Delivering a customer service experience that goes above and beyond expectations can lead to repeat customers and brand advocates, and it’s vital that companies do all they can to provide this to their customers. Whether they provide this in-house or through a BPO specializing in customer service, a call center will undoubtedly be involved, yet the call center suffers from a poor reputation, mostly owing to wide-held myths about what a call center is and how it operates. In a recent article appearing in A Better Answer, Jessica Janosko details and debunks some persistent myths about our industry.
The term “call center” can have a negative connotation — but why?
The old-school vision of a call center that many people have imprinted in their minds is much different from what it is now. Call centers have heavily trained employees focus on quality over quantity and partnering with one to take care of your incoming calls can help scale your business.
Providing an outstanding customer service experience should be of the utmost importance for any company and a call center can assist with those needs.
Follow along as we debunk the six most common myths about call centers.
Call Centers Are Offshore and Offer a Low-Quality Service
One old myth about call centers is that they are offshore, which means they offer a low-quality service or have difficulty communicating. That is not the case.
There are estimated to be over 7,400 call centers in the U.S. giving you many options to choose from if you’re concerned about the location of the call center.
Many call centers offer bilingual services, as well, so you can effectively communicate with all of your customers, whether in the United States or another country.
Plus, the assumption offshore services are low-quality in any industry is untrue. Many call center employees are remote now and work across the globe, providing excellent services from wherever they are. Anyone can be working offshore these days.
Another worry company owners face is that an outsourced call center will not portray the company’s values, mission, branding and messaging — another myth we’ll demystify.
Not an Extension of Your Company
As we alluded to, a common myth about centers is their employees will not act as an extension of your company. This means they speak to customers the way you would, exude the same morals your company would and align with your company’s voice and procedures.
Understandably, owners and managers don’t want to tarnish a company’s reputation by hiring a call center that doesn’t know what they are talking about or that would act rudely to their customers. As with any hire, you want that person to convey the same tone, voice, and experience that your brand always offers.
A customer service experience should be seamless and call centers can do that for you.
The idea a modern call center will act differently than your in-house staff is false. At a professional and reputable call center, all representatives will be trained on your branding, processes, tone, and voice so they can offer the same experience to a customer that anyone in-house would.
Phone Support Is Dying
With the rise of live chat and customer service needs being conducted via email and text, many people think phone support is dying, and as a result, call centers are a dying breed — but again, this isn’t true.
A staggering 76% of consumers prefer to reach customer support via phone calls. This stat alone debunks customer service phone support is dying.
We don’t think phone support will ever die completely. A best practice when it comes to customer support is offering an omnichannel approach. Be available on the channels your customers want to contact you on.
There will always be customers and clients who prefer to call for customer service instead of filling out a form, sending an email or waiting online for a chat response.
Managers Don’t Care About Their Employees or Offering a Quality Service
The way call centers are portrayed in shows and movies tends to show call center managers with their feet up at their desks while the customer service team works frantically, but this is another myth.
While there are certain metrics to be met, call center managers (at respectable places) will care about the whole customer experience — from initial communication to the follow-up phase.
It’s also common for call center managers to incentivize their customer service team, boosting productivity and efficiency.
Call Center Representatives Are Slackers
Another common myth business owners associate with a call center is that productivity is low, and employees don’t care about the work they’re doing. Wrong again.
The majority of call centers have a thorough hiring process. Call centers spend four to six months training employees and nearly $10k in hiring and training costs to get competent and eager customer support representatives.
Of course, that is not the case all the time — but it’s a helpful question to ask if you’re considering hiring a call center.
On top of the training protocols, many call center employees have degrees, are in their 20s or 30s, and make a similar salary as a teacher. Call center reps can multitask, have strong communication skills, and work hard to support themselves and their families, just like any other position.
Hiring a Call Center Is Too Expensive
The cost of hiring a call center depends on your company’s requirements, like the number of calls answered per day, the number of team members needed to answer calls, and if you need a specialized team with technical skills.
Hiring a call center or answering service is cheaper than hiring in-house help. Comparatively, hiring one person to handle your incoming calls in a receptionist-type position costs around $35,000. Many variables factor into the cost of a call center, but generally, a call center can cost around $12,000/year.
As with hiring any addition to your company, remember to find the right one for your business. Each company has different needs and preferences — and when it comes to call centers, not all of them are the same.