I am always surprised at the number of companies who are completely unprepared for the telephone traffic that a new website, a new product or service launch on their site or a new online marketing program will generate.
Unfortunately, no matter how good your website is, it will never be as “self-service” as you would like it to be for a number of reasons.
- People are impatient and they may be unwilling to search through your website or wait for a response to an e-mail to get answers to their questions.
- Not everyone learns best through reading.
- Complex services or products may require additional explanation.
- Prospects may be unwilling to purchase a bigger-ticket item without speaking with someone first.
- There may be more than one decision-maker that has to be involved in a purchase.
Your first and biggest challenge will be having your web call center properly staffed when people are actually calling. Callers may be in different time zones or they may be responding to your marketing outside of your normal business hours.
It is absolutely vital for your marketing department to give your customer service department’s web call center plenty of advanced notice about marketing initiatives and advertising schedules. For example, are they about to do an e-mail blast to 10,000 prospects with a special offer? Is your web call center properly staffed for the responses and do your reps have all of the details on the offer? I am amazed at how often this type of information is never communicated and how much havoc and lost opportunities it creates.
The second challenge is all of the different kinds of customer service requests that your representatives in the web call center need to be properly prepared for. These include:
- Product and service questions.
- Requests for special pricing on bulk orders.
- Questions regarding special offers.
- Integration issues with existing services or products.
- Callers placing orders.
- Delivery and billing questions and problems.
- Return policies and actual returns.
- Website technical problems.
- Requests for a phone or in-person appointment with a salesperson.
Do you really have the telephone support in place in your web call center that you need to handle the traffic from your online marketing initiatives?
This blog was written by Laurie Leonard, the President of SUITE 1000, a U.S. based national telephone answering service, inbound call center and outsourced call center service. Her company has specialized in handling legal intake, sales leads, email lead response, appointment scheduling, customer service and help desk calls for over 20 years.