call centerDid you know that 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after they’ve experienced poor customer service? That’s not hard to imagine. We’ve all been customers who have called a company for help, only to be put on hold or talked to someone unwilling to find the answers we needed. Conversely, we’ve all talked to a call center representative who was cheerful and effective. When we hung up, we were ready to move forward with our day.

Customer service is made up of employees who are the face and voice of your company, so what do your voice services say about you?

The ability to speak with a real person who delivers a positive experience is a necessary part of great customer service, so businesses should pay special attention to their voice services team. When capable answering services can field calls from both customers and suppliers, the strength of the supply chain increases.

Answering services are a major category within voice services. The tasks answering services can accomplish include scheduling appointments, answering questions about account statements, and even helping customers order products.

Since communication via phone is a critical part of any company, B2B technology referral company Clutch recently conducted a survey entitled “What Callers Want from Answering Services” to find what callers really think of voice services, as well as the kind of help callers expect to receive when they call. Here are some of Clutch’s key findings:

  • The ability to speak with a human representative is the most important characteristic of any phone call, according to customers.

  • At 39%, getting transferred to another line is the top reason why customers think they're speaking to call centers, as transferred calls make customers think their calls don't matter.

  • Less than half (44%) of respondents who thought they spoke to call centers had a completely satisfying call, meaning that answering services should be careful of how they're perceived.

 

So what can your company do to ensure that this link in the supply chain is getting you the return you need to meet your callers’ expectations?

 

Keep the following tips in mind:

 

  1. According to Forbes, 80% of people who get an answering machine don’t leave a message. Voice services provide the human touch that callers require.

  2. Callers – both customers and suppliers – want an authentic experience which involves someone on the other end of the call who speaks understandably, doesn’t read a script, has empathy and doesn’t transfer the call.

  3. Bigger isn’t always better. Some call centers employ 50 or more people who answer the phone for many companies. Because they have so many clients, these centers aren’t always equipped with the knowledge they need to fulfill each caller’s request. A better strategy is when call centers segment their staff so that only three to six operators answer the calls for one company. This allows the operators to be “experts” on a company and better meet their callers’ needs.

 

Voice services may seem like a minute part of your business structure, but these are the people who are in contact with your suppliers, business partners, customers, and potential customers every day. If you use an answering service or call center, make sure your representatives are off-script, knowledgeable and friendly so that your line of communication remains clear at every stage.


 

Elizabeth is a content writer and marketer at Clutch, a B2B research firm in the heart of Washington, DC.

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