Week before last, our client got hit with an adverse event. They placed an emergency call to us, asking that we scramble and immediately add channels. Our beautiful 30-day omni-channel roadmap was toast.
We proudly describe Callzilla as a boutique contact center. But what does that really mean, and why is it a good thing? Here’s an example.
We have an awesome client. One that goes about things in an iconoclastic fashion, one that knows what it wants and is learning the possible routes to achieve its customer care mission.
This particular client started its customer care offering with an email-only solution. The idea was that it wouldn’t have to staff up too much, it could learn a little bit before having to commit resources, and assign the task of responses to a few people that don’t have much else to do.
This was add-channels-as-fast-as-you-can-we’re-gonna-bleed-to-death triage.
We’ve all heard of these companies, but it’s still rare to actually meet one. Well, we have one! And it’s really exciting to collaborate with them to teach them about the different communication channels, and which ones make sense for sales and which ones make sense for customer care.
Our client actually listened to us, and adopted the communication channel roadmap that we developed together. We plotted to add phone for sales and customer care and live chat for customer care and tech support.
And then the client got hit with a very unplanned, very adverse event.
Our beautiful omni-channel roadmap all of a sudden was torn to shreds. We got an emergency call asking that we scramble and immediately add channels so the affected customers could quickly communicate with this brand, document their problems, and begin resolving them.
Email alone wouldn’t be adequate. We had to open phone and IVR channels.
This was not just an accelerated schedule. This was add-channels-as-fast-as-you-can-please-we’re-gonna-bleed-to-death triage for a company that had never even ventured beyond email communications with its customers. The exercise required us to quickly create these channels for the first time, teach team members the importance of why and how to help customers hurt by these events, and most importantly, inspire trust. Our client had to trust us that we could set up the new channels and help their customers find a sense of resolution.
Bottom line, the client called us on a Friday and needed the lines to be up and running in “a couple of business days”.
So we did it. By Tuesday we were up and running.
These emergencies can’t be resolved just by throwing resources at them.
I won’t kid you. The emergency created a little bit of tension and pressure for Callzilla. But I am particularly proud of how our leadership team reacted when our client needed emergency help. Our team has come up with solutions that I didn’t think they’d be able to create so quickly, or as independently as they did. There was no moaning or groaning. They took a very entrepreneurial approach: Let’s get this taken care of. It was inspirational to see.
This kind of “on demand” agility is what helps a boutique operation outperform a large contact center, even ones that specialize in “adverse events,” like an auto manufacturer’s recall or product tampering.
These emergencies are not problems that can be resolved just by throwing a lot of resources at them, but rather by ingenuity, creativity, speed, and desire to help out our clients. Sure, in theory and army of IT people and agents could get things done quickly, but in the real world it usually doesn’t work out that way. Big contact centers have more of a bureaucracy to impede changes. We have fewer layers of complexity.
We aren’t just a vendor or a service provider to our clients. We are a strategic ally as they open communications channels. We help them manage risks. We want them to shine, because that makes us shine. -Neal
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