Best practices followed by Fortune 500 Companies to manage their call centers - Livesalesman (2023)

Fortune 500 companies are the most celebrated and valued and every company worth its salt wants to emulate them. The success of fortune 500 companies cannot be attributed to one single factor. However, their customer-centric approach and customer-focused strategies certainly contribute immensely to their success. Most successful businesses are known for their exceptional customer service delivered by highly professional and committed customer service team who is at customer’s disposal 24×7.

Focus on availability and response speed

Fortune 500 companies don’t perceive customer support as a 9-5 department. They strongly believe in being available for the customers whenever they need them, wherever they need them. Hence, their customer support service is omnichannel. They can be contacted through any channel- phone, e-mail, live chat, messenger or even social media channels. Irrespective of the medium customer chooses to contact, they get a uniform quality response, which is fast and professional.

This is a virtue worth emulating but it may not be viable to do this in-house. You may want to consider outsourcing some of your customer service-related functions to professional 24×7call center outsourcing companies.Moreover, you should also use multiple social media channels to create various touchpoints for your customers, so that they can contact you 24×7 through their preferred medium.

Such measures create loyalty among customers that in turn affects companies’ bottom-line. A robust customer service strategy is essential as it takes time to build a successful brand but just one bad customer experience has the potential to make a huge dent in a company’s reputation.

How Apple achieved it

Apple’s achievement in customer support is path-breaking. Apple enjoys a huge cult-like fan base and that’s because they make their customers feel like celebrities. Customers feel they are looked after in the best possible manner and are even prepared to wait for days to lay their hands on these beautiful products.

Apple’s employees, right from their top management, to sales to their customer support team, display a strong passion for their products. Apple is very selective about who they hire in their customer service department. They recruit high-quality customer service agents who understand their products well to ensure that their customers always get an exceptional service experience delivered by the product experts. Talking to their customer support doesn’t feel like you are talking to an average customer support agent. Customers feel they are talking to genuine tech enthusiasts who put their whole heart and soul in troubleshooting their problems and sharing their product knowledge with customers.

Apple also maintains a dedicated customer service pageon its website where customers get a variety of information related to their products and services. Additionally, customers can also schedule repairs, check warranty status and look up repair status.

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Apple summarizes it’s the philosophy in five sentences:

A – Approach customers with a warm welcome

P – Probe politely to understand customer’s needs

P – Present a solution for the customer

L – Listen attentively to resolve customers’ issues.

E – End with a warm farewell with an invitation to return

Apple’s stores have these ‘Genius Bars’, which are essentially an innovative way to offer customer service in stores.This is a platform that enables customers to interact with ‘geniuses’ who have extensive knowledge about Apple products and get assistance with their technical problems.

Apple enables its users to get in touch with them through various channels like telephone, e-mails, or live chat. This makes customers feel empowered and in control as they get to choose how and when to contact. Irrespective of how customers contact, Apple makes sure that they handle all such queries with utmost sincerity and warmth.

The popularity of Apple can be gauged by the fact that when Apple launched its twitter account for the customer and technical support, within a period of 24 hours more than 100,000 accounts followed it.

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Apple’s customer support team does not only answer the questions that come their way but also offers useful tips and encourages customers to raise queries.

Apple believes in absolute transparency and asks its users to send a direct message. The idea behind using a public platform is to educate other Apple users about how to sort out similar issues.

The user-friendly attitude of the company is exhibited in the way they treat their twitter handle. This medium is used for Apple customers who put their queries as despite having 615,000 followers, Apple never posted a tweet.

What Microsoft did

Microsoft, the most iconic IT company has a pervasive presence on the social media that includes Twitter, with an account assigned for every conceivable topic such as security, development, updates, events, opportunities, and last but not the least customer service too.

This approach gives a huge edge to Microsoft as customers can engage and interact with every aspect of the brand and get their questions answered by the relevant team on a convenient platform.

Microsoft’s each Twitter channel has a unique purpose. Though Microsoft’s Twitter channels are primarily focused on news and related articles, the official channel ensures that the brand continuously engages with customers in an organic and informal manner taking queries and proactively offering help.

Another important feature in Microsoft’s customer service is chatbots that complement live agents by engaging productively with the customers waiting in queues. Bots are AI tools that make them much faster than human agents in scanning huge data and retrieving relevant information. This hugely impacts their customer service in tackling customers’ complaints and offering solutions fast.

