All Your Questions On Call Centers Answered

{flickr|100|campaign} You might be having several questions regarding call centers if you haven’t worked with them yet. Here are answers to some questions that people frequently put up regarding call centers. An efficient call center needs the mind power, training and resources to offer a streamlined approach to the task assigned.

Do you still wonder why businesses worldwide outsource their work to call centers functioning outside the company structure? Why don’t they get the work done inside the organization and rely on the people operating offshore to work for them? If even giant corporations are resorting to call centers, there must really be something mutually beneficial in the concept.

If you are considering roping in a call center to assist you in your operations, the answers to the following questions would help you to clear the air about them.

How does a call center function?

A call center is a centralized office which handles volumes of telecommunications. All staff members are equipped with a computer and a telephone/head set which is plugged onto a telecom switch connected to one or more supervisor stations. A call center might work independently or operate through a network of additional centers.

What is an outbound call center?

In an outbound call center, the executives only make outgoing phone calls for the client organization. Agents typically are selling products and services or making appointments. Calls made from the center can include telemarketing, fund-raising calls, contact list updating, surveys or verification services. An outbound call center uses metrics such as agent success, cost per call, revenue earned, total calls made and tasks completed.

What is an inbound call center?

An inbound call center focuses on resolving customer queries. Professionals well-versed in language, process, and people management skills take the calls of the customers and provide the proper answers to them. The people are trained to handle a range of services. It uses metrics such as first call resolution (FCR) to measure success.

What can an efficient call center achieve?

* Increase cross-selling product penetration

* Increase revenue growth

* Reduce operating expenses through integrated technologies and processes

* Retain more customers through a consistent, standardized experience

* Increase first-call resolution and average handle time

Why do corporate houses find running internal call centers a daunting task?

In today’s complex business climate, corporate houses face all or any of these limitations

* Losing focus on mainstay business as the company is too busy handling operations

* Time and money crunch

* Non-availability of human resource with required skills

* Spiraling operational cost

* Recruitment and attrition problems

What is a virtual call center?

Virtual call center is virtual simulation of a call center environment. The only difference is that the call center agents are not working on the same premises. The organization’s representatives are geographically dispersed as groups in a number of smaller centers. Virtual call center system, with its inherent advantages, can bring down the costs, maintain the level of customer satisfaction and better turn inquiry calls into orders.

What is core competency?

The field of expertise of a particular business is core competency. These are value creating skills which make a company distinct and are critical to the company’s long term growth. The companies outsource the not so important areas of their business so that they could focus their resources on their own area of specialization for further development of their businesses.

What to look for in a call center when outsourcing?

* Objective of a call center is to get the maximum output out of minimum input. This is the parameter of testing a call center too.

* Executives should be well-trained to deal with all kind of scenarios when dealing with customers.

* The center must have the proper basic infrastructure (spacious office, furniture etc.) and hardware.

* Managers of the center must be well-experienced with enough work exposure.

Carefully weigh the pros and cons before you select a call center service. Make detailed inquiries about the call center that you have in mind before you sign the agreement. Talk with their existing clients to judge the operational capability of a particular call center.

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