What is a call center?
A call center is a department or company that accepts both inbound and outbound calls, such as queries or support calls, as well as marketing or survey calls.
It is customary for larger firms to have call centers for the following purposes:
- Offer assistance to consumers
- Answer their questions
- Carry out market research
With the invention of interactive voice response (IVR) systems – those automated prompts on the phone that ask you to push 1 for this and 2 for that, etc. – call centers became a very popular way to serve clients. Originally, they were only intended to manage incoming and outgoing phone calls.
However, call centers evolved over the years and they now handle all client interactions, including email, social media, and web chat. Because they had to account for all client interactions, these call centers became known as contact centres. Customers can reach out to the contact centre through any channel, so these centres have a 360-degree picture of the consumer across all touchpoints.
What is the purpose of a call center?
Telemarketing companies, computer help desks, polling services, charities, internet merchants, and other businesses frequently use call centers. These businesses communicate with their clients using call centers in order to expand their product and service offerings.
Inbound call center representatives typically handle a large number of calls per day. In some situations, they can also forward calls to more qualified personnel. Typically, call centers use an interactive voice response system (IVR) to answer calls and use speech recognition technology to resolve client inquiries while also installing pre recorded messages.
Calls are directed to customer service representatives in some situations. A call center representative, agent, or executive is the person who deals with client interactions. Outbound call centers use agents to phone customers on behalf of businesses or clients to generate leads. Lead generation, fundraising, debt collection, client retention, telemarketing, appointment scheduling, and other responsibilities are common in outbound call centers.
What is the difference between customer service and call center?
Contact centre services strive to answer as many calls as possible while also attempting to resolve issues as quickly as possible during a phone call. Customer service, on the other hand, is the provision of assistance before, during, and following the purchase of a product or service. Businesses that aim to provide exceptional customer service reap many benefits, including increased income.
Customers are more likely to buy from companies that provide outstanding customer service. Customer service is the most important component in a customer’s decision to trust your brand. Indeed, customers have a tendency to stop buying after just one bad experience.
Interactions with customers are crucial, which is where call centers come in. Each agent deals with hundreds of enquiries and complaints, attempting to provide quick and effective solutions. As a result, interactions with call center services are considered part of a brand’s customer service.
Call Center vs. Contact Center
A contact centre, like a call center, handles inbound and outbound calls, but it also provides digital service channels to customers. Contact centres offer all of the same advantages as call centers, but they are more likely to leverage cloud services and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) to allow users to communicate through their preferred channel. Texting, webchat, email, and other digital channels are frequently used.
Customer service can go beyond responding inbound requests with new tools and analytics. By keeping an eye on customer behavior, you may reach out and address questions even before a call comes in. While this is possible at a call center, it is not very effective in practice.
Call center agents use the phone to send outbound messages. If the agent knows someone’s home phone number, it’s possible that they’ll be unavailable during the day. Outbound voice calls are typically unproductive because cell phone users are increasingly hesitant to answer unknown numbers. Customers may choose how they want to communicate using contact centre solutions, making proactive communication an effective approach to cut expenses and increase loyalty.
What is the difference between inbound and outbound call centers?
Inbound and outbound calls are handled by call centers in large numbers. Understanding the distinction between inbound and outbound call centers will help you determine which alternative is ideal for your company.
Inbound call centers
Inbound call centers handle mostly inbound phone calls from customers and potential customers. Because of the nature of these calls, this form of call center is more focused on customer service.
Answering questions and resolving customer complaints are the primary goals of inbound contact centres. Inbound call centers also deal with customer concerns. Because they are many consumers’ only point of contact with your firm, it is critical that inbound agents be kind, helpful, and knowledgeable about company policies.
Types of inbound calls include:
- Customer Support: When a current customer contacts a company with a question or issue, or to adjust their account.
- Technical Support: Customers tend to call a company when a product isn’t working properly.
- Inbound Sales: In some cases, inbound call centers get calls from prospective purchasers who are looking for more information. When this happens, it’s known as an inbound sales call.