Leveraging Social Media

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Fortune 500 companies have very effectively used social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram not only to increase their brand visibility but also to bridge the gap between the brand and the customers and win over their trust. It is evident by the fact that the number of Fortune 500 companies with active Twitter accounts went up from 62% in 2011 to 86% in 2011. At least 84% of Fortune 500 companies have active Facebook accounts.

Amazon’s strategy

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon once said “A customer service is the best where a customer doesn’t need to call you, doesn’t need to talk you. It just goes like this.” This summarizes the approach of Amazon, the e-commerce company that revolutionized the online purchase.

Amazon’s approach that ‘the customer is always right’ and ‘no questions asked’ policy instead of playing the blame game with the customers induces confidence in customers and earns them their lifetime loyalty.

Amazon’s reach is unbelievable as they can deliver their consignments anywhere and everywhere, sometimes in as less as a couple of hours. It has a huge presence across social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which makes it easier for customers to get in touch with the company.

Amazon pampers its customers who feel valued and are incentivized to make their bond with the company stronger. Their customer service agents always use a very friendly and cordial tone with customers that make the conversation very interactive.

Amazon has also introduced a call back facility on its website where customers can leave their contact numbers thus reducing their wait-time drastically. It is no wonder that Amazon

Consolidated Call Center Operations

With the advent of technology, companies shifted their operations to geographically diverse call center outsourcing locations that enabled them to take advantage of cheaper and skilled labor.

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Of late, Fortune 500 companies have shifted back the focus on consolidating their entire call center outsourcing operations into larger call centers instead of spreading themselves too thin globally. These are huge facilities with a large number of agents working in tandem to deliver international standard customer service through help desk, technical support, common services and a slew of other customer-centric functions. This helps in enhancing the overall quality of customer service.

Outsourcing

Although many Fortune 500, companies such as Siemens and IBM have their in-house call centers, others prefer to usecustomer service outsourcing companies. These companies recognize the benefit of letting third party customer service outsourcing companies take charge of their customer support. It gives them an edge over their competitors and helps them in customer retention. Now, call center outsourcing has become a quintessential feature of Fortune 500 companies as it allows them to focus their resources, energy and time on core functions such as business development on their core business.

Customer service outsourcing is a very cost-effective option that can significantly reduce expenses per head and hence is preferred by big and small companies alike. At the same time, this strategy provides flexibility to meet the specific requirements of your customers. A customer service outsourcing company can scale up or scale down the number of customer service agents as per your company’s dynamic requirements.

India remains the leading destination for offshore call center outsourcing companies. Besides India, the other popular options are China, the Philippines, and Poland. In the last ten years, Romania, Mexico, and Brazil have also drawn attention to customer service outsourcing opportunities.

To get the benefit of this huge cost difference, many Fortune 500 companies like British Airways, American Express, GE, HSBC, Citibank, and AT& T, execute their back-office operations in India. A call center outsourcing agent in India costs at least 80% less than its counterpart in the US or UK. By outsourcing their call center operations to India, GE now saves $275 million every year. American Express also followed the suit and partnered with Infosys, and TCS in India. Philippines and China are other important locations for customer service outsourcing.

Customer support function in a company can no longer be relegated to backseat as shown by these Fortune 500 companies. These companies have set the bar high for customer expectations. Irrespective of your industry and size, customers will invariably compare you with the customer experience provided by these fortune 500 companies who are famous for their customer centricity and there is little you can do to avoid that comparison.

At LiveSalesman, we have handled customer support for many Fortune 500 companies.We will gladly share with you the best practices that we have observed, developed and implemented for these leading clients over the years.Speak with ustodayto learn how we can help you offer the same customer experience as they do.

FAQs

How do you manage a call center? ›

How do you effectively manage a call center?
  1. Hire the best employees. ...
  2. Provide comprehensive training and onboarding. ...
  3. Cultivate a coaching culture. ...
  4. Communicate with employees regularly. ...
  5. Ensure proper scheduling. ...
  6. Balance workflow to meet demand. ...
  7. Use data to make sound decisions. ...
  8. Use call monitoring tools.

How can we make our call center more efficient? ›

Top 7 Ways to Increase Agent Efficiency in the Call Center
  1. Clear Processes for Solving Common Problems. ...
  2. Continuous Improvement Training. ...
  3. Skills Based Routing. ...
  4. Live Call Monitoring and Coaching. ...
  5. Inter-agent Chat. ...
  6. Favorable Agent to Supervisor Ratio. ...
  7. Listen to your Agents.
1 Sept 2022

What makes a good call center? ›

Call centers need people with a natural ability for customer service, good listening skills, effective communication skills, an excellent memory, and an enthusiastic attitude. It's the intangibles like enthusiasm and ability to listen that often make the best employees.

