Rebate Programs Are The Last Line of Defense
When it comes to complaints and dissatisfied customers in regards to your rebate programs, brands are aware that there is a limited window of opportunity to retain that customer and turn their bad experience into a good one. Automated tools can help deflect the majority of issues and connecting through social media can ease tension, but when it comes down to it, if there is an issue that can’t be dealt through online means, people want to talk to people and your call center is your brand’s last line of defense.
In the US, the cost of poor customer service is $41 billion per year[i], which means that offering amazing customer service at the call centre level, can boost your organization’s bottom line even better than some marketing campaigns.
The call center’s purpose is then to build trust and to guide the customer into a happy resolution in their hour of need, letting them know they are valued by your brand and that their rebate problems are important. The benefits to your brand include a higher consumer retention rate and the building of brand advocates.
In order to make the most out of your call center and drive results with your brand and rebate programs, you need to make sure it revolves around these 3 pillars:
1. An Impactful and Influential Team
A call center pivots around the people who converse with the customer. The team you hire has around 8-10 seconds to make that initial impact, so they better be prepared to help address any issues, while still being mindful that the customer is at their most vulnerable state. Poor customer service can range anywhere from poor attention to long wait times so it’s important that your team possess these qualities for a successful call center experience:
- The people you hire should be flexible of mind, not locking into one specific process or “call script” but being able to talk freely and being cognizant of the fact that there is a person on the other end of the phone who is looking for guidance. A lot of customers call to build a relationship, so make sure your team is conveying a charming charisma.
- Your team should have personable skills, being able to deliver negative news in a respectful way and positive messages in an exceptional way. Your customer should always feel valued.
- They should have outstanding product knowledge, rebate programs timelines and know your brand’s tone.
- Lastly, the individuals working your call centers should be teachers, conversing with the customer and really showing them how to achieve their solution in an instructive way; educating them so they have the tools to solve their concerns the next time and can influence others. In short, transforming them into brand advocates.
When people purchase a product they are also purchasing the service that comes with it. Having happy and flexible staff members will lead to a happy and understanding customer who is more likely to repeat purchase and spread the word about the amazing service.
2. An Empowering Management Team
The individuals operating the phones are only as impactful as the management who guides them.
In order to have a successful call center, the management team in place should be efficient but also cognizant of the relationships and connections being built with customers, empowering the team to make sure they are capable of making positive and influential decisions.
A successful management team can be achieved by ensuring all team members are educated on brand and product knowledge as well as rebate programs, prepping them ready for any issues that may arise. The management team should also provide team members with objectives for their day, including: why there are certain targets, and how to attain them, as well as recognizing company objectives and where to push improvement.
3. An Outstanding Call Center Tool
Lastly, in order to ensure successful execution, your brand must implement an exceptional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Implementing a CRM will allow your team to answer calls effectively and allow your management team to learn more about inbound calls and how to handle them.
Your CRM should be feeding you metrics that prepare you for success with your rebate programs, such as NPS on phone interactions, call answer rates, average talk time, minutes on hold, and more. This will not only make better use of your time, but enable you to classify calls easily so the management team has the first line of discovery. This way, when a problem occurs there is clear visibility for all stakeholders and the information is easily passed along.
Your Last Line of Defence
With 67% of customers mentioning bad experiences as a reason for churn[ii], it is important to be attentive to how you build your call centre. Pushing for ornamented advertising campaigns might boost your revenue at first but constantly providing bad customer service can demolish your brand.
This post was contributed by John Davies. John is the Director of Client Operations with 360insights.com. Connect with John on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/johnedavies
[i] Brookes, Nicola. “The multibillion dollar cost of poor customer service [INFOGRAPHIC].” NewVoiceMedia. Government Procurement Service, 27 Aug. 2015. Web. 29 Mar. 2017. <https://www.newvoicemedia.com/blog/the-multibillion-dollar-cost-of-poor-customer-service-infographic/>.
[ii] Afshar, Vala. “50 Important Customer Experience Stats for Business Leaders.” The Huffington Post. N.p., 15 Oct. 2015. Web. 29 Mar. 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vala-afshar/50-important-customer-exp_b_8295772.html>.