Outbound call centers
Outbound call centers make more calls than they receive in contrast to inbound call centers. Reaching out to consumers and new customers, creating sales, and advertising the company are their key priorities. Typically, call center representatives work with lists of current or potential consumers. This frees them up to make sales and cold calls, as well as spend time assisting clients with service upgrades.
Types of outbound calls include:
- Cold Calls: Cold calls are made to people who aren’t expecting to hear from you. This phone call is their first contact with the company, for better or worse.
- Warm Calls: Warm calls, as opposed to cold calls, are the consequence of prior contact with the lead. It might be a referral, a chance encounter at a convention or meetup, or a previous phone conversation. Because the lead is expecting the call, these calls are frequently more well-received, and as a result, conversion rates are higher.
What is the structure of a call center?
Call centers give businesses a cost-effective and easy means of resolving client issues. The calls that take place between the employee who answers the phone and the customer or caller on the other line are the foundation of any call center operation.
Agents need to be trained on three key aspects of an inbound call center call:
- Opening the call: When a call comes in and the agent answers it, they will greet the client and identify themselves.
- The body of the call: The basic goal of the conversation is to listen carefully, grasp the customer’s problem, and respond correctly.
- Closing the call: A thank you farewell message is sent to the client before the call is ended. The agent then needs to end the call and enter any notes into the client database.
How do you handle inbound and outbound calls?
You can’t afford to miss out on inbound sales possibilities. Here are four tips to make the most of inbound and outbound sales calls:
Establish a model
The goal of an inbound call is to assist the caller. Employees, on the other hand, are sometimes the ones who start a dialogue about what’s on their computer screens. Callers may become irritated as a result of this. This will not happen if you use a call process or call model. They can assist agents in adopting a friendlier tone, which is more likely to increase client satisfaction and sales.
Callers are aware that you require information. As a result, they anticipate some inquiries. Responding to a long list of dry questions, on the other hand, can irritate them. It might also make them feel uneasy. This isn’t the best technique to get questions answered or start a conversation with the caller. Remind staff that in sales calls, they should mix remarks and questions to keep the conversation flowing.
Get their name right!
It can be difficult to pronounce certain names. Employees should use this procedure to eliminate pronunciation issues: Pronounce the person’s name as clearly as possible and immediately seek confirmation. Then, pay attention to how the person pronounces her name and repeat it to him or her. This shows the caller that the agent is aware of how to pronounce his/her name correctly and is eager to do so. This will make the caller feel more welcomed and appreciated.
It’s difficult to describe a product or service over the phone while sustaining a caller’s interest. Even seasoned agents can make mistakes. You can help them out by writing compelling statements about your products and services. Make it clear that they must use all of the adjectives in the descriptions. Agents’ trustworthiness is enhanced by compelling pre-written descriptions that make them appear competent and confident.
Need help with your inbound or outbound strategy?
TELUP is a BPO Services & Appointment Setting Company that assists businesses of all sizes with prospecting, appointment setting, sales, client retention, and front-office outsourcing chores by delivering dedicated, well-trained people.
Most businesses attempt to handle customer calls internally, but only a small percentage of them succeed in meeting today’s high standards. TELUP provides unrivalled customer service. Customers want to be able to reach a live agent whenever they need to, whether it’s by phone, email, social media, online form, or live chat. To provide a level of customer service that your competition envy, you must be responsive to each incoming request.
TELUP’s inbound services include:
- Sales and product support
- Technical support
- Customer care and retention
- Consumer affairs and product recalls
TELUP is concerned with determining the average processing time, dropout rates, quality scores, and customer-specific KPIs. To make sure our agents can continually improve your customer experience, we provide ongoing training and up-to-date response scripts.
TELUP’s outbound telemarketing services can assist you in achieving those prospecting and lead generation goals, due to a staff of professional agents who specialize in closing deals. Consumer interest in your products or services will be piqued by our lead generation team, which will be passed on to be converted into sales for your business!
If you are interested in the inbound or outbound services offered by TELUP, feel free to contact us!