Many small businesses count on customer service as a competitive differentiator against larger companies. Having a small business call center is a key piece of creating a competitive advantage with customer service.
If you’re a small business without a call center today, why should you create one? Almost every business interacts with its customers in some way, usually by phone. You may have multiple people taking calls and working with customers, but it’s likely that isn’t their only job responsibility. Talking with customers, although very important, occupies valuable time they could spend on their primary duties.
A call center concentrates interactions with customers into the hands of a dedicated team providing higher efficiency. Imagine a car repair business. If mechanics are talking with customers, they’re not working on cars. If all customer calls were handled by one person, the mechanics could spend more time doing repairs, and generating more money for the business. That’s exactly what a call center does. It increases the efficiency of handling customer interactions. It’s not just about efficiency though. Turning customer service into a competitive advantage requires providing customers a pleasing experience as well.
Call center software provides a way to create a call center that s both efficient and effective. Basic functions include placing customers into queues during busy times, routing calls to properly trained employees based on the caller’s need, and providing self-service options with an IVR. More advanced functionality includes helping employees provide better service, enabling 24/7 operations, collecting feedback from customers, and offering ways other than phone calls to communicate.
For many years, small business faced a barrier in obtaining the same contact center technology as large businesses, in large part because of the capital investment required to purchase, install, and maintain on-premises systems. It was virtually impossible to create a competitive advantage, much less obtain comparative parity with larger competitors.
Cloud call center software levels the playing field by removing this cost barrier. Small businesses can now afford the same advanced functionality as large operations. Parity is not an advantage, however. How does a small business go about gaining an advantage?
Due to a lack of rigid org structures, policies, procedures, and other constraints small operations often enjoy greater business agility. This lets them understand customers better, respond quicker to customer needs, and be more innovative in their service strategies. All of which leads towards an advantage when it comes to customer service.
Just because you’re a small business, don’t think you can’t have a call center. Look into cloud call center software, run some numbers, and you might be surprised to find out there’s a strong business case for doing it.