Archive for April, 2008

Call Center Vs Contact Center

Call Center word gives image to people to think a place or office where people neatly organized into rows, sitting beside their phones, answering customer calls. So what is a contact center?

The newer name – contact center – reflects the fact that more than just phone calls are being handled. Many call centers have evolved over the years to do much more than just answer phones. Contact centers are more than headset-wearing switch-board operators. The modern contact center handles phone calls, email, and online communication – including instant messaging.

 

The traditional call center conjures up an image of a group of agents all located in the same office space. Agents armed with headsets handle voice calls throughout their shifts. Customers and business partners contact the call center via the phone. This contact centers have been called call centers. More often than not, the call center is not fully integrated with the information streams and processes of the business, with the call center utilizing the voice network and the rest of the businesses processes using the data network.

 

Some companies choose to separate the handling of customer contacts by medium. For instance, a company may establish a department for inbound calls, one for outbound calls, and a group for email. Some companies, especially smaller ones, opt to create “global agents” who handle all contact types. Companies create universal contact agents for reasons of efficiency and service, and often because they find it easier to train agents in multiple communication methods than to train multiple agents in product or service information. Rest is depends on customer to decide that how they want to communicate with call center company, and it is up to call center to respond appropriately through its contact center.

 

Therefore, A call center is operated by a company to administer incoming product support or information inquiries from consumers. Outgoing calls for telemarketing, clientèle, and debt collection are also made. In addition to a call center, collective handling of letters, faxes, and e-mails at one location is known as a contact center. And a call center (see spelling differences) is a centralized office used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone.

Offshoring, what you can do to decrease the chances of its failure

Offshoring is the most luring method for reduce cost of company operations but the move is risky because of cultural barriers, which can put customers off. It wouldn’t take you too long with a calculator and even ballpark figures to determine that offshoring your call centers could potentially be one of two things: a huge cost savings or one of the biggest expenses your company will ever face. So how do you make sure it’s the former and not the latter? A new white paper by Mark W. Brodsky and Dina Vance of Ulysses Learning makes the point that following best practices in hiring, training and management is the No. 1 tool in ensuring success for an offshore call center.

Cultural differences, heavy accents, inadequate training and insufficient hiring practices can lead to poor customer satisfaction experiences, causing a loss of customer loyalty and ultimately a loss in sales. The offshore outsourcing model is fraught with failed experiments. It’s also full of success stories.

It’s important to understand why some offshore call centers have failed. Accent neutralization training and taking Western names can help overcome those challenges. But research also shows that if the agent is truly helpful, the significance of the accent dissipates. U.S.-based customers expect a rep to offer empathy, ask thoughtful questions, use strong word choices and take control of the situation. However, in other countries, some of those traits are deemed offensive, which means that you can’t expect an overseas rep to instinctively employ them.

According to Ulysses Learning, there are four key aspects to consider when creating the foundation for a successful offshore call center. They are:

Brand: Companies need to take strong and clear decision to keep their branding strategy to their offshoring companies, they must convey their requirement and branding needs to company. They have to entrust this to an offshore or near-shore call enter, you need to make sure they are managing your customers in an effective way mat supports your brand. This can be accomplished through training.

Recruitment: You must have all details and requirement of your process and to fulfill those requirements, what are the qualities you need in your representatives. Make it strict hiring policy to follow the requirement so that you wont waste your precious time and money in hiring wrong peoples for your customer service.

Training: Training is very essential to make all things goes well as per planning and strategy. You must have good trainer whether they are voice and ascent or process trainer and most important thing these peoples must have full details about the process and the minor and major details of the process and products.

 

Source: CRMBuyer.com

Benefits of Having a Virtual Call Center

A virtual call center is a call center that can function using the Internet as their infrastructure. A call center is a business that works by absorbing certain business functions of a corporation so that the client organization is free to concentrate on other business functions to stay competitive in its industry. Hence, all call centers need a call center solution that can help make the call center more productive and more profitable.

 

Geographical location: Virtual call center solution is that the call center agents need not be concentrated within just one geographical location. Rather, the call center company can become a virtual call center running different smaller virtual call center facilities in different places. This means that though your main contact center may be located in the US, the virtual call center technology allows the company to also have a virtual call center in the Philippines, a virtual call center in Indonesia, and maybe a virtual call center in India.

Excellent Return-on-Investment: The virtual call center is said to provide excellent return-on-investment for the call center company using it because it can heighten agent productivity. Agent productivity leads to successful contact center operations. Your contact center agents gain the capacity for seamless switching between an outbound to an inbound call and vice versa because of this call center solution agent interface.

