Desislava Makulova, founder and manager of DMG Consult, on the importance of top-quality call-centre services in the modern business environment
Online sales have boomed in the past year, but many companies still struggle to translate the increased interest into real growth. What stops them from unleashing their potential? Desislava Makulova knows the answer. The founder and manager of DMG Consult, a company focused on top-quality call-centre services, has seen the businesses of many partners flourish after outsourcing customer services operations to the professionals. The result is happier, more satisfied and loyal clients and businesses that not only survive, but thrive.
How DMG Consult became part of your professional biography?
I have always been a part of the private sector. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and since when I was a child I have helped in my parents' business. At dinner time my family would discuss business cases from the day and would share the goals and ambitions for the next one. With time, I became more involved in the family business, and after I graduated I practiced in real life what I had learnt. This experience helped me to create my own company. I learned the most valuable business lessons in my life not in university or in an online training, but in our family business.
In order to become a good manager, one should experience business on both sides of the employer-employee divide. This is why after I graduated from university I worked in other companies. I needed this experience to cumulate expertise and funding, and to eventually establish my own business. My partner, who works in the same field and is very supportive and completes me, was also crucial for the success of DMG Consult.
How being a lady reflects on your work?
As a woman I benefit from the female perspective on life, namely, being more organised and goal-focused than men. We are also better communicators. We manage not only to read the body language of the opposite side; we are also better listeners. This helps us to make the right conclusions and predictions on how the situation will unfold. Our acumen and intuitions are more developed. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says "I'm possible!".
Some of Bulgaria's largest companies use DMG Consult call-centre services. What added value do you bring to your partners?
DMG Consult helps the business of its partners (I say partners because we do not see them as contractors and clients), in several directions:
Improvement of customer satisfaction: Proper question answering and receiving signals and recommendation of our partners' clients result in the improved satisfaction of the caller. When they are happy with the service, they become satisfied customers and loyal clients.
Quick feedback for distribution network issues: We often receive clients' feedback about problems with our partner's distribution. Recently, for example, loyal clients' signals helped our contractor to identify misappropriation in its stores. Problems like this damage the company's image, as the customer does not link the problem with the store, but with the manufacturer.
Distribution network control: Delivery people are busy and when driving or delivering are not always able to accept new orders. We, at DMG Consult, receive the orders on Bulgarian territory and redirect them to the regional distributor while keeping track if the parcel was delivered and is the client satisfied. In our practice we have "uncovered" bad delivery people who have damaged the image of our contractors.
In the current environment of cut-throat business competition client satisfaction is the most important thing. This is the added value that we bring to our partners. We turn their customers into loyal clients and help them identify a number of operational issues. Feedback is an important asset.
Bulgaria has a qualified workforce fluent in all European languages that allows us to easily serve international companies without their clients noticing that the service is outsourced.
How did 2020 influence the BPO services you offer?
A significant part of the business reoriented towards online customer service. The companies who reduced their staff due to market contraction searched for new methods for communicating with their clients. We met this need with solutions that help companies to offer quality services without additional expenses. We even allowed them to cut their staff and equipment expenses with up to 40%. In short, a growing number of companies demanded our services as they helped them to easily transition from face-to-face to online customer service without additional expenses. They even increased their turnover. The Covid-19 crisis stimulated "distance" client services, which is our core business activity.
How can you help a company improve its effectiveness in 2021?
I see more and more online stores and websites who lack a phone a client could call, or if they have one it is in the Contacts section leaving the impression that it is an office number, thus discouraging a client to call and enquire. I am really surprised when I see such a thing. I cannot understand why companies shy away from receiving calls from customers and their feedback.
When a client shops online they want to be sure that they order from a company they can contact at any time in case of delivery or product problem. This inspires trust. Some clients prefer calling because they are cautious or have difficulties ordering online. They want a real conversation with a real person, not writing an email and waiting for an answer. In short, the customer wants personal attention. If they do not get it right away, they will order from your competition.
Besides online stores, we are as well of great help in software product services. The end client is very satisfied when someone answers their call and helps them use the product they have purchased.
Partnership with DMG Consult allows companies to reduce their client services expenses with 40-60%.
What is more important for effective call-centre service: the employees or the technology?
For me, the employees have always been a company's main asset, no matter the field in which it operates. The staff is who you rely on in difficult moments. A well-working team can overcome any situation. When the employees feel that they are one whole with the company, that they belong, then the company's success is guaranteed. Technology can make work easier, but it cannot replace the unified team. I have always worked towards building a bonded team. The more unified the employees are, the better the quality of the call-centre services they offer is.
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