Technology’s Back-end Effect
Don’t be discouraged if your business can’t afford advanced call-center technologies. Small-scale direct marketers often can’t afford the steep price of automated systems because they don’t have the scale to amortize large-fixed costs.
At the same time, however, they can provide a much better level of customer satisfaction because the interactions their customers have are with well-trained teams of reps who are engaging, close to the business and feel they can make a significant difference in the business. It may be more expensive per call in the short run, but it has the potential for greater returns in the long run.
Technology is powerful, but it has to be applied with appropriate objectives in mind. For most businesses, the objective to minimize costs has to be balanced with maximizing relationships with customers. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask, “How do my customer service systems help build my brand and lifetime value?” Answer this accurately and you’ll be glad you asked.
Al Bessin is a partner with LENSER, a multichannel marketing consulting firm. He is a former executive at The GolfWorks, Musician’s Friend and Golfsmith. You can reach him at (512) 351-8197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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