Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business, but managing the phones can become a burden to execute daily operations. Answering phone calls, email messages and customer inquiries can become a roadblock to operations; when this happens often it might be time to partner with a call center or answering service to help you cope and execute your daily operation with efficiency.
These services enable businesses to outsource their communications management for a fraction of the cost of hiring additional staff. They often do more than just answer phone calls; in fact, a lot of them are rebranding as “contact centers” to reflect this evolution.
Now these service providers manage every communication channel, including phone lines, email, social media and live web chat. Some will also manage customer orders and engage in advanced services like customer retention and loyalty programs and even market research.
This is a guide to help you understand the variety of call center services available in the market and determine which one is right for your business.
Answering Services vs. Call Center Services
Their names might sound similar, but there are significant differences between a call center and answering services. Understanding the difference between them will help you choose the right type of company for your business.
Call Center Services
Call center services are broad and general. They usually maintain a large number of employees and tend to field a higher volume of calls. They can serve almost any industry, compiling orders, offering customer support and sending the relevant information back to their clients.
These services typically function with a general script and basic information about the client’s business. Call center services usually archive orders and interactions, and then send the information as part of a report to the client.
Answering services are usually smaller than call centers. They often handle complex and specialized tasks.
These answering services generally serve specific markets that require a wider knowledge of the inner work of the clients business.
Answering services are equipped to deal with specific industries that might require critical thinking and decision-making. Answering services engage in time-sensitive or highly personalized functions.
Reasons to Partner with a Call Center
Businesses may want to partner with call centers for a variety of reasons, maybe they are unable to deliver quality customer service over the phone due to a growing volume of calls, or maybe manning the phone lines is diminishing the time to execute other projects and tasks.
But one of the most important reasons is that call centers can simply do more to help grow a business than in-house staff can manage.
The ultimate benefit of hiring a call center service is to free up your staff members so they can focus on your business’s productivity rather than answering calls and emails.
Most call centers are available 24/7 if necessary, allowing your business to provide the option to get in touch with you the moment any issue arises.
Call center services can also add a level of professionalism to your small business’s brand without the cost of creating your own customer service team.
Finally, call center services often offer lead generation and sales services that can help a growing business thrive while its full-time employees focus on day-to-day operations.
Take the following advices into consideration when you partner with a call center:
- Provide as much information about your business and product or service as you can. Agents should be aware of all details regarding the company. Keep them updated about promotions and changes.
- Ensure a constant communication with the team of agents and the managers
- Provide a script and guidelines of how you want your company to be perceived by your customers. Language and company values should be always instructed to the team.
- Ask for extra services like record phone calls so you can review them for quality assurance, daily reports detailing how many calls were fielded and which issues they involved.
- Keep in mind that when you are selecting a service, it’s important to find out how well and how often the service intends to keep you in the loop, as you will want to monitor the company’s performance closely.
- Establish clear methods to measure the agent’s productivity and efficiency, this is vital to evaluate the real value of your outsourced partnership.
Outsourcing a call center can be most beneficial for your company when you are clear on what you expect to get out of the partnership, so:
Define your goals; establish if you are going through this transition to lower costs, to improve customer service quality or to provide other communication channels so your customers can contact you easier.
Set objectives and clear expectations from your outsourced partner; what do you want and need to achieve this transition in the most successful way.
All this will help you go throw this process smoothly, so you can keep working on making your business grow.
So go ahead, do your research and find the best outsourcing partner for your business.