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Do Call Centers Benefit Anyone?

Updated on April 1, 2012
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As a patron of different services and a former employee of a call center I've often asked myself the question "do call centers really benefit customers?" We have all called some type of service and had a negative experience. Furthermore if customers are not satisfied- are companies really benefiting from using call centers to process business transactions?

Source

Customer Satisfaction

In recent years most businesses that use call centers have created internal ways of measuring customer satisfaction. Every company strives to be the "best" in customer satisfaction, but what does that really mean? You probably hear the automated message "this call could be recorded for quality assurance purposes." From working in a call center four, maybe five of sixty to seventy calls were recorded per day. Most companies record each representatives calls at the same time every day AND those representatives may have access to see what time their calls are being recorded. With this said if you've probably experienced a rude representative that either hung up on you or said things you wouldn't even repeat means they know there is no way for you to report them. Have you ever called with a billing issue and the representative said they took care of the issue only to find out a month later it was never dealt with? A big company probably handles over a million calls a month. Just imagine how many customers are dissatisfied.


Do Companies Benefit From Call Centers?

Call centers can be beneficial for general questions or to make changes, however if you're having an issue with billing or any other major issue it's not comforting or enough proof for someone to simply say it's resolved. If issues are not resolved, customers normally call in more often. When hundreds or even thousands of customers call in more than once a month companies have to pay more. On top of having dissatisfied customers, companies also have to cover the costs of having employees work over time to answer all the calls that are coming in a quick manner.

Do you think companies need to change their call center strategies?

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What's The Solution?

In my opinion customers and companies could benefit with a complete remodel of their customer service options. Some examples would be:

  • Offering online chat options. Online chat provides quite a few perks that phone conversations simply cannot do. You can receive a complete copy of your conversation in your e-mail. This provides proof. You can multitask in an internet chat. If you're "on hold" you can do anything you want, hands free until a representative is available.
  • Call centers offer options to have conversations recorded and e-mailed to customers. Representatives would not even need to know customers chose to have the call recorded. This would be a great way to force representatives to handle each, individual call the way they should and again offer the customer more than someone's word that their issue has been resolved.
  • Often in call centers a group of employees are under the direction of one person. Essentially one person is in charge of answering tons of questions, and handling calls that require speaking with a supervisor. This can cause the call to last longer than expected. Having teams of supervisors only taking supervisor calls will cut down on the time a customer is on the phone.

I believe that companies need to remember the first rule of business. Without consumers companies would not exist. Installers, customer service representatives and local business outlets need more than customer satisfaction surveys to base their communication tactics. What do you think?

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    • hpedneau profile imageAUTHOR

      Holly Pedneau 

      6 years ago from Princeton, West Virginia

      Thanks for the feedback! Call center representatives do have hard jobs. I respect anyone that makes that line of work their career. Recording all calls would be so much more beneficial. Customers could receive copies of their conversation which would probably save call centers more money (having a one call solution) because then they'll be more likely to do everything right. I agree with you charmike4, it is cost effective especially if a company owns a building. No rent, and a huge space for hundreds of employees is great. The call center I worked in was actually owned by the company, which gave the workers there some comfort knowing their call center would be the last to get shut down if the company needed to make cut backs.

      Articlesocean- I really enjoyed working in customer service, which dealt with general questions, there were hardly any issues (because I could read the correct information from the computer to the customer) but when I was forced to move into the retention department, I realized how many customers we lost due to bad customer service. That's the main area I think needs to be improved. At least, in every company I've worked for! Thanks again!

    • articlesocean profile image

      Saira Sheikh 

      6 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Call centres do benefit people because you can seek general information about the business or just customer services, however businesses now use automated services, in which you don't always get the information that is needed. I would benefit me because often i don't get the guidance or information i need from automated services. Great hub! Voted useful !

    • charmike4 profile image

      Michael Kromwyk 

      6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      If you focus is truly upon the customer then the contact centre interface can help you to win new customers and create stickiness for existing customers. Contact centres are one part of the distribution strategy and is one of the most cost effective as the rental is lower and you can maximise space.

      Contact centres are relevant and have huge upsides for customers if the firm put the customer at the centre of everything they do.

      Cheers Michael

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