If you're still paying for the labor of live customer service agents, you should know that your money could be better spent on a cell center answering service. It won't completely replace person-to-person interaction, but it will definitely reduce it, which in turn will result in less misunderstandings, better customer retention and more cash back into your pocket.

Still not convinced? Here are five ways that an answering service can revolutionize your help line.

1: Answering Questions

Your automated system can be set up to answer all questions found in your FAQ. Not only will customers appreciate a black-and-white answer instead of an agent's best guess, but it will also free up company lines for more serious problems that need a live person to fix.

2: Making Appointments

Appointment setting is a bane to secretaries everywhere. No one ever knows what time works for them; they want all their options to be reeled off so they can cherry pick the best one. The good news is that an answering service can do this without impatience or fatigue. It's also impervious to errors, so customers can never show up an hour early and claim, "This is the time I was told!"

3: Delivering Messages

If you ever have the bad luck of, say, a product recall, an answering service will act as a company-wide megaphone to all concerned callers: "Yes, we're aware of the problem, and we're doing all we can to fix it." Messages can also be conveyed about positive things like sales, event dates and sweepstakes.

4: Providing Information

You aren't making any friends by forcing people to stay on hold for 20 minutes when all they need to know is what time your store closes. Answering services can take these burdens right out of your hands, and customers and employees alike will thank you for it.

5: Offering Quotes

It's unwise to make promises without listening to someone's case directly, but your answering service can offer ballpark figures based on whatever information the customer is willing to share. If the numbers are agreeable to them, they can be put through to a real representative; if not, they can hang up and waste no one's time.

While there will always be room for live humans in customer service, you can reduce their workload by at least 90 percent when you switch to call center answering services. Click here to learn more about what these systems can do for you.

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