Clienting in a Call Center

Today, at a time when companies offer consumers products and services at a similar level, the fight for customers takes place primarily in the field of service quality. The customer can always leave the competition, therefore establishing long-term and friendly relationships with them is the basis of business success. Does the call center provide an opportunity to create such relationships?
Edgar K. Geffroy created the concept of clienting, which is a contemporary sales concept that assumes that the final factor of the company’s success or failure are its customers. This approach is completely different from classic marketing, which is aimed at a mass audience and focuses on selling a mass product. Clienting focuses on the individual and their needs as the basis of the business effect. On the other hand, call centers are databases with hundreds of names, consultants carrying out dozens of calls a day, scripts to be followed. In such conditions, is there a place to build long-term and friendly relationships with clients?

Contemporary call centers have many tools that perfectly support building and maintaining continuous, positive contacts with consumers. It is worth checking how to use them in the fight for the client.

Get the Opinion

Effective sales require good preparation. You need to get to know the client before presenting him with any proposal. One missed attempt to sell can effectively discourage the consumer from us once and for all. Therefore, before contacting the client, you should collect as much data as possible about him.

The basis of the clienting concept is individual customer treatment, so you need to forget about the segmentation of consumers by sex, age or place of fuss. This is definitely not enough. The more information about a customer, the better. Additionally – the customer must feel important to the company, he must be aware that he influences the company’s decisions regarding products or services. Therefore, in this context, it is also good to remember that call centers provide the opportunity to conduct research, surveys, ask potential and current customers questions about their preferences, products they use, or services that we offer them. It is worth using such tools and supplementing your databases with the collected information and using them in the future.

Track Needs

Social media is a powerful tool and nobody needs to be convinced of it today. It is on social networks that our clients leave a lot of information about themselves. This is where they share their opinions on various topics, and this is where they seek advice and opinions from other users. Here, too, they expect meetings with companies whose products they use.

So what should call centers do in order not to miss the opportunities offered by social media channels? First of all – to be present in them. It is worth contacting your clients via social networks, because for many people they are the natural environment in which they seek contact with other people and companies on a daily basis. Twitter or Facebook – let’s give consumers the opportunity to leave information for us using these tools. Later, we can transfer the established contact to the plane of a telephone conversation – there is nothing to prevent such actions. Nevertheless – if the client prefers to initiate contact via social media – let him do so.

Secondly, let’s follow our clients’ online activities. It is a huge source of information about the needs of consumers. Thanks to social media, we know what our customers are looking for, what their expectations are, and we can also check what they think about the product or service we have offered them.

Let’s talk with our client about his needs, if we notice that he presents on forums or on social media some suggestions for improving the service or product he uses and which we, as a call center, sell – let’s talk with him about it. The customer will feel appreciated, and the possibility of having a real impact on the development of products and services will attach them to the brand more than another discount.

Clienting in a Call Center – Be Available

One more important rule follows from the above. Call center employees must be available to customers wherever they seek contact. It sometimes happens that the client prefers to chat, sometimes they are more willing to leave a request for contact on Facebook or by filling out a form on the website.

He will not necessarily reach for the receiver immediately and dial the hotline number. Call centers cannot be closed to such consumer needs. On the contrary – they should provide the widest possible contact with a consultant. Chat, video chat, email, form, information in social media or, finally, telephone contact – this is what today’s consumer requires.

In addition, we cannot forget about the most important thing – multi-channeling is not an art for art, but is supposed to meet customer expectations as quickly as possible. And he expects that he will be able to connect with a consultant in the shortest possible time and clarify doubts, place an order, solve a problem.

Therefore, we cannot refer him to other consultants or communication channels. We must, however, provide him with efficient handling of his inquiry and let him solve the problem at the first contact attempt – regardless of which channel he chooses for this contact.

Take Care of the Details

Collecting as much customer data as possible will not be of any use to the call center if the data is not properly classified. Therefore, any information that call center employees manage to obtain about a customer must be saved in the system and be available at any time during the next contact.

Each consumer likes to be treated individually, appreciates that the consultant ‘remembers’ him, knows the history of contacts, needs and does not ask him about the same things again. A good ICT system used in a call center makes it possible to collect and use such data. This must be done so that our interlocutors feel special and positively approach contacts with the call center and thus to the products and services that we sell to them.

It is not easy to treat a customer served by a call center individually. However, it is also not impossible. It is enough to apply a few solutions so that our interlocutor and recipient of our messages feel appreciated and recognized. Of course – in the case of external call centers – a lot depends on the client, who may not want to ask his clients for advice or ideas for the development of products or services offered by him.

However, regardless of the client’s attitude, consultants working in call centers and managing contact centers have tools that allow them to ‘pamper’ the consumer and make them feel special.

Despite this, today still few companies allow external call / contact centers to use such far-reaching methods of adapting to the client’s profile. Still, most often only basic information such as gender, age or place of residence is used. The rest of the customer data is usually hidden and consultants do not have access to it. In addition, in the process of contact with the consumer, they must follow the script – very often clients require rigorous compliance with the conversation formula contained in the script. In such conditions, an individual approach to the client is not easy.

Therefore, answering the question posed in the title of this article, it should be stated that clienting in today’s external call centers is in most cases still just a fiction. Nevertheless – taking into account the needs of consumers and the development of the market, which is starting to force new, creative activities to meet all customer expectations, and the possibilities of the call centers themselves, one can hope for imminent changes in this area.

It is safe to say that clienting is the future of telemarketing – the sooner the principals understand it and the sooner call centers change their approach to interlocutors, the greater the chance of transferring sales to a completely different level. The level of building and maintaining good relationships with customers that are the basis of successful sales and business success.

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