What are the best practices that would require for a call Centre executive in hospital? ›

By employing call center best practices, you'll increase patient satisfaction, reduce costs, and help grow the business.
...
Train your agents to:
  • Listen carefully to patient concerns.
  • Maintain eye contact in face-to-face encounters or video chats.
  • Be respectful.
  • Understand patient priorities.
  • Allow patients to ask questions.
20 Oct 2021

What are the objectives of call center operations? ›

Whether you operate a call center business or use one, the primary objective is to generate new sales and revenue while growing the customer base. Typically, call centers have organizational sales objectives as well as quotas for each team or employee.

What are the responsibilities of a call center manager? ›

Call Center Managers are responsible for staff in a call center, who they train, hire, monitor, and motivate. Their job is to make sure that the teams they oversee meet their company's goals and provide sufficient customer support, but there's a lot that goes into this process.

What makes a good team leader in a call centre? ›

Call center leadership has to be transparent and hands-on, so any employee who understands this could be suited to a team leader role. Strong interpersonal skills, a drive to succeed, a desire to learn and staying organized are key traits of good team leaders too.

What are the duties of a call center supervisor? ›

Call Center Supervisor
  • Manages and oversees a team of call center agents.
  • Motivates and supports agents through feedback and communication.
  • Measures KPI's like inbound calls, call waiting, and call abandonment.
  • Assists with taking agents' calls if they can't handle the workload.

How is call center performance measured? ›

To measure agent productivity and performance, call center directors should keep track of these seven key metrics to see where agents need to improve and where they thrive.
  1. Average handle time. ...
  2. Quality monitoring. ...
  3. Customer satisfaction. ...
  4. Schedule adherence. ...
  5. Dial transfer rate. ...
  6. Unavailable time. ...
  7. Agent occupancy.
27 Jul 2021

Why is efficiency important in a call center? ›

Customer satisfaction isn't the only benefit to greater contact center efficiency; improving various metrics also lowers your operating costs – you'll have fewer repeat callers – while improving your employee satisfaction rate and reducing your risk of unhappy customers abandoning your product or service.

What is the most important thing in call center? ›

Effective communication skills

Effective communication is essential to the call center experience. It touches on every single aspect of the job and is a necessary skill in becoming a successful agent.

What are the most important skills for a call center representative? ›

Here are some of the leading qualities you should look for when hiring call center agents:
  • Effective Communication Skills. ...
  • Knowledge Retention and Recall. ...
  • Ability to Handle Pressure. ...
  • Speed and Efficiency. ...
  • Creative Problem Solving. ...
  • Emotional Stability. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Organizational Ability.

What is the centralized call center method? ›

Business Model

A centralized call center addresses this feedback by providing staff the tools to find patient's an appointment -same day or different day-in an efficient manner that meets the patients request.

What are the industry standards for call Centre metrics? ›

The first call resolution (FCR) rate is the metric that measures the percentage of calls that your agents resolve on the first interaction. Meaning, no escalation or need to follow up with the customer. Generally, the global industry benchmark for FCR is 70-75%.

What is a clinical call center? ›

It is a company that manages incoming and outgoing telephone calls for patients and helps to manage appointments and messages and provides patients with information about illnesses, healthcare resources, services provided, or self-management of disease using licensed nurses is a medical call center or medical answering ...

What are the most important goals of customer service? ›

The prime objective of customer service is to answer customer questions quickly and effectively, resolve issues with empathy and care, document pain points to share with internal teams, nurture relationships, and improve brand credibility.

What are the 5 aims of customer service? ›

Let's read customer service goals for employees examples below to know clearly about them:
  • Increase customer satisfaction.
  • Reduce cost per contact.
  • Reduce customer wait time.
  • Increase the quality of customer service responses.
  • Improve agent happiness.
9 Feb 2021

What is most important to help customer service goals? ›

The three most important characteristics of customer service include patience, empathy, and product knowledge. Support agents who provide answers to customers can only give accurate answers if they have complete product knowledge.

What are two major responsibility of operation manager? ›

The specific duties of an Operations Manager include formulating strategy, improving performance, procuring material and resources and securing compliance. You should be ready to mentor your team members, find ways to increase quality of customer service and implement best practices across all levels.

What are the 3 most important roles of a leader? ›

1) Leaders need to have clear goals and objectives; 2) They need to motivate their followers and provide them with direction; 3) They must support their team members in order for them to succeed.

