Posts Tagged 'call answering services'

Call Center Services – Myth and Truth

myth and truthProviding call center services to clients regardless of nature of business and size is the task performed by business process outsourcing companies. Call centers focus their attention on delivering satisfaction to both client s and their customers. The responsibility that rests on the shoulders of call center representatives is enormous since they need to please two different groups at the same time.

The tasks that call center representatives face are now easier to solve and fix. Telephone and other communication channels have made requests and queries easier to understand. Software programs and navigable interfaces have made documentation and troubleshooting a breeze for tech support representatives. Lastly, customer relations management is a burden no more to call center supervisors and owners as improvements to standard operational procedures and best practices are being modified on a regular basis.

Despite all the changes and progress in the call center industry, there are still instances when management and agents fail to deliver good, outstanding service. It is natural to expect only the best from call center companies as this is the only way that they are expected to serve their clients- superior contact center support.

Here are top myths that surround the call center services. These misconceptions have somehow slowed down and halted a lot of call center entities from reaching their business goals as a customer relations company. It is because of these myths that clients terminate their contract with a call center for their services and look for a better company that can deliver them premium, desirable results.
Customers are always right

Everyone is familiar with this phrase and should rightfully be followed when you are working in the call center industry. Call center services are rendered not only to consumers but also to clients who have obtained a company’s service to represent them over the phone, chat, and email channels.

Call center agents fail to understand that they have two sets of customers. In the context of providing services, they are mandated to follow strict guidelines from the client’s end. The rules of call handling that are directed from a company serve as a guide for call center representatives in order to achieve the two primary goals of clients- profitability and customer satisfaction.

However not all call center representatives abide by client rules. They allow the customers of their primary clients to take control of the call or situation. Agreeing or saying yes to every customer demands should never be the default action of agents. It should be remembered that not all complaints or problems experienced by customers are caused by faulty products and services that were purchased from the company you are answering for.

It is then essential to be firm and composed when answering client concerns and inquiries. Never sound distracted, scared, or worried while handling either an inbound or outbound call. Confidence and extensive knowledge of a client’s products and services is key to a successful customer call.

Longer Average Handling Time means Low productivity scores Call center managers drive their agents to resolve customer problems in record time. It seems like most call centers operate this way. Although low AHTs is one of the many best practices, it should be noted that hurrying up on a call is counterproductive. Rather than understand customer concerns, agents are forced to only pay attention to the time that they are supposed to answer queries and concerns. Call center agents are also forced to bypass quality control rules just so they can meet AHT metrics.

Productivity is a measure of customer satisfaction a call center representative was able to provide consumers without bypassing client guidelines and call center standard operational metrics. Being able to meet low AHT is a plus, but should never be the sole basis of agent productivity and client gains.
Front line customer service representatives are not proficient enough to deliver customer satisfaction

Front line or Tier 1 customer support representatives are the group of agents who answer general concerns and inquiries. This does not mean that they do not have sufficient knowledge about the company they are representing. Call center companies hire individuals with no prior call center experience as front liners as they are required to undergo trainings and product knowledge seminars while on the floor. Knowing how to answer and respond to basic customer needs should be learned and mastered by agents before they can advance to higher positions and even managerial posts.

There are Tier 1 agents who are equipped with extensive knowledge about the product. The problem only lies among those agents who lack confidence or show uncertainty when faced with irate and verbally abusive customers. Despite all these, tier 1 call center agents are more than able to provide resolution and satisfaction to customers who need basic and general answers to simple questions.
Chat and Email support do not work as well as telephone call center services

It is true that talking to a live person on the other end of the line is more comfortable and convenient to most consumers. However chat and email support can also be as efficient and effective in solving client inquiries, complaints, and problems. Chat support agents who answer to chat-based or email-based concerns are trained to answer them in a logical, structured, and prompt manner. It is actually more difficult to respond in such mediums as most consumers may not be able to express everything that they want to address in chat or email. It is then the responsibility of contact support agents to explain everything in a comprehensive manner and include information related to customer queries altogether. Resolution is also expected to be delivered to customers in a quick and prompt manner to increase customer satisfaction rates as well.


What’s the difference between Call Answering and Call Handling?

call handling and call answering servicesOne of the tweets I sometimes post on Twitter is about having your calls handled and not just answered, one of my Twitter friends suggested that it would make an interesting blog topic. So what is the difference between call answering and call handling?

Answering a call is really just about picking up a ringing phone, taking a message and passing it on in its simplest form.

Call Handling is about knowing as much as possible about the business or person that the call is intended for, so that the person answering the call can manage it in as informed and effective way as possible.  If it’s a simple enquiry quite often the call handler can supply the information requested, be it an email address, postal address, opening hours or even information on a particular product, without having to pass the call on.

Call handling is not about misrepresenting your business or implying you are bigger than you are, it’s about enhancing the service that you currently offer; call handling can be a very effective addition in terms of customer service.

Busy professionals have many demands on their time; is it really an effective use of time for them to be answering the phone themselves to every enquiry no matter how trivial?  It’s no different to outsourcing other elements of the business such as accounts or admin.

By using efficient call handlers your sales orders can be taken for you, your delegates can be booked onto training courses, appointments can be booked directly into your diary, brochure requests can be taken and posted out direct with no involvement from you, initial sales enquiries can be taken when you run your new sales campaign – the list is endless.

Do you ever find that you cannot finish a project or report because the phone keeps ringing? Divert your calls to a call handler instead.  Do you have the children at home due to teacher training days or unplanned illness? Divert your calls.

Your caller will probably be happier talking to a person rather than an answering machine; a call handler can put your caller at ease because they have knowledge of your company and/or service.  Rather than just taking a name and number your call handler will take a detailed message, ensuring that when you are returning the call you have all the information you need to hand, you are not returning a call blindly, you have had chance to research the answers that your caller needs, making you appear more professional and saving both you and your caller time.

One of my Twitter friends had a great description of call handling, its more information driven, and answers are the voice of your business.

So next time you are thinking of switching on the answerphone to allow you to get some work done, think about using a professional call handling service instead.

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July 2018
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