Whether or not to establish a call center can be a critical decision for a company. That’s because, as far as your customers are concerned, your call center is literally the voice of your company. For many, this voice on the line is their sole contact with your operation.
So the individual who picks up the phone when your customers call will determine how your customers see your company, no matter if that voice on the line actually works for your company or is an outsourced professional.
So, how do you determine whether your business would benefit from making this critical investment? How do you know when the time is right to establish or contract with a call center?
Let’s start with the basics.
What Is a Call Center?
A call center is an operation set up for a company to handle high volumes of inbound—and sometimes outbound—phone calls to and from customers. Most of your advertising efforts will be to funnel your prospects to your call center.
A good call center operation will involve well-trained individuals with excellent customer service skills and the ability to sell, upsell, generate leads and answer all customer questions and concerns.
Your call center operation should also be able to track and capture critical metrics such as average waiting time, call abandonment rate, first call resolution, and—perhaps the ultimate metric—customer satisfaction. With these numbers, you’ll get an objective look at how your call center operation is doing, and how it can be improved.
Now let’s look at the factors that can determine whether your business would benefit from an in-house or outsourced call center operation.
When Your Customers Need Answers to Complex Questions
Some products or service offerings are easily understood by little more than a picture or a few lines of copy. Others are either too complex to understand without answers to follow-up questions or are such big-ticket items that your customers are unlikely to take action without first talking to a salesperson or company representative.
If your company sells such products or services, it’s imperative that you have some sort of effective real-time customer interface.
Your prospective customers, whether commercial or consumer, are impatient for answers. Just make sure your call center workers, whether company employees or outsourced support team members, are adequately trained on your operations and the products and services you offer.
It’s important that those who represent your company are competent and committed and can get that across to customers, whether or not they are actually employees of your company or are nearshore BPO agents.
When Your Advertising Might Trigger Impulse Buys
When your advertising has worked and your customers want to place an order, it’s your responsibility to make sure that’s as easy to do as possible. Give interested parties the option of walking into your store, responding with a few online clicks, or placing a quick, toll-free phone call. Better yet, all of the above. The easier you make it to conduct that sale, the better.
If your call center operation is set up to primarily receive orders, ensure your staff knows how to proceed quickly and accurately. That’s true whether you’re working in a B2B or a B2C environment.
When Customer Service Is a Vital Element of Your Business Model
Most companies claim to be customer service-oriented, but only the most successful enhance their brands by carrying out effective strategies to prove such commitment to service. One such strategy can be a call center for the purpose of answering questions and complaints, providing additional information, and quickly and accurately fulfilling sales.
Just make sure your call center personnel answer phones quickly, are courteous, and can leave their callers convinced that their concerns have been addressed. With a customer-service attitude, all these elements work together to boost customer retention rates.
When Your Phones Aren’t Generating Much Business
We’ve heard of a company that blamed its advertising agency because its phones weren’t ringing, despite that being the call to action on all its ads. It was only later that the advertiser realized the response phone number was going to an empty office.
If one of your company’s main calls to action is to call a number, it’s imperative that you’ve given significant thought to your phone strategy. One metric tracking the effectiveness of call centers is the call abandonment rate. Much like it sounds, this rate measures the number of callers who give up because no one picks up the phone after several rings. Remember what was said earlier: Your customers aren’t patient people.
Then there are the calls that go to long call trees, making customers punch numbers repeatedly, only to find that none of the choices accurately reflect their needs. Another scenario is the phone call that ends with a voicemail requesting that the customer leave a message to get a return call … eventually.
Finally, how about the call picked up by a company employee who doesn’t know how to answer the caller’s question, respond to the complaint, or fulfill an order?
One key reason companies rely on call centers is that the sole occupation of staffers in this department, whether internal or outsourced, is to answer phones, communicate professionally, provide accurate answers, and fulfill orders. Your customer service phone number will always be promptly answered, and your customer needs will be satisfied, to the advantage of your brand.
Is a Call Center The Answer for Your Business?
You’ve read some of the ways a call center can help your business grow and edge out the competition. Whether you decide to take on the expense of having an in-house call center or are weighing the convenience of an outsourced call center, when you have customers, you need excellent customer service.
Find Out How Call Center Services Can Benefit You Today
At Confie, our industry-specific, nearshore business process outsourcing operations can help you prosper. Our call center services will handle your inbound and outbound sales results so your company can focus on its core strengths.