News : Call Centers Streamline Customer Service, Provide 24/7 Support
May 19, 2014 -- Call centers play a vital role in customer service for many companies. A few companies in the area either already have or are finding valuable use for call centers.
AT&T operates a call center in Cape Girardeau that employees more than 250 people who keep it running six days a week.
The Cape Girardeau call center handles questions and inquiries from customers and potential customers about the company's broadband, video and voice services, according to Jamie Barton, senior vice president of centers support with AT&T Services Inc.
Representatives are able to resolve customers' issues, including billing issues, plus answer questions, inform customers about various offers and sign them up for services, she said.
"It's just really an easy way for customers to get in touch with us," Barton said.
Big River Telephone Co. in Cape Girardeau operates an in-house call center.
The live call center is operated 24/7, and customer experience representatives "handle the day-to-day needs of our existing customers," as well as product inquiries and sales for those who call regarding telephone and Internet service, said Chris Foeste, general manager of the company, in an email to the Southeast Missourian.
Having the appropriate information available for customers in need is an important part of the representatives' duties and customer service.
"No one calls a company unless they need information," Foeste said. "We make sure the systems and people have the information to meet the customers' needs which, in turn, keeps the customer with Big River."
Providing good customer service is the central goal behind both call centers.
While some companies use automated phone systems or have moved their support overseas, Big River demonstrates its commitment to the customer by using local, live call centers, Foeste said.
Having friendly, professional and trustworthy representatives on the other end of the line helps improve customer experience and the value of AT&T's service and products, Barton said. The call center also provides an easy way for customers to get in touch with the company, allowing it to be more accessible.
The call center provides another service to AT&T -- it allows the company to pinpoint areas where particular problems are occurring. Should a call center receive a large volume of calls, the company can "zero in on that and go to work on it," Barton said.
Big River's call center represents a promise to meet customers' needs whenever they need to be met, Foeste said.
"Our call center is not only necessary to do business; it is the foundation of our customer-focused company," he said.
24Seven Call Center, 111 N. Missouri St. in Jackson, opened earlier this year by local owners Dana Hukel and Jaime McCoy. The center employs four full-time and two part-time employees. It offers call center technology and software adaptable to any business need for inbound and outbound call solutions.
Integrity Solution Services, formally known as National Asset Recovery Services in Cape Girardeau, closed its doors after Charter Communications chose to end its business relationship with Integrity on July 11. Stacy Spradling, vice president of human resources for Integrity, said in an previous interview with the Southeast Missourian that Charter Communications decided to consolidate its customer service and call center operations and move them in-house. The Integrity call center employed about 400 full-time employees.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2014