A couple of months ago I asked "Can customer service become a profit center?" Now McKinsey & Company have considered the same question. (Are they reading this blog?) They find that call centers can, in fact, generate substantial sales increases, but only if the center is first providing great customer service. So don’t keep me on hold for 20 minutes then try to cross sell me. But answer my call promptly, with a well-trained person who can really help me, and I’m juiced about doing more business with you. So ask.
The McKinsey report is on a pay site, but their summary is free.
Business Strategy Implication: Think of your call center as a great retail store. The entire ambiance creates an environment which is inviting, which makes me want to do business with you. If, on the other hand, you’re continuing what Clark Howard calls "customer no-service," you’re wasting your time trying to get people to give you more business.