The role of a call centre is becoming a central element of reputation for brands. It is increasingly difficult to find the right balance between levels of customer satisfaction and the cost of running the service. In the after-sales sector, this equation becomes even more complex with the addition of a third party: the repairer.

After-sales service: from the call to the intervention

An efficient call centre is the result of a balance between customer satisfaction and the cost of running the service. Depending on the value of the service or the goods, this equation will be revised downwards or upwards, however it remains a binary relationship between a brand and the customer. The after-sales service adds a dimension with the intervention of a repairer. As a result, the call centre becomes both a place of customer satisfaction and an essential cog in the repair of the device. The call centre operator must be able to pass on the correct information to the repairer in order for the intervention to be efficient. In particular, for out-of-warranty calls, customer satisfaction will depend on the efficiency of the intervention.

The temptation of low cost: doubling costs by reducing satisfaction

The operating cost of a call centre will be defined by three criteria:

  • the location
  • the training of operators
  • the importance of turn-over

It is therefore important to make informed choices from the outset when setting up a call centre. By favouring a low-cost outsourcing strategy, certain budget items can be reduced in the first instance. However, the quality of the information transmitted to the repairer may be deteriorated. In this case, the repairer will have to call the consumer back or make several visits to the consumer’s home to make up for the lack of information. This aspect must be taken into account in the equation, as well as that of declining customer satisfaction. This may ultimately impact the brand image. In the case of an outsourcing strategy, the solution remains to train the repairers well and to integrate this dimension into the budget.

The winning strategy: transforming your call centre into a high-performance customer relations tool

The future of after-sales service lies in reparability. We are going to see a strong growth in out-of-warranty interventions. Competition is preparing to win the hearts of consumers. In the face of this upscaling, manufacturers who have already put in place loyalty strategies will be able to make the most of the situation. The key to success therefore lies in the quality of the call centre (read our article on optimising your after-sales service) and in its follow-up. The analysis of all the metrics, from the call to the resolution of the malfunction, makes it possible to improve the call centre and to correct any obstacles or bottlenecks. By correlating the call centre and repair statistics, it is possible to clearly identify the level of customer satisfaction. Thus, the call centre becomes a centre of profit and return on investment.