Customer contact is a service that mobilizes several resources to manage the remote relationship between the company and its customers. Today’s call center mainly handles direct communication by combining telephone and IT services.
In today’s world, customers are changing, and with them the media has been in contact with customer service. Telephone and e-mail are still the most used channels. However, they reject the preference for messaging, self-care tools, and social networks that offer new ways of interacting. In order to cope with this situation, the skills and competence of contact centers must be developed to meet new challenges. The first one is: technical.
Customer Contact Agent Profile
People working in telephone services come from very different educational and backgrounds. Despite the majority having only a high school diploma (37%), 21% have an associate’s degree and 26% have a bachelor’s degree. Over the past ten years, telephone service work has attracted more and more young people and university graduates.
There are several reasons for this, including lack of experience, hiring criteria, high pay, and the opportunity to advance if the employee does well. This environment also attracts people who enjoy working with multilingual colleagues.
Pros and Cons
The growth of customer contact service, whether integrated or not, demonstrates how essential these services are. Agents consider that their work is interesting, that it is a “real job” and a job that is changing rapidly.
Most companies offer flexible working hours depending on the availability of employees. They can work early afternoon, early evening, late evening or even telecommute depending on availability. This way they can continue their studies and still make ends meet at the end of each month. Other companies cancel the possibility to negotiate working hours, but offer recovery days. The remuneration is also interesting with good working conditions.
Nevertheless, it comes with numerous dysfunctions: high turnover, job stress, constant understaffing, blocked careers, and unattractive salaries. Companies report agent burnout and declining morale. This is possibly because call center agents suffer a lot of stress from handling hundreds of calls every day. Sometimes with unsatisfied customers.
Customer Contact Today
The task of the call center is customer service, finding solutions to customer problems, conducting transactions, customer satisfaction surveys and reminding customers who have not yet paid the last installment…
Whatever the task of an employee working in these companies, his main goal should be performance. This means customer loyalty and satisfaction in all calls and requests. This requires interpersonal and technical skills and the ability to handle and resolve emergency calls effectively. Effective employees must also be able to meet set call or sales targets.
Operators working in these centers must therefore be able to meet the expected quality of service. Speed in receiving calls, knowledge of the company’s products to quickly find the right solution, good interaction skills, etc.) and production ability.
To enable call center operators to maximize productivity. These customer contact centers therefore need to manage both technology and human resources. The automated call dispatcher must be able to ensure immediate response to all calls or send a waiting message if all call center agents are busy.
The device must also be able to monitor incoming calls. Divide the calls evenly into several numbers and collect information such as waiting time, number of calls received, etc. Finally, it must be noted that the competence of telecommunications companies guarantees a satisfactory service quality, but their lack also affects the operation of the structure and the turnover.
Today’s customer service performance is largely based on the quality of the tools used to perform their tasks. For this, it should use the latest technology, such as CRM and other customer relationship-specific software. These types of tools not only guarantee the quality of service, but also simplify the tasks of employees. They offer the possibility to automate several functions. So that the telecom operator can focus mainly on the conversation with his interlocutor and thus achieve the best results in each of his activities.
In today’s world, with rapidly developing technologies and new ways of communication. Agents have to adapt and overcome problems related to stress and job threats. This means they need to be trained better, but frontline managers also have better coaching skills. It is also very important to develop recruitment practices such as personality and emotional intelligence testing to find the right talent.
Operators often have to respond to aggressive customers and it is desirable that they are trained in conflict management. Management must be attentive to staff in difficulty and refer them to occupational health care if they have health problems likely to be related to their work. Changing and improving the stereotypical image of customer contact centers and creating a positive work environment could also help in this process.