Distance is vanished: Virtual call center remove the distance, whether you have one virtual call center in Manila, Philippines which is manned by just 10 agents while another virtual call center of yours based in Calcutta, India has 100 agents, the virtual call center can be scaled up or scaled down as needed for your enterprise.

Serve as a Back-up Disaster Recovery System: The virtual call center solution is reliable enough to serve as a back-up disaster recovery system for the contact center, guaranteeing that the system will always be functional throughout all aspects of the call center system.

Supervision from Remote Locations: Call center technology has progressed so much with this virtual call center solution that supervisors can monitor and guide agents even from remote locations. This means that if you are a contact center supervisor based in the US and you have an agent in the Philippines who needs help during a call, the virtual call center will come into work in real time.

Customer Relationship Management Improves: Lastly, customer relationship management improves because agents are able to meet more needs even for the same prospect or customer with a more effective call center solution.

So if you are planning to put up a call center of your own, no matter how small or large, you may want to consider using the Virtual Contact Center.

Call Center Job Stressful!!! Try This

It is quite a challenge to work in a call centre that receives complaints. I marvel at these incredible staff members who manage to listen to problems and complaints all day without losing their sense of humor. It is difficult because you have to take responsibility for somebody else or a system’s mistake. These callers are unhappy and at times even rude. 

But fear not, there is a definite psychology to dealing with irate callers. Once we understand this, we can deal with irate callers in a calm and empathetic manner, ensuring that we remain professional at all times. The most important skill to learn is not to take it personally. Most of the time they don’t know you as a person.

They are angry at the circumstance, the problem – not with you. You have to own the problem and assure the client that you will help. Use the word “I” often. “How can I help” and “I will make sure of that”. This reassures the client that someone cares. That you care.  

  • Here are some things that will help the situation:

  • Listen carefully with empathy.

  • Don’t interrupt or argue with the client.

  • Allow them to “blow off” steam.

  • Apologies: This is not an admission of guilt. You should be sorry that a client is unhappy.

  • Get the necessary facts to help them.

  • Stay calm: Don’t allow yourself to get worked up.

  • Sort out the problem as quickly as possible.

I also believe that we should never put the phone down on a caller. If you can’t calm them down, you are not doing your job.

Remember it is not only the problem that will be remembered but also how we dealt with it. Often a complaint call can even be turned into an opportunity for the company.

So smile and help them quickly.

After a long day on the phone and many complaints later, give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. It is easy to make happy people happy. The real challenge is taking an irate person from an annoyed state to a satisfied one. When we have done this we get a tremendous feeling of achievement.

The satisfaction of that is hard to beat. That feeling is what keeps us coming back to our headset for more.

Special Thanks: ioljobs.co.za

 

 

 

 

Outbound Telemarketing Firm

The scope of outbound Telemarketing is not limited to making sales and can include within its appointment setting, lead generation, surveys, market research, list cleaning, database update, seminar registration, fund raising, and client reactivation to name a few.

In an outbound telemarketing call center, calls are initiated by agents to customers. A system of predictive dialing is used wherein an automatic dialer looks up customer telephone numbers from a database, screens it for a live contact and transfers the live call to an available agent.

 

Placing call to a customer with no prior relationship with the firm is called a “cold call”. Cold calls can generate leads to sell products. Whenever a customer gets a call regarding sales or product information he/ she can quickly become perturbed if the agent is not clear in communication or takes too much of the customer is time. For this reason agents of an outbound telemarketing firm need to have excellent communication skills. They have to possess an all round knowledge of the products and services they sell and have the ability to explain and persuade a customer in a concise and precise manner depending on the awareness level of the customer. Training of agents plays a vital part in an outbound telemarketing firms. Agents are trained in voice and accent modulation, product and service knowledge, customer need evaluation, persuasion skills and telephone etiquettes.

Agents in an outbound telemarketing firm are required to handle a call strictly according to a script provided by the call center’s quality assurance department. The script contains how a called should be initiated, how the call flow should be like, and how the call should be ended. Since most calls are similar in nature, an agent can become bored and his attention level may drop after making a few calls. An agent should never let the boredom become evident to a customer, as it may jeopardize the call in terms of sale and annoy the customer on the other side. Maintaining enthusiasm and friendliness throughout the call flow is one of the essential requirements of an outbound telemarketing agent.


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