ interaction with customers should align with their company’s strategy, reinforcing the brand with the public so that better customer experience becomes part of brand recognition.
In conclusion, organizations should recognize that call centers represent a valuable marketing channel, particularly if call center agents receive the necessary knowledge and training. Efficient call center strategies should benefit marketing experts. Similarly, marketing strategies should be conveyed to call center agents. Data-driven insights can improve results for both marketing experts and front-line staff, and thus for customers as well.
Companies embracing modern technological solutions and more communication channels can further improve the customer experience. In addition, teaching agents to hold branded conversations is in itself an important way to strengthen customer engagement with the company. Training agents to leverage these concepts can be accomplished by hiring an experienced team of call center consultants who are able to work with both marketing and operations employees.
Here, at Contextual Strategy Group, we understand the connection between call centers and marketing. Our call center consultants can provide you with effective call center strategies ranging from multi-channel communication to data analysis.
We work together with your marketers and agents in order to translate your marketing objectives into clearly defined call center operations. In addition, we train your call center agents to deliver branded conversations and represent your brand values.
To us, exceptional customer service is the best marketing strategy. By training your agents in the fields of customer service and communications, we teach them how to connect with your customers and form long-lasting relationships that are crucial to your company’s success.