The Customer Relationship Centre is a specialised platform. It is made up of a team of operators whose task it is to prospect for or inform consumers. François Pichault, professor at the University of Liège and holder of a PHD in sociology, defines this service in the following way: “in addition to traditional telemarketing services, the call-centre supports an important part of the usual relationship between any company (here called “the customer”) and its own clients (called “end consumers”). It, therefore, acts as an intermediary”. It should be noted that in many cases, these customer relationship centres are located in a different country from the country where the businesses that use them operate. This is referred to as an offshore Customer Relationship centre.
The main activities of a Customer Relationship centre
Broadly speaking, a Customer Relationship centre is an organisation that is specialised in telemarketing operations. With the collaborations of operators, it does not only issue or receive telephone calls. Today, its activities can be divided into four categories:
Issue phone calls: essential for businesses, call issuance is one of the pillars of revenue, thanks, in particular, to CRM (Customer relationship management).
This may involve:
- Collecting information (file qualifications, surveys, studies),
- Conducting prospecting activities (acquiring clients, selling, scheduling appointments),
- Advertising (project detection, traffic creation),
- Providing after-sales services and
- Follow-up of clients and recovery activities.
Receiving phone calls: this service is the company’s ambassador. It is thanks to this that the company will encourage its customers to purchase. It will also help increase loyalty. It includes:
- The technical service. This is generally divided into three levels, from 1 to 3 according to the size of the problem to be solved.
- After-sales service is there to clarify misunderstandings or to respond to operational problems following a purchase.
- Retention operations, which is essential in the context of the customer relationship, since it is a question of customer loyalty, regardless of whether they wish to delete, cancel or return an order or a contract for instance.
Emailing: the telephone has a bright future ahead, but now, it must cope with the advent of new technologies. Thus, emailing has come to federate the reception and the emission of telephone calls, because it allows, for example, to cater to customers who want to save on their telephone bill or who need quick answers without time constraints. Emailing is a perfect channel that does not require manual intervention. There are even some tools that enable the automation of this service.
The chat: Last but not least, the chat allows agents to assist and reassure a customer throughout the entire process, from pre-sale to after-sales! This tool is now sufficiently developed to function autonomously to answer general questions, to provide information and, in some cases, to act as a Managed Services tool.
Zoom in on the offshore Customer Relationship Centre
Previously used to define oil platforms that are surrounded by water, now the term offshore also applies to customer relationship centres that are located outside the country in which client companies are located.
Among the leading countries in the world in terms of offshore customer relationship centres are Madagascar, Mauritius, in particular, in the Indian Ocean, without forgetting to mention some Maghreb countries.
By choosing offshore customer relationship Centres in, for example, Mauritius, companies benefit from professional, specialised and modern services with operators who trained and closely monitored. The whole process takes place in a secure environment where the confidentiality of data is strictly respected. Over time, Mauritius has become a popular destination with high-flying offers.
The advantages of an offshore Customer Relationship Centre
Many companies have decided to delegate one or several services to an offshore Customer Relationship Centre. Why?
- Quality is guaranteed thanks to efficient and experienced employees who are constantly being trained.
- Flexible schedules: it is possible to offer a 24/7 customer service.
- Labour laws in host countries are often more flexible. At the same time, costs are more advantageous.
- Offshore customer relationship centres have a sufficient number of management staff, which guarantees a qualitative and quantitative service. This is supported by statistics.
- In the long term, offshore customer relationship centres allows you to save time and money: wages are lower, wage costs are much lower and all this without reducing the quality of the work done.
Useful information: offshore does not mean offshoring-complete relocation
Offshore is when a company has decided to transfer one or more services abroad, as opposed to offshoring, which consists of transferring the whole activity, including associated jobs, to another country.
Outsourcing your company’s Customer Relationship Centre is a strategic choice. Above all, it generates, maintains and nurtures a feeling of closeness to your customers. It can become a major asset to the company’s brand image, on the condition that this step is carefully planned. The offshore aspect is a guarantee for the company to make substantial savings without reducing the quality of its service since tele-operators are now professionals who are trained and supervised.
If this choice may seem risky at first, the provider is in fact a partner which will allow your company to grow and to focus on its core business without having to worry about essential additional task which are time consuming and without added value.
The offshore Customer Relationship Centre is an easily accessible option which requires a certain organisation and planning but whose profits are sufficiently numerous to lead your company to success and a positive turnover which tends to increase. The leading countries in this field, such as Mauritius, prove it every day!