When you think of your inbound contact center, sales aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. After all, you have a sales department for that purpose. Yet, your inbound contact center can actually be a rich source of revenue for your organization.
With a “sales through service” culture, your inbound contact center can lead to greater sales opportunities. Read on to learn what a “sales through service culture” is, why it matters for your contact center, and how you can foster this type of culture at your contact center.
The effect of your contact center culture on customers
Your contact center is the front line of your company; it’s where your customers turn when they have a question or a problem they can’t solve on their own. If they have a negative customer experience (the contact center can’t or won’t help them), they won’t continue to buy from your company.
According to research from PwC, one in three customers will leave a brand after just one poor customer experience, and a whopping 92% will leave a brand if they have two to three negative interactions.
Promoting a culture that supports exceptional customer service, then, is a strong move in the right direction toward promoting brand loyalty and increasing sales.
Factors leading to a poor contact center culture
Several factors that could negatively impact your contact center culture include:
- Poor management
- Hiring employees who aren’t a good fit
- Disengaged employees
- Technology that doesn’t meet agent needs
- Technology that doesn’t meet customer needs
These factors don’t have to remain insurmountable obstacles. You can transform your contact center culture, and that transformation can boost revenue.
Backbone of a better contact center culture
A contact center culture designed to deliver customer service excellence has the following characteristics:
- It’s customer-centric.
- It’s guided by values such as responsibility, trust, and customer service excellence.
- It’s highly collaborative; agents can reach out to their colleagues in and outside of the contact center for assistance.
- Agents have autonomy, which might involve working remotely and being given the tools they need to handle customer concerns at first contact.
Building a “sales through service” culture
Having a positive contact center culture is the foundation of a “sales through service” culture. A “sales through service” culture is one in which agents identify and leverage opportunities to upsell and cross-sell. The employee must deliver an amazing customer experience for the customer to consider that purchase; otherwise, the customer won’t respond positively to the sales attempt.
We’ll illustrate with an example. Jake calls the contact center because he needs help with the wearable fitness tracker he’s just purchased. He can’t figure out how to get it to record his sleep patterns. An agent reviews the problem with Jake and is able to find a solution quickly.
During the call, Jake mentions that he’s been having trouble sleeping. The agent realizes that Jake might benefit from the company’s white noise machine; many other customers have given it positive reviews and shared how it helps them sleep at night. After helping Jake, the agent suggests the white noise machine might be a good purchase. Because the agent is able to help Jake quickly, and the agent shows genuine interest in helping Jake, Jake decides to buy the white noise machine.
How to enable a “sales through service” culture at your contact center
A“sales through service” culture rests on the foundation of a strong contact center culture. That, in turn, is powered by the right technology.
The right contact technology facilitates customer service excellence as well as “sales through service.” Here’s how:
- Customers can connect to the company through their preferred channel.
- Agents can connect customers to the right resource at the company.
- Companies have greater agility; they can add more agents or shift to a remote work structure easily.
- Analytics track agent performance, so managers can provide personalized guidance to boost improvement.
Customers can connect to the company through their preferred channel
Today, customers are no longer content with call centers, which could only handle incoming calls. They want to reach your company through their preferred channel, be that email, social media, chat, or video call.
Cloud contact center software allows you to offer omnichannel customer service. Research from Forrester shows that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies see a 10% year-over-year growth, a 10% increase in average order value, and a 25% increase in close rates.
Agents can connect customers to the right resources at the company
A bad customer experience at your contact center can make customers switch to your competitors – research from CITE shows that 41% of customers stopped using a service or product after they were passed from rep to rep during an interaction.
The right cloud contact center software intelligently routes customers to agents that can help them. Company-wide directories with presence indicators enable agents to reach out to the right resources so they can meet customer needs quickly.
Companies have greater agility
The global pandemic forced companies across the globe to shut down their facilities, including contact centers. Yet, customers still needed help. Successful, sustainable contact centers shifted to the cloud to continue delivering on-brand customer service excellence.
In addition, one of the benefits of the cloud is that it scales quickly and easily. During the busy season, it’s easy to add more agents from around the world to meet customer demand.
Analytics track agent performance
To understand whether an agent offers unparalleled customer service, you need analytics. Analytics give you information on metrics such as average handle time, first call resolution, and other important KPIs. With that information, supervisors can guide agents toward better performance.
Originally published Apr 15, 2021