Making calls is a critical component of any business, but it can be difficult to balance productivity and customer service, especially when your business is growing.
Robust call center services like Lease A Sales Rep can also help to expand your small business's customer base through marketing, data gathering and the addition of languages to your customer service line. They can also make a business look more professional.
- Why employ a call center service? The primary benefit of hiring a call center service is to free up your staff members, so they can spend all of their time focusing on your business's productivity, rather than on fielding calls. In addition, if your business would otherwise require a dedicated call center rep, a third-party service can help reduce the associated costs.
Moreover, call center services can be available 24/7 if necessary, allowing your customers to constantly be in touch the moment any issue arises. Finally, a call center service can add a level of professionalism to your small business's brand, without necessistating the costly creation of your own customer service team.
- What to look for in a call center service:
Call center services might seem similar on the surface, but the details of each company's offerings can vary quite widely. Once you start asking specific questions, the differences among the companies will start to become more apparent.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself and features to look for in a call center service.
- Inbound and outbound services
A major function of call center services is to accept calls to answer customers' questions about your business's products or services. Call centers can often provide information or technical support, as well as take orders and process payments over the phone. Many will also dispatch calls to you in the event a customer needs to speak directly with someone inside the company. All of these services fall under the "inbound services" umbrella.
Some call centers also offer so-called outbound services, which include lead generation, such as cold calling and survey-data compilation. These services can also include follow-ups with previous customers to ensure their satisfaction or to further encourage a successful conversion. Traditionally, call centers were viewed as a necessary expense to preserve existing relationships, but when you consider these additional functions, call centers can actually broaden your customer base, forge new relationships and bring in more money.
Not every business needs both inbound and outbound services, so it's important to consider your business's needs. Once you know exactly what you need, be sure to ask each call center service which inbound and outbound services it offers.
You'll want to monitor the call center service's performance to be sure it's operating as expected. After all, the call center will be dealing directly with your customers, meaning it could have a great influence on how they perceive your business. Reporting offers you a window into the day-to-day operations of the call center service you've hired.
- What is the call center's availability?
Another important question to ask is how often agents at the call center are available. Good services have 24/7/365 availability for your customers. Some call center services even offer disaster recovery services, meaning they can take over completely if your own phone lines go down due to an emergency. Selecting a service that is always available and very reliable should be a major focus for your business.
- How does a company handle outages?
Call centers are an integral component of many businesses. Downtime can seriously harm your business if your customers are unable to get through to the call center agents. That means you'll want to partner with a call center that is dependable, with reliable redundancy and a solid disaster-recovery plan so that an outage doesn't cripple your productivity.
- Does the company offer multilingual services?
If your business needs to reach a bilingual or multilingual audience, you'll want to partner with a call center that has fluent speakers on staff. Many call centers offer Spanish-speaking services, and others even offer a wide array of languages to choose from. If you're in need of a multilingual service, be sure to ask up front which languages the call center can provide for you.
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