OP: Call Center Inter Galactica has been on the market since 2002. Which means we are now celebrating 14 years of our company. From your point of view, how has the Call Contact Center industry changed since then?
Marcin Kapralski, CCIG Managing Director: Above all the changes have been dynamic. We ourselves started out with 25 positions in one branch in Wrocław. Today we cooperate with over 200 managers and specialist as well as several thousand consultants in 7 branches throughout Poland, who provide the highest quality service through different communication channels for our 60 clients from 17 diffferent industries! This dynamic development has been caused by the changes in the market and the behavior of clients. Over the last 14 years we have seen an amazing sales revolution. The direct (single) model has been supplanted – as the internet has developped – by e-commerce solutions. Next we saw how multichannel sales has given way to crosschannel services. Each of these changes called for the contact center industry to be flexible and to take risks. All in order to be able today to look for new ways of effective services in the omnichannel model – in other words, giving the customer access to the products and services in a time and place which suits him. These 14 years have been spent in continuously perfecting communication skills, ways of reaching the client and tools which help the company and the client to understand each other, through the call center.
OP: Unfortunately, despite everything, there are still negative opinions about Call Centers. Most people shudder just thinking about a call from a consultant, as they think they will convince them to buy a product that they don’t really need. So where were the communication mistakes with the customer made and can they be resolved?
MK: We have to be honest with ourselves – when development is this dynamic, there are bound to be mistakes. Negative opinions of call centers were formed over the years when companies, and their partners were “learning” how to have effective service with the help of a call center. Luckily the stereotypical image of a consultant who phones with an “invitation to a demonstration where you can win a saucepan” is getting less common. This is thanks to the fact that for several years, as an industry we have been focusing on educating clients and showing them that we have undergone a revolution. We’ve drawn conclusions from the feedback of our customers, which means that we can offer professional service and an offer more suited to their needs. And it is this in my opinion – education and professional service, which will be the factors which cause people’s view of call centers to change. Customers notice the convenience of using mobile contact methods to contact companies – not only by telephone, but also by text message, email or instant messenger. The more effective and fast the help that we can offer through different contact channels, the faster we can make people forget about negative experiences in the past.
OP: Without doubt, we are undergoing a revolution in customer contact. More and more informal communication methods are coming into play: from Facebook to instant messenger and even Instagram. Moving with the times, CCIG offers their own tool Social Media Sales. How is it used and how is it different from the traditional solutions?
MK: Social media is where everything is going on. We comment, share events which affect us, and also share coupons for products and services which we’ve used. Other users find these opinions very reliable. The natural function and range of communication in social media is continuously growing, which creates a huge possibility for well adapted, professional and above all, personal customer service. Which is why we’ve created a tool which uses the specifics of social media in a simple way. By appropriate analysis of phrases, it personalizes messages which we send out and allows effective customer service over these channels. But that is not all. What makes Social Media Sales stand out is the fact that we can use it to anticipate the clients’ expectations and make the most of the sales potential of social media. By gradually building up the appropriate database and regularly paying attention to interactions makes it easier to fit the preferences and behavior of the customer. It allows the sales department to react quickly, as they can almost immediately react to the customer’s question and suggest a specific solution, which increases the chance of a sale.