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Why the Call Center Must Match the Right Agent with the Right Customer

January 07, 2013
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Today’s customer is more educated about available products and services than ever before, demanding a new and strategic approach to matching the right agent to the right customer. To create the optimal experience for the customer, the hosted call center needs to connect him or her with an agent who understands his or her needs and preferences. In doing so, the customer’s issue is more likely resolved quickly.

Hosted call center provider inContact published a recent white paper highlighting the importance of matching customers with the right agents, including the resulting efficiencies and the creation of an intimate relationship. When an agent can resolve a customer issue on first contact, richer relationships will emerge as customers are more likely to extend their dialogue with agents when the interaction is positive.

Customers also tend to prefer to conduct additional business with a company that displays a clear understanding of their needs and the ability to meet them without delay. This level of trust also leads to more information sharing. When this information is used wisely, the customer is likely to be loyal and even develop into an advocate for the brand as a result of the personalized service they experience when interacting with the company.

While the trend toward the hosted call center is gaining a lot of attention, the deployment of a cloud-based strategy alone is not enough to create this intimate relationship that can drive results. The call center must anticipate customer expectations and integrate a strategy for each communication channel. Customers expect swift and absolute resolution, regardless of the channel used, putting pressure on the agent to address customer issues if channels are not managed effectively.

For instance, the customer that uses the IVR to first navigate the automated system should not have to repeat any information already entered into the system if he or she needs to connect with a live agent on the same call. The channels should be integrated so that the agent already knows who the customer is and why he or she is calling before they are connected. This personalized approach not only creates satisfaction for the customer, it also improves the efficiency of the call.

To achieve this level of customer service, however, it takes more than an integrated call center. Agents must also be trained according to the capabilities of the call center and the service level expectations of the customer. If the call center promotes resolution on the first call, agents need to be equipped with the right tools to ensure they have the knowledge to resolve the issue.

For many a customer, their loyalty lies with the company best suited to meet their needs before they become problems. If the hosted call center doesn’t approach its customer care with this in mind, they may find the competition has the upper hand.

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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