Picking the Best Call Center Services - The Ultimate Guide

The importance of customer service for any business or company cannot be overemphasized. It is one of the areas that speak a lot about the reputation of a company. But the truth is that calling and chatting with clients is not a walk in the park. It can take its toll on the daily operations of your business. When responding to email messages, answering phone calls, and attending to customer inquiries becomes a stumbling block to your business operations, then you know it is time to hire a call center service.

Answering services or call centers come in handy when it comes to handling your customers. They do more than just picking and answering calls. Most of them are starting to brand themselves as “contact centers” because they manage almost every aspect of communication for your business. This includes email management, phone calls, social media management (SMM), live web chat, and other forms of communication. The main objective of call centers is to help manage your communication and give you time to focus on other important areas of the business.

Understanding outsourcing

Outsourcing is one of the best tools you can have as a company. This is because it gives you a chance to concentrate on other matters of the business while the outsourcing company takes care of your communication tasks. The good thing about outsourcing companies is that they are run by professionals. This means you don’t have to hire communication experts to work in-house.

Additionally, outsourcing saves your company a lot of money in terms of overhead costs. All you have to do is to carry out due diligence in order to pick the right services provider.

Outsourcing your call center services

As mentioned earlier, communicating with clients and ensuring that all their issues are addressed is not an easy task. It can come into the way of normal operations of a business, especially if you deal with many customers every day. That’s where outsourcing comes in. The way you handle your customers speaks a lot about your business. If you are not able to comfortably do it with your internal staff, then the best option is to outsource. Nonetheless, there are several things that you should consider when outsourcing your call center services. They include the following:

  • Seasonality and high volume
  • Availability of labor
  • Liability

High volume refers to a situation when the needs of customers is beyond your internal workforce or maybe you just don’t want to manage your internal team. On the other hand, cyclic or seasonal needs for assistance vary every time of the year. For example, there could be a time or season in the year when the workload is too much for your staff to handle. As such, it won’t make sense to hire a call center company for the entire year. You can discuss with the call center company and agree to hire their services during peak seasons.

Liability is another issue to consider when opting for call center services. In most cases, it depends on the nature of your business. Not every call center company can be trusted with customer information. Some of the industries that are highly regulated when it comes to customer information include the banking industry, insurance, healthcare, finance, and utility. But the good news is that outsourcing removes the burden of compliance from you and puts it to the outsourced company. Last but not least you also need to consider the availability of labor. Some industries may face a challenge getting people who can competently do what you are doing.

What should you look for in a call service center?

Call center services often appear similar on the surface but a closer look will reveal finer details about the types of services each one of them is offering. The best thing you can do is to ask as many questions as possible in order to pick the right company. You can get a list of several service providers and interview them based on your needs. Below are some of the questions to consider when picking the best call center service:

Internal versus external call centers

One of the first things you should try to find out is where the call center you want to hire is headquartered. You should also seek to know where their call agents are located before you decide to hire them. Offshore call center companies are considered more cost-effective although most of them offer limited services. This is unlike domestic call centers that often provide more comprehensive services. The only disadvantage is that the prices of these companies are often higher because of Native-English speaking representatives and sophisticated software.

Outbound and inbound services

The main purpose of a call center service is to respond to customer questions about your products and services. Depending on your agreement, the call center company can offer technical support, answer questions, and even take orders and process payments through the phone. Some call center companies also provide outbound services that include lead generation. The services may also extend to follow-up with current and previous clients to boost customer confidence.

You can also discuss with the call center company to carry out surveys and get feedback from customers about your products and services.

Shared and/or dedicated agents

When looking for call center services, it is always advisable to choose one that offers both shared and dedicated agents. Shared agents serve more than one company. This means that apart from attending to your customers, they also attend customers for other companies. But dedicated agents are strictly assigned to your account. They only attend to your customer needs as opposed to shared agents who multi-task.

In a nutshell, customer service is crucial for any business including yours. But when customer managing customers takes its toll on your business operations, the best option is to hire a call center service. This will not only save you money but also give you time to focus on other important areas of your business. The only thing you need to do is to ensure that you choose a call center service that meets your customer objectives.