Update: We have returned to taking phone calls in person. The call center answers calls only outside our business hours or if we have no capacity to answer the calls ourselves quickly.
Quick Summary: //SEIBERT/MEDIA is now forwarding calls received on 0611-20570-0 to a call center. With the customer, the call center fills out a form, which is then processed internally within minutes by email and live chat. We hope to provide you with more competent, faster and more reliable support.
We have offered live chat for years on our websites. For a couple of months we have been using Intercom. I am pretty enthusiastic about the software. For our next step, we have now redirected our central telephone number (0611-20570-0) to a call center. Queries are received from there via a form in Intercom and are processed by internal staff immediately. Currently, our average over the last 90 days has been three minutes (median).
Why don't you answer the phones yourself?
We have, until now. There is really nothing wrong with it, because that is what callers expect: I call them, they answer, I say what I want. And because we want to change that now, I have written this post to explain why. It is not that we are too lazy or that we shy away from contact with our customers. The opposite is actually the case. We want to be faster and better. And we believe that we need technology to be so.
Callers should not have to explain themselves several times, but get help quickly
You have most likely experienced it often that you had to explain your request to several different people. This is annoying. And it is not improving as the years roll by. The expectation that a single person, the first to answer the caller, can answer the question, is obsolete. Now, we will direct you to a call center and create a ticket. This is internally forwarded and the person responsible can directly answer. You can, of course, request a call back. But we will also respond by e-mail and be available to attend a live chat.
Reasons and advantages for this change of process
Here are a few reasons why this new process inspires me, and I hope that our customers will also see it that way:
- Faster to reach those truly responsible
It is much easier for us to "push through" the entire company in a digital system, and directly involve managers or people who are never passed any telephone calls. It is great that we can easily involve additional employees in our exchange with the customer.
- Communication is documented comprehensively
The exchange with the customer is fully documented and this allows us to deal with inquiries better and more sustainably.
- No more telemarketers and headhunters
We get a tremendous number of calls from telephone salespeople, headhunters and personnel service providers: We do not have to deal with these in the future! Headhunters are often so well-trained to impudently approach our employees on a call, that they are actually forwarded internally. This annoys me the most, because they often flat-out lie to reach their intended contact.
- Super-fast and competent help via live chat
I hope that our customers will contact us more often through live chat and email, especially when they see that we offer a fast and reliable service. In fact, this is almost my main hope. Of course you also have to make phone calls and host desktop sharing sessions, and so on as well. But many things can be solved quickly and simply in live chat.
- One central collection point for all inquiries at //SEIBERT/MEDIA
Our customers can access their conversations with us via the Intercom service on any of our sites and web pages, where this icon is shown in the bottom right. This permanent record of conversation is helpful, and it encourages customers to refer back to them and ask additional questions.
Do you really not want to receive any telephone calls?
Of course we do! All employees can be reached as normal via their extensions. In addition, our other central telephone numbers for support and emergencies are not changed. It is currently an experiment to see how well this new inquiry procedure works, and test the reaction of our customers. This blog post serves as an explanation for all who call us on the 0611-20570-0, and is also a request to give us feedback - do you like or hate our new, faster call center approach?
You can send us your feedback by filling in the following form: http://seibert.biz/callcenterfeedback