What are the qualities of a good leader? ›

Good leaders possess self-awareness, garner credibility, focus on relationship-building, have a bias for action, exhibit humility, empower others, stay authentic, present themselves as constant and consistent, become role models and are fully present.

What is the most important responsibility of a leader? ›

  • The leader builds long-term loyalty, trust, credibility, commitment, and morale in your team, and it gives your people a confidence boost.
  • It also shows that you are focused on your team's well-being and interests, rather than on yourself.

What are the 5 roles of a supervisor? ›

The five key supervisory roles include Educator, Sponsor, Coach, Counselor, and Director. Each is described below. Note that in your role as a supervisor, you will be using these five roles, in some combination, simultaneously, depending on the needs of the team members.

What is a good service level for call center? ›

For most businesses utilizing call centers, the 80/20 rule is considered the standard or ideal service level. So, what does 80/20 mean in a call center? In this scenario, 80% of calls get answered within 20 seconds. This calculation gives you an idea of how quickly calls are getting answered.

How many calls should be monitored in a call center? ›

At least 2 calls per agent should be assessed each week. QA results should form part of the agent's key job performance metrics.

How do you measure customer satisfaction in a call center? ›

Customer Satisfaction Tools
  1. Net Promoter Score.
  2. Live Chat.
  3. Social Media Mentions.
  4. Marketing Emails.
  5. Short Message Service (SMS)
  6. Churn Rate.
  7. Follow-Up Surveys.
3 Jun 2021

What are the duties of a call center manager? ›

Call center managers hire, train, prepare, and motivate their staff members to provide excellent service to customers. The set objectives, analyze call center metrics, ensure that the company and staff meet goals, and provide reliable, efficient support for customers.

What are the most common call center interview questions? ›

Our Best Call Center Interview Questions Are:
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • How would your previous team/manager describe you?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • What enticed you to apply?
  • Why are you leaving your current role?
  • What are the key factors that make a call center successful?
27 Jan 2022

How do you write an action plan for a call center? ›

When developing your call center emergency plan:
  1. Identify any systems that could be at risk, especially those that are business-critical.
  2. Identify backup power sources.
  3. Identify key personnel.
  4. Prioritize responsibilities that support business continuity.
  5. Clearly communicate expectations to all call center agents.

What are call center metrics? ›

What does metrics mean in a call center? Call center metrics gauge the overall effectiveness of customer service teams. Many aspects of call centers use metrics to measure performance, agent productivity, and other activities that lead to increased customer satisfaction.

What skills do you need to be a call centre manager? ›

7 Essential Call Center Manager Skills
  • Customer Service. As a call center manager, you are directly responsible for the quality of your company's customer service. ...
  • Empower Others. ...
  • Employee Monitoring and Training. ...
  • Effective Communication. ...
  • Problem-Solving. ...
  • Demonstrate Integrity. ...
  • Emotional Intelligence.

How do I become a call center operations manager? ›

Call Center Operations Manager Qualifications
  1. Bachelor's Degree.
  2. 5+ years of managerial experience.
  3. Customer service experience preferred.
  4. Motivated self-starter.
  5. Excellent verbal communication skills.
  6. 3+ years of call center experience preferred.

What are the most important skills for a call center representative? ›

Here are some of the leading qualities you should look for when hiring call center agents:
  • Effective Communication Skills. ...
  • Knowledge Retention and Recall. ...
  • Ability to Handle Pressure. ...
  • Speed and Efficiency. ...
  • Creative Problem Solving. ...
  • Emotional Stability. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Organizational Ability.

What are your skills and strengths? ›

In most job interviews, candidates will be asked to describe their strengths and weaknesses.
...
What employers are looking for:
StrengthsWeaknesses
Analytical skillsHard skills (defined by the job description)
Communication skillsSoft skills (such as public speaking)
Leadership skills
Ability to work in a team

What are the 5 key performance indicators call center? ›

Call center managers should consider and identify KPIs for the following activities: customer effort, customer satisfaction, revenue (sales and/or collections), agent effectiveness and engagement, and agent productivity.

What is the most important KPI in a call center? ›

One of the most important call center KPIs is the customer satisfaction rate. If it's high, then it means your customers are delighted with the service you provide. But if it's not, then it's high time to have a look at potential issues inside your call center.

What is a good service level for call center? ›

For most businesses utilizing call centers, the 80/20 rule is considered the standard or ideal service level. So, what does 80/20 mean in a call center? In this scenario, 80% of calls get answered within 20 seconds. This calculation gives you an idea of how quickly calls are getting answered.

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