Call centers are more than just cost centers, despite the negative name they've had for decades. By focusing on quality assurance and caring about their staff, truly successful contact centers strive to improve the customer experience. Do you think you know your way around a call center? Reconsider your position!
Let's shoot down 11 of the call center myths!
1. No one uses a phone these days
The telephone is still the most popular method of customer assistance. Older generations want to converse with live people. As younger generations emerge, their choices for live chat and social media will shift. For the time being, though, the phone is here to stay.
2. Call center agents don't really care about their customers
They do, in fact. The average call center spends over $9,000 (Php 469,161.00) to employ and train a customer care representative, and avoiding high turnover costs the contact center millions of dollars is a top concern. Recruiters are constantly on the lookout for candidates who they believe have the abilities and attitudes necessary to provide efficient and successful customer service.
3. The majority of call centers are located in other countries
Wrong. This was especially true in the 1980s and 1990s when call centers became more like cost centers. However, as technology advances, empowered customers are smarter and want higher quality. Most companies have brought their service centers back to the U.S. for more complex problems. If there is an offshore call center, it’s typically used for tier 1 calls.
4. Agents in remote call centers aren't as productive as those in traditional call centers
This one is for those bosses who still believe that in order to be useful, staff must sit in the same room as them. Studies overwhelmingly show that remote agents actually feel more valued, and respected, and therefore are more productive. With new cloud-based software, having a remote (and engaged) workforce is 100% doable. And it will save the company a fortune.
5. Working at a call center is a no-brainer
Perhaps difficult and mundane. But not in a mindless way. Many customer care representatives juggle two jobs, families, and educational commitments. They are people who are enthusiastic, positive, and patient, and they know how to solve problems. And agents deserve credit for being the reason customers are loyal to the company they represent.
6. Managers are more concerned with the number of calls than with the quality of those calls
The age-old call center metric battle: resolve the call the first time (FCR) OR settle the call as rapidly as feasible (RCR) (AHT). There is no simple solution. Both are important and really depend on the product and customer profile.
7. Call center is for young folks
The average age of most call centers is in their 30s, with a wide range of ages. In certain states, pay is comparable to those of teachers. Bonuses, incentives, and promotions are designed to keep staff interested in staying for the long haul.
8. Email is no longer in use
Nope. The use of email forms for ticketing-based support is on the rise. Self-help channels and the internet