Posts Tagged 'Call Center 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.


Top 4 Factors to Choose Among Call Center Companies

four factors to know while choosing call center companyThere are several factors that you need to keep in mind before choosing your BPO partner among the call center companies that are in the fray. These factors are important in their individual sense and also in tandem. The hiring of call center services involves a lot of money. Business firms have to be careful about the call center that they are getting onboard. The wrong partnership will lead to not just a loss of money and resources, but also a bad reputation for the client company and the brand of product/service that it is trying to sell. Here are some important features that a BPO service unit should have before it qualifies as a reliable business process outsourcing partner.

1. Work Experience:  This one is the numero uno factor on which call center companies must be shortlisted. The amount of BPO work that the call center has done in the past is a good sign of what it is capable of in the present and the future. The telemarketing firms that have covered a lot of ground in terms of projects will be more capable of tackling new ones. Work experience is something that cannot be bought with money or technology. Find out what domains the firm has provided call center services in. Check if they have already worked in the domain you want them to. Similarly, find out if they are working for your business rivals! You would not want to hire a BPO service firm and then find a conflict of interest.

2. Financial Stability:  Researching into the financial stability of call center companies is always a wise idea. A financially stable call center will be able to hire the required manpower and also invest in proper BPO technology. The call center services provider needs to buy the latest gadgets and equipment as well if they are to provide you with world class telemarketing services. Such technological investments are necessary to take your business to the next level.

3. Manpower:  Call center companies are nothing but brick and mortar and equipment merely toys without a call center services team that can make use of the resources to turn your lead generation campaign into a success. Trained and qualified call center agents make the BPO firm what it is. When you hiring a partner for telemarketing, ensure that you have a skilled team on hands. These skills don’t just refer to the way of conducting sales lead generation. It also includes the soft skills that agents need in answering service and the likes

4. Expenditures:  Though it comes so low in my list of requisites for hiring call center companies, this becomes the deciding factor. Costs are very integral for a business firm because of the financial crunch and the inflation, not to mention the poor economy. The costs needed to get your call center services done should not bear down heavily on your core business areas. Before inking the deal you must also ensure that you have made the right choice. So do an expenditure analysis before going ahead.

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.

What Happens When Customers Contact Your Call Center?

what happens when you call customer care center?Quite often, when customers contact a business a moment of truth occurs during that interaction, the crucial instant where the customer’s satisfaction depends on agent’s actions. We prepare our agents as best as possible to successfully navigate these critical points through training and coaching. By necessity, these efforts take place before the interaction occurs, and that presents some problems.

The flow of an interaction is dynamic. It’s subject to change depending on what happens, how the participants behave and even on external events. Being prepared for a wide range of possible events is the best approach. But what if the agent could get advice while the interaction actually takes place?

Offshore Inbound Call Center Services- Learn About Few Common Ones

The offshore call center companies are found adept at offering a seamless service all across the diverse industry verticals. Some of these industry verticals include insurance, banking, credit cards, pharmaceuticals, finance, dentists, telecom, surveys, market research and others. These customer care centers include all kinds of resources in the form of mind power and training to offer the streamlined operations and functions. Inbound call center being an important part of the offshore call center services offer a range of services ensuring great deal of utilities.

With the development of the concept of business process outsourcing (BPO), inbound call center set-ups are much in demand. The business owners and the decision makers have shown a great deal of interest towards this particular segment of the call center services. The managing abilities and the knowledge in making the operational procedures of a company make processes more seamless and streamlined. A company can also be in touch with the customers all time while having the tabs on the market updates.

After the so-called reality checks of the recession, offshore call center services have regained the admiration and the pace. The offshore customer service centers have developed to be an unparallel synonym of technical expertise, quality services and result-oriented method.

With the outsourcing inbound call center services, a business will be able to hire the expert techniques and the professional services as per the business specification. When you decide to outsource the contact center services, you are mostly required to pay for those services only. This is how you get to save efforts, costs and the time to set-up an entire infrastructure and team.

Call centers are broadly defined into two separate categories- outbound and the inbound call center services, best known as the essential telemarketing services. The inbound call center services cover a wide diversity of services like:

Chat Support: This is one service which the call center representatives and agents offer online to interact with the customers

Customer Support: This is a specialized service, which consists of the answering to the questions and queries by the customers. It also includes giving response to all complaints and to note the feedbacks of the consumers.

Lead Generation: By means of collecting information regarding the potential customers, the representatives try to build up business insights and good customer base

Tech Support backing: The tech support representatives assist the customers in solving the complicated product or service related technical problem

Appointment Setting: Appointment setting happens to be the marketing foundation of businesses like mortgage brokers, contractors, insurance agents, service-oriented business, financial planners and others

Help desk services: This is the service which consists of the answering all types of common inquiries regarding diverse services and products

Market Research: This incorporated and methodical approach is used to describe the given niche of a service or product properly defined as the market research

Market Surveys: Surveys are the best ways to learn about the future of any service or product. Surveys that are taken by the market experts help to shape out the prospects and future of any product. It also redefines its position in the market

Call Center Services the Best Way to Keep up with Growing Demand

While service industry is booming, call center services and training has become very important. These days call centers are becoming increasingly popular across all size of organization, as customers are the main asset of any successful organization and these call centers are playing very crucial role to keep your customer connected with your organization. Call center’s fulfill the needs of customers to create a strong bond between a company and its customers.

Call centers services have become the integral part of almost all-major businesses worldwide. Majority of businesses uses call centers to provide standardized and uniform services to consumers and through which, they make a consistent effort to interact with their customers. Some businesses even service internal functions through call centers that act as help desks and sales support centers. Call centers operates as customer interaction center for meeting customer needs in real-time.

Are your company’s call center services all that they could be? Even centers that were state of the art a decade or so ago might be out of date and inadequate today. As technology expands, so do clients’ expectations regarding communication. Nowadays, a client will normally expect to be able to contact a company representative more or less twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, either by phone, fax or email.

The need for all of these services puts considerable pressure on the modern call center, not to mention the company itself! For this reason, some small and medium sized companies may find themselves unable to meet all of these demands for service on their own. Some companies may resist outsourcing their call center needs, perhaps feeling that the personal touch would be lost. According to call center service providers, however, they needn’t worry – the modern call center is more than able to provide knowledgable, personal service to clients. It has been proven mathematically that a single large call center is more effective – in terms of cost and service – than multiple small centers.

All in all, there are many reasons to consider call center outsourcing, not the leas of which is the demand for an increasingly comprehensive range of call center services. Nowadays, companies really have no choice but to give clients what they want and need. A modern, fully equipped call center can help you do just that, at a reasonable cost and with updates available as often as you need them.

Answerers for your Mostly asked Call Center Related Questions

You might be having several questions regarding call centers if you haven’t worked with them yet. Here are answers to some questions that people frequently put up regarding call centers. An efficient call center needs the mind power, training and resources to offer a streamlined approach to the task assigned.

Do you still wonder why businesses worldwide outsource their work to call centers functioning outside the company structure? Why don’t they get the work done inside the organization and rely on the people operating offshore to work for them? If even giant corporations are resorting to call centers, there must really be something mutually beneficial in the concept.

If you are considering roping in a call center to assist you in your operations, the answers to the following questions would help you to clear the air about them.

How does a call center function?

A call center is a centralized office which handles volumes of telecommunications. All staff members are equipped with a computer and a telephone/head set which is plugged onto a telecom switch connected to one or more supervisor stations. A call center might work independently or operate through a network of additional centers.

What is an outbound call center?

In an outbound call center, the executives only make outgoing phone calls for the client organization. Agents typically are selling products and services or making appointments. Calls made from the center can include telemarketing, fund-raising calls, contact list updating, surveys or verification services. An outbound call center uses metrics such as agent success, cost per call, revenue earned, total calls made and tasks completed.

What is an inbound call center?

An inbound call center focuses on resolving customer queries. Professionals well-versed in language, process, and people management skills take the calls of the customers and provide the proper answers to them. The people are trained to handle a range of services. It uses metrics such as first call resolution (FCR) to measure success.

What can an efficient call center achieve?

* Increase cross-selling product penetration

* Increase revenue growth

* Reduce operating expenses through integrated technologies and processes

* Retain more customers through a consistent, standardized experience

* Increase first-call resolution and average handle time

Why do corporate houses find running internal call centers a daunting task?

In today’s complex business climate, corporate houses face all or any of these limitations –

* Losing focus on mainstay business as the company is too busy handling operations

* Time and money crunch

* Non-availability of human resource with required skills

* Spiraling operational cost

* Recruitment and attrition problems

What is a virtual call center?

Virtual call center is virtual simulation of a call center environment. The only difference is that the call center agents are not working on the same premises. The organization’s representatives are geographically dispersed as groups in a number of smaller centers. Virtual call center system, with its inherent advantages, can bring down the costs, maintain the level of customer satisfaction and better turn inquiry calls into orders.

What is core competency?

The field of expertise of a particular business is core competency. These are value creating skills which make a company distinct and are critical to the company’s long term growth. The companies outsource the not so important areas of their business so that they could focus their resources on their own area of specialization for further development of their businesses.

What to look for in a call center when outsourcing?

* Objective of a call center is to get the maximum output out of minimum input. This is the parameter of testing a call center too.

* Executives should be well-trained to deal with all kind of scenarios when dealing with customers.

* The center must have the proper basic infrastructure (spacious office, furniture etc.) and hardware.

* Managers of the center must be well-experienced with enough work exposure.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons before you select call center services. Make detailed inquiries about the call center that you have in mind before you sign the agreement. Talk with their existing clients to judge the operational capability of a particular call center.

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July 2018
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