Call Centers

Dose anyone use a call center to take orders and if you do what are the pros and cons of haveing one.

I don’t even have a pizza joint, but I sure have an opinion on this. This is exactly the kind of thing the big boys should be doing. I love it when they have a “great idea” that lowers their ability to service their own customers. One of the things that sets the independants apart is their ability to react to a customer’s needs. The level of customer service should be higher at an indy shop.

Dell outsourced their call centers to India. They’re moving them back to the US. Granted, it’s not exactly a great example, but it does show that customer service is important and if a customer doesn’t receive the service they feel they deserve, they WILL find it elsewhere.

I think that’s a great example snowman. I leased some computers from Dell once. I have since promised that I would NEVER do business with them until they moved their customer support from India; and that’s been a promise I’ve kept.

I wouldn’t mind if it was something simple like billing. But when I have a complex question about my LEASE, I’m still talking to somebody that doesn’t have a grasp of English. When I asked to speak with somebody in the U.S., they gave me a new number that routed right back to India.

Same thing in the pizza business. I think customers should have somebody answer the phone that knows the area for deliveries, knows what’s going on in the store right at that moment (like wait times), knows the specials and any new menu items because they’ve tried them, and probably knows the customer already as well.

We are still small enough to remember customer names and addresses, so sending our calls to a call center would scalp our ability to maintain a personal relationship with regular customers. Sure, they will have computers and call-id and last order and all. It is the personal connection that will keep my business on the map when competition comes calling.

I agree… but i dont feel size should have anything to do with it… Customers like talking to you. they like feeling at home in a pizza place… in my travels i noticed people like talking to 2 people… the pizza guy and their barber… 1on 1 contact is the better then any advertising…

bad idea…

if your going to do anything - just hire the right people who can slam dunk the orders without mistakes…

also the future is trying to get your customers to place the orders online or via cell

two of the stores in my company use a call center, they are in the same city. The pro is: your staff doesn’t have to worry about answering phones, they can put all their efforts and focus on taking care of customers. People in call centers are usually trained extensively before being put on phones, so there is less chance for operator mistakes.

Some of the cons:

The call center might not know if one store is out of mushrooms or something like that:

The call center might not know the area well enough and may take a delivery order way out of the area.

The call center can’t really handle complaints, as that is the managers job and the manager is in the store.

the call center can’t give the driver messages, but they can send a message through POS, but the POS might not have enough space for a message.

Call centers can be expensive.

Pizza Hut in Australia has a all centre where you phone a 1300 number (free call) and they take your order and divert it to the closest store.

Trouble with that is before owing my own store I once called from my car mobile phone on the way home from work about 30 minutes away from the store near where I lived. They wanted to send me to the closest store to where I was calling from.

It took a lot of arguing with them to get them to have the order put through the store near my home.

Guess what happened after that episode…?

The franchise that we bought into makes us use a call center. They take calls for over 75 locations in 6 different states. I keep going back and forth over whether or not it’s a good or bad thing. I’ve been dealing with the call center for over four years and here’s what I’ve found.

The pros:

-Professional customer service(cs) reps answering the phone for you.

-Consistent up selling and suggest selling.

-CS reps being able to focus on the customer.No loud oven noises, employees talking loudly or fooling around in the background.

-You’re able to put your focus on your walk-in customers with phone interuptions.

-You’re able to continuously work on making orders without stopping to answer the phone.

The cons:

-The cost. They charge us 88 cents an order.

-Customers like to talk to the store directly.

-For some reason, people don’t like calling an 800 number.

-CS reps don’t know your area. They sometimes question whether or not a customer is in our area when they clearly are.

-Any type of technology or power failure that happens at the call center shuts down your entire operation. This has happened three times in the last four years.

Overall I still believe that the call center is a good thing. It would be a no brainer if they could just limit their mistakes and reduce the cost.