A call center is often the first contact a customer has with your business, and it’s critical that you choose the right kind of call center for your needs, and the needs of your customer. There are many different types of call centers, key among them inbound, outbound and automated call centers. What sets each type of call center apart, and how do you choose the right one? Let’s explore each type of call center and how they operate.
Inbound, Outbound & Automated Call Centers
Inbound call centers are commonly used to answer calls from customers as they come in. Tasks associated with inbound call center agents include payments, follow-up, tech support and basic help questions and answers.
Outbound call centers are responsible for outreach to customers, often with a specific purpose, and are sometimes called telemarketers. Using an outbound call center is great in situations where you need more lead generation, cold calling or even survey data from customers. This is also a great option if you want to do proactive outreach to customers.
Automated call centers greet customers with recorded messages and funnel them through a series of easy questions, in an effort to send them to the right representative or department of the company
Examples of Call Center by Industry
Every industry has different needs , and choosing the right call center is critical to meeting those needs. For example, the airline industry typically needs customer service agents with access to flight status, frequent flyer balances and a while array of information for each call. Healthcare call centers need to be able to set appointments, direct customers to the right physician, and know when to direct patients directly to the hospital. Retail needs agents who can facilitate a refund or return, or answer questions about company policy. No matter the unique needs of your particular business or industry, there is a call center to meet them.
The Importance of Call Centers
A Microsoft survey found that 90% of Americans factor in customer service when choosing a company to do business with. There are many reasons a company might choose to work with a call center. Perhaps they aren’t able to deliver the customer service that they want too, or they are getting too many calls per day, monopolizing time and resources. Call centers can free up staff to focus on more productive tasks, over fielding calls. In addition, most call centers operate 24 hours, meaning customers will always have a basic level of support. After you’ve decided what type of call center you will employ, it’s time to decide which service is right for your business . There are several elements to take into account when choosing a call center.
- Size – Does the call center have enough staff to meet your business needs?
- Security – Does your chosen call center have a good reputation and security practices to protect both company and customer data?
- Cost – How much will the call center cost, and will you see a return on your investment? Will you use dedicated or shared agents, and how does this affect your business?
- Experience – How long has the call center been in business and what industries have the worked with in the past? How does the call center handle reporting and data regarding day to day operations?
- Location – Is your call center on-shore or overseas, and what languages will your call center agents speak fluently? Will agents be able to effectively communicate with your customers, leaving them satisfied after the call?
For more information on call centers, and how you can use them to boost your business and productivity, contact ListenTrust today.