What Is a Call Center?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, call centers are offices “set up to handle a large volume of telephone calls, especially for taking orders and providing customer service.” Caller Centers can be situated within a company or contracted out to a business that specializes in managing calls.There are many kinds of call centers. Call centers can handle inbound as well as make outbound calls. An inbound call center screens and transfers calls to their fellow employees in order to complete a sale or provide a service. Outbound call center utilizes an agent to make calls for the company or clients in order to complete tasks, such as telemarketing, creating leads, developing customer loyalty, surveying, and scheduling appointments. Call centers can also be blended, utilizing both inbound and outbound calls, virtual, or offshore, meaning the calls are outsourced to a different country.
Why Are They Important?
To put it simply, call centers provide access to a larger group of potential customers and allow for more personalized customer service within one’s company. They allow for consumers to ask questions and become more informed regarding the products or services that they are purchasing. This allows call centers to be an excellent tool for trouble-shooting in case of customer dissatisfaction or confusion. Additionally, call centers’ uses of outbound calls allows the company to reach potential clients who may be in need of their service, but struggles to find their resources. In other words, call centers can be the perfect profitable tool to develop strong relationships with customers while allowing companies to pursue new demographics in order to gain a larger population of clientele.
There Are Many Elements That Contribute to a Prosperous Call Center.
According to the Call Center IQ, the five most important elements of a call center are knowledgeable agents, agents that can access systems without delay, strong agent training programs, customer-oriented metrics, and agents that can access supervisors and internal support. In other words, the main key to a successful call center is well-informed, prepared, courteous customer service agents. After all, the primary function of a call center is to provide consumers with human interaction and aid. Therefore, the agents of one’s call center must be personable and qualified to answer the sometimes challenging inquiries posed by clients.
So How Do You Achieve a Profitable Call Center?
There are many techniques for enhancing one’s chances for overall success, but it is increasingly evident that there can be not be profitable interactions without thorough training. According to The Global Call Center Report, written by researchers at Cornell University, newly-hired call center agents typically need to receive 15 days of initial training in order to be prepared for the high level of customer needs. While each call center is different with individual needs from customer service agents, there are some common training practices that will help any and all call centers.
First of all, it is incredibly important to establish a firm, well-defined support system for new employees. In other words, they should be introduced to all levels of management in order to provide them with a sense of security despite any dilemma the new employee may encounter. Your new agent should be individually educated on your business and expectations for them as an employee. They should know their role in developing and enforcing customer relationships as well as the expected outcome for their work. During this education, it is essential to remember that every individual learns differently. Therefore, your training should have tangible handouts, videos, spoken lecture, and a written, easily legible visual presentation, such as a PowerPoint. This personal assistance will allow the new member to ask more questions and ensure that they are accurately evaluated on their understanding of the new position.
However, the most vital portions of training are up-to-date positive examples and hands- on experience in order to ensure that their learning feels relevant and important. For instance, during training, the new employee should be able to observe a top-performing agent so that they may be exposed to the expected call handling practices and call center etiquette through meaningful experiences. New agents should be provided with example call recordings for trainings and to exemplify both calls that ended in sales as well as negative interactions. The new hire should be taught how to find the answers to any questions that may arise through the rest of their practical training and employment. Finally, every agent in one’s call center should know that their progress will constantly be evaluated and training never stops regardless of how long one has been employed by the call center.
Is It a Good Idea to Use Scripts?
As with most elements of a call center, scripts are only useful if they are written and utilized wisely. So why are they worth implementing? Put simply, scripts improve agent performance and provide a consistency that allows for easy customer access and equal treatment of every customer. After all, what happens if one of the agents is exhausted and simply can’t think of what to say once they answer the phone? Scripts greatly reduce this issue since they are filled with prompts and resources to help a struggling agent. This can also help boost representative confidence since there is less fear of error and more support readily available. Additionally, scripting can work well with IVR systems and similar technological support because it helps to easily support and access customer information in order to promote quick, helpful service.
So can scripting go wrong? Absolutely. Scripts must be well structured and strategic in order to benefit agents. If they aren’t well thought out, then they can often become more of a hinderance than an asset. Just as well, even with a perfect script, problems can still arise. For example, in many instances, it is best that the customer service agent stray from the script as aconversation progresses with a consumer in order to avoid interrupting them as well as to ensure personalized, satisfactory service, especially since each customer and their situation are unique.
So How Do I Make Sure That My Script Is Well-Written?
Once again, every call center is different. However, there are some overall guidelines to remember as you write your script. Firstly, it’s important to keep your script brief with very little need for memorization. Your script can be made of examples, such as suggested greetings, or an outline filled with talking points. This is up to your discretion, but it’s absolutely necessary to avoid too many full sentences in order to avoid your representatives possibly sounding like automated technology and preventing them from making a personal connection with customers. A script should promote rapport between the agent and consumer while also acting as a guide for helping call center representatives to keep the conversation focused in order to avoid wasting the consumer’s time, agent’s time, and company resources.
Secondly, vocabulary should be as simple as possible so that employees and customers alike have a clear understanding of the call. Most consumers are going to want quick and effective service and, therefore, may become very irritated if the vocabulary used is too complicated or the script does not get to the point quickly enough. Also, it is important to avoid including open-ended questions within a script since this can lead to the call straying from its original topic and once again lead to a waste in resources. In other words, there are many ways to create scripts, but any script implemented in a call center should be simple, concise, and only used as a tool rather than a strict guideline.
Tracking and Call Dispositions Are Excellent Resources.
Tracking is essentially constantly monitoring your call center’s calls through data collection, analysis, and constructive criticism. It is typically used to determine the success of a particular source or campaign. Tracking software may help identify the call abandonment rate, the amount of first call resolution, and the average response time.
So how does management identify the result of a call? They use call dispositions. Most representatives do not have time to thoroughly report the result of a call. Call dispositions are a solution to this problem. Call dispositioning allows for management to identify the overall success of their source and any potential issues arising, whether that be agent morale, faulty software, or ineffective customer service. It helps employers to monitor the performance of both individuals and the overall call center. While call dispositioning is now a feature available on CRM software that labels the outcome of a call, it is still widely found that call dispositions by other human parties are the most effective. For example, a call disposition may be “sale,” “call went to voicemail,” or even a disgruntled customer ending the call abruptly, which could only be consistently, accurately identified by a human evaluation. Call dispositions can identify many individual call results depending on the stipulations of management. Through identifying these problems, business owners can quickly work for solutions, which lead to higher levels of consumer satisfaction and success as a call center.
How Does This Relate To mobileFUSED?
At mobileFUSED, we recognize that our work is a delicate balance of sales and humanity. We know that each caller is a human being with wonderful traits and we owe it to them to provide our best possible service. In our opinion, this is achieved through building relationships with our callers. Therefore, it is incredibly important that our partnered call centers be effective with well-trained agents and a passion for helping each potential client find their desired destination. We, at mobileFUSED, monitor this through utilizing tracking and dispositioning in order to monitor the performance of a campaign. Additionally, mobileFUSED employs and in-house disposition team to monitor and optimize the sources’ and call center reps’ performance.We even created our own tracking system! In other words, we are very thorough in providing call centers with quality feedback in terms of the number of calls received as well as the data associated, such as customer service performance. All in all, we at mobileFUSED do our best to ensure that the call centers we work with are successful as well as constantly working to improve their services in order to ensure satisfied customers.
To learn more about mobileFUSED services or to ask any questions about the topics covered above, give mobileFUSED a call today! Let us show you how effective we are at providing excellent, relevant calls and quality, personalized service!