Canadian entrepreneurs have been told of the value of call centres for online businesses in the UK.

The High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom commissioned Euromonitor International to put together a report with a particular focus on UK startups in the ecommerce market.

In the introduction, the report states: “The UK is the most advanced ecommerce market in Europe and presents entrants with a highly diverse environment that is quick to test out new businesses and approaches to internet retailing.”

“Companies entering the UK market for ecommerce can expect to see continued growth as sales are forecast to rise by 44% in the next five years,” it adds.

The report goes on to look at the importance of customer service for businesses operating in the UK, and why call centres are a major component in getting it right.

Right every time

Ecommerce startups in the UK are told to remember the importance of a positive customer experience in order to encourage brand loyalty among the country’s relatively fickle consumers.

When UK customers feel as though their expectations from a particular vendor have been let down, they find it easy to switch to a different retailer or supplier.

“Companies need to get interactions right every time in order to retain UK customers,” the report states. “Call centres remain an effective method of interacting with customers.”

It cites a study by Microsoft that found 62% of customers had stopped buying from a brand due to a poor customer service experience.

“On top of this, the bar is rising, with nearly two thirds of respondents noting that they expected more from customer service compared to the previous year,” it adds.

How to exceed expectations

A streamlined UK call centre operation is a strong step towards meeting and exceeding customer expectations by offering the kind of support British consumers expect from ecommerce brands.

The Euromonitor International report notes that companies often combine live support channels, such as call centre operators, with technologies that enable self-service.

In this way, the number of live calls put through to call centre agents is reduced, offsetting operating costs and lowering the pressure on the call centre.

The study cites examples including website chatbots and self-serve portals as ways to achieve this without sacrificing the user experience.

Self-service via IVR

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is one call centre technology that can also achieve the dual aims of reducing demand on live call operators and serving relevant, personalised information to callers.

IVR automation using MaxContact can reduce handling time by more than a fifth and agent involvement on calls by over a third.

UK consumers are familiar with IVR for processes like submitting meter readings to utility suppliers, and many prefer IVR if it removes the need to talk to a human advisor.

MaxContact Omni combines call centre technologies with online tools like Web Chat and structured email messaging – allowing transactions to be completed online and recorded in full for future reference.

To find out more, call or email MaxContact today, or fill in our online enquiry form for a quick reply from a member of our team.