Call centers are centralized spaces that are used to receive or convey large volumes of telephone calls. Inbound call centers are used for incoming product or service support or enquiries from customers.
Outbound call centers are used for telemarketing, collections for political donations, debt collections, research or emergency notifications. Learn more about what a call center is here: https://www.callcentrehelper.com/10-things-to-know-about-call-centres-51312.htm.
A team of agents are responsible for operating telephone calls, either for, or on behalf of a large organization. These calls can either be incoming (from customers), or outgoing (made by the company to the customers). Their main responsibilities are the following:
- Offering customer support
- Handling customer queries
- Doing telemarketing
- Conducting market research
Call centers have become more flexible, both in size and setup, which led to the emergence of virtual contact centers where agents can work from home. They use the same cloud technology and therefore still function as a large center; however, they operate from multiple locations.
Why Are Call Centers Essential?
They provide a solid platform for customer service, while companies can enhance its public image, resolve problems arising and create stronger customer bases.
Organizations are able to provide personalized services and track clients’ preferences in order to make proactive decisions. The quality measures are typically broken down into the following 3 categories:
- Historical: historical demands help forecast and plan for the future;
- Real-time: gives insight into current demands; and
- Customer focused: indicates how effective customers and advisors are interacting.
New and innovative technologies, such as chatbots, speech analytics and proactive messaging, are becoming more popular to assist in customer care. This is a very important aspect in any business, as it ensures that clients remain calm and feel well attended to.
Read this article for other reasons on why customer service is so important. By listening to customers and encouraging them to give inputs, companies can adjust their strategies for improvement.
Pros Of Call Centers
There are several benefits to call center outsourcing to the Philippines and other top BPO countries, most of which offload the risks to the center agents, instead of keeping it within the company. These include the following:
Outsourcing allows companies to adapt to constantly changing needs and fluctuating business.
Business often spikes during holiday seasons, which makes it difficult to train and hire new employees, just to retrench them again after the busy times. By outsourcing call centers, companies eliminate these risks.
EXPANSION TO INTERNATIONAL MARKETS
When companies need to expand to international markets, they use global agents who understand that specific culture or speak the language. Multiple operators around the world can meet more customers’ needs.
IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICES AROUND THE CLOCK
Call centers have the newest technologies to improve a company’s competitive edge. They also operate on a 24/7 base to assist customers at any time.
HANDLE OVERFLOW OF CALLS
By outsourcing part of the operations to external service providers during peak phone operating times, companies can save time and money.
The Cons Of Outsourced Call Centers
There aren’t many cons when it comes to call center outsourcing solutions, as the benefits outweigh all the cons.
Once calls are outsourced, companies might feel like they are losing control, as strangers are now reflecting the company’s brand image.
Foreign operators might not understand the company’s values, services or products, which makes it difficult to resolve customers’ issues. They are also not dedicated to the company and might deliver substandard services.
Most larger companies began to outsource their call centers to save money. In countries like India or the Philippines, workers could be paid much less and they could already speak some English.
There is an ongoing debate on whether offshore outsourcing is beneficial or detrimental to businesses, which has led to a ‘best of both worlds’ solution. Instead of outsourcing call center operations, companies can rather hire a team of global agents who work remotely. Modern software, computers, headsets and home internet connections make it easier to maintain a global workforce at a reasonable price.
Agents can be selected on the basis of their education, experience, criminal backgrounds and cultural fit with companies. By employing a skilled workforce with the freedom to work from home, companies can improve the quality of their customer services and track agent performance.