The point of signing a contract with an outsourced retail contact center includes providing quality customer service in a secure and profitable way. Your company saves money by not hiring more employees to answer phone calls and expects that customers will still get the service they need to continue buying your products. These expectations are unfortunately accompanied by worries and challenges that retail contact center systems must avoid or overcome.
These five retail call center challenges can negatively affect your business or damage its reputation in the future. Learning how to solve them will transform those failures into profitable successes.
Culture and Language Conflicts
One of the most frequent complaints about retail contact centers is a breakdown in communication and understanding. This is often because of cultural and language differences. Unfortunately, some of these are due to prejudices outside company control. However, valid problems do arise if the call takers are not properly trained in appropriate customer handling techniques. Many retail call centers outsource to non-English-speaking countries. The quality of the communication depends on hiring the right employees to handle incoming phone calls. Before signing a contract with one of these companies, research the preparation their team members are given before fielding customer calls.
For retail customer service, questions must be understood and comments must be recorded properly. Highly professional contact centers take the time to train their service providers and phone agents to use the most appropriate greetings, comments, and figures of speech that match consumers’ expectations.
A Lack of Customer Care
Poor customer care usually stems from the use of short scripts that the people who answer the phones at a retail contact center read every time someone inquires about a particular topic or product line. Callers can tell when they are not getting specific answers to their questions. It becomes very frustrating as they realize the company does not care about them individually.
It is impossible for a contact center employee to have in-depth knowledge of every company they answer calls for. However, they must have the ability to quickly adjust their responses to provide the best service in the shortest amount of time possible. This comes down to two things: hiring the best people, to begin with, and training them properly.
Besides training, another way to overcome this call center challenge relies on your company’s preparation. Brainstorm all potential questions or conflicts that may arise and encourage consumers to call your toll-free number. Then, create scripts or comment sheets that allow the phone agent to choose the appropriate responses easily. Clear language and organization are key factors to watch for.
Limited Branding or Marketing Potential
Most existing or potential customers call a retail contact center to get specific answers. They often need information about things like products, availability, payment terms, and return or refund policies. They also call to learn something about their account or orders they have placed.
As the person taking the calls works to answer every question to the best of their ability and to the customer’s satisfaction, a great opportunity for brand reputation building and upselling presents itself. After all, every single connection a consumer has with your company gives them an impression of your brand. This includes website visits, social media posts, as well as phone calls. Make sure everyone raises your reputation rather than diminishes it.
You want a contact with a consumer to bring them closer to a lifelong, profitable relationship with your brand. In the middle of answering questions, interjecting information about other products makes sense but can also backfire. The phone is not the place for a hard sell. The customer will hang up with a negative impression of your customer handling techniques.
Instead, the call taker should make short suggestions or ask the customer if they would like to learn about a new product line or possibility. Remember that when you contract with a contact or call center, you are not hiring salespeople. Their ability to upsell or close a new deal is limited.
Proper Handling of Fraudulent Activity
Security is a huge issue for any company that sells to the public. Not only do you have to keep personal and payment information confidential, but practices should also be in place to help prevent fraud. This includes training the workers to properly handle situations where people try to get refunds or discounts without proof and when they threaten to rate the company poorly if their demands are not met.
Only hire a customer care contact center with up-to-date security protocols in place. At no time should private data be available to people who do not need it for order-placing or lookup purposes. Out-of-date equipment and computer systems will not provide the type of security necessary to run a successful retail business.
Preventing retail blackmail may afford more of a challenge. Internet review sites are highly convenient. They can do a lot of damage to your brand reputation with a few clicks. Every person who represents your company must focus on positive customer care.
Lack of Service to Mobile and Online Customers
A large portion of retail customers shops online these days. Many also use social media and review sites to decide on purchases. Companies may struggle to figure out how to integrate social and mobile computing with customer service. A standard retail contact center may not offer full integration. However, there are ways to configure your shop’s website and associated app for direct-call capabilities. This way, customers can get in contact with a service representative at the call center more quickly.
Retail contact center challenges revolve around an outside agency’s ability to deliver the type of customer service you want for the people who buy your products. When a consumer calls for help, answers, or new information, they need to understand clearly, not be overwhelmed by marketing, and have their needs met efficiently. Solve the major retail call center challenges and boost your targeted consumer base’s impression of your brand.
How can Ansafone help your business?
Ansafone Contact Centers is an award-winning BPO provider with 50 years of world-class customer experience and brand care. We are a national call center with omnichannel services, fully equipped to help you with your business and with any special circumstances.
Please request a quote or call 800-510-0514 to learn more about how you can benefit from outsourcing a call center and how we can improve your business. We’re happy to offer insight into what your customers seek from your company’s language offerings and tailored customer solutions.