General

Rethinking Call Centers for Franchises

It’s tough managing the phones while running a business—salons, spas, gyms, and medical offices often turn to call centers to carry the burden. They’re the conventional approach to customer service, and the market is massive, with well-entrenched players. Unfortunately, they also present many challenges: they’re expensive to operate even for limited coverage; have long wait-times; are challenging to staff and train; and are simply antiquated. 

That’s why businesses increasingly look for alternatives, with many turning to AI to augment or replace their call centers entirely. Businesses that have adopted True Lark’s fluent, AI-led communication platform, for example, have found they can completely reimagine their client experience with 24/7 support and immediate engagement, without the cost and headache of running a contact center. 

Key Call Center Challenges

While the idea of an always-on human presence for your phones sounds like a great idea, businesses face a lot of issues with call centers:

  • They’re expensive. Contact centers cost up to $10 per call fielded depending on whether the agent is on-location or outsourced; geography; seasonality; and other factors. In a multi-unit or franchise model, this ends up costing $500 to $3,000 per location per month for 4-10 hours of coverage per day — adding up to as much as 5% of revenue. 
  • Customers hate waiting. The best-run contact centers can operate on a 10-second wait time off-peak. But during peak hours it’s a different story — typical wait-times range from 30 seconds to 20 minutes or more. Customers don’t like waiting, and will either try again later or grow impatient and take their business elsewhere. The consequences are real: poor customer satisfaction and lower conversion to booked revenue.
  • Agents aren’t well trained. Let’s face it, call center jobs are repetitive and don’t offer long-term growth opportunities to front-line agents. As a result, many call centers see 100% staff turnover annually. Their most well-trained agents likely leave every year, leaving behind the newer ones who are less adept at serving your customers.
  • People just don’t like the experience. It’s simple, none of us enjoys reaching a call center, especially unexpectedly—pressing buttons, waiting (and waiting), finally talking to someone who can’t quite help you as well as you’d hoped. The experience does not reflect well on your brand.

A Modern Alternative to Call Centers

Since the advent of email, most of us have become increasingly comfortable communicating digitally. Messaging and texting are now common ways customers connect with businesses—many even prefer them over old school methods. So it is more important than ever that you get up to speed.

Fortunately, True Lark allows brands to address each of the limitations contact centers present. Our fluent, AI-led communication platform handles a wide-range of use cases and seamlessly integrates into leading business management software at a fraction of the cost of traditional call centers. Plus it scales to the size of your business, whether you have one location or are rapidly expanding nationwide.

Businesses see engagement rates often exceed 80% and resolution rates over 75%, allowing them to dramatically improve customer experience with modern, convenient, and 24/7 support at a significantly reduced cost. 

And for businesses that want to stick with a call center backup, True Lark integrates seamlessly by either fielding all inquiries and passing unhandled ones to the call center or by allowing callers to choose their preferred method. Both options reduce call center costs dramatically. 

But for most businesses, call centers alone are no longer the best option. To learn more about how True Lark can help you rethink your call center needs, reach out to schedule a time to chat.