Why I Love/hate Call Centres?
And what gives us a touch of magic ...
Posted by Jacqui Frost on 10/06/2013
Did you watch The Call Centre last week? As you can imagine, we were quite keen to see what the show was all about. Whilst we are inbound call handlers - and with such a small team of Genies - we don't like to consider ourselves to be a call centre, there are enough similarities with outbound call centres like Nev's that it was worth a look ...
so what did you think of Nev and his team on The Call Centre?
Now, not everyone was won over by the 18-30s style of motivation and the high jinx attitude in the office. There is, however, definitely something to be said for smiling over the phone. Sounding bright and friendly is rule number one, not only of sales but also of great customer service. So when you are first line contact - which we often are - then smiling before you pick up the phone is crucial. It starts the relationship off in the right way, and for returning customers, it is nice to know the company you are dealing with are still bright and enthusiastic about dealing with you.
I have previously written a blog about how to take a great call which you can read here, though much of it is also applicable if you are making calls. The important thing to remember is that what is going on in the office should not affect the call you are making/taking. I loved the bit where the girl was doing exercises with her arms. It kept her energy level up; important when you sit at a desk all day, but it did not affect the call that she was making, except that the high energy level showed in her bright and bubbly voice and demeanor over the phone.
One thing that struck me was the large number of staff - 700 is way beyond the imaginings of most businesses when they restart. I couldn't imagine working with and motivating 700 team members, as he said in the programme, it is quite a task. Also from the show and from some of the discussions I have seen online, there is a rapid turnover of staff. Now obviously if you are not bright, bubbly and vivacious with a thick skin then fitting into that team would be pretty hard (I'm not sure how I would have coped with people hiding the necessary tools for my job and then messing with my equipment). One consideration, of course, is the job at hand. If you are not meant to be in telesales then it can be quite a difficult job, and with the high energy approach in Nev's call centre I can imagine that it is quite difficult to sustain for more than a couple of years.
I think that Nev is a bit of a crunchy nut. For some I suspect he is like crunchy nut cornflakes and they will find The Call Centre highly addictive viewing. For others maybe their attention will wain over the course of the series. And I do wonder whether the show does anything to improve the bad reputation that call centres have?
Like I said earlier we do not consider ourselves to be a call centre. We are a small team so even with the odd bit of high jinx it is unlikely to spill over into the phone calls that we take. Fun is essential in any office and with our small team of 7 Genies we are close knit and the friendships that have been built up mean that we do have fun. The added benefit of being such a small team is that callers rarely hear the background buzz that clearly indicates you are talking to a large call centre.
One joy of using such a small team is that you can come in and train everyone, not just a small section of the team. You can speak to every member of your call answering team and explain to them what makes you passionate about your business. Building a relationship with your Genies will reap you the rewards, something that would be impossible with a call centre of 700 staff.
We also have less of a turnover of staff answering the calls, most Genies have been with us for two years or more and we are all now over 30. This means that we are experienced call handlers using our life experience as much as the information that our clients have given us, not simply message takers with no further thought than that.
If you would like to experience the benefit of a small team of people who can answer your phones without sounding like a call centre then do call us on +44 (0) 845 9011803 or click here to ping over an email.
And please do let us know below what you thought of Nev and his team!
Be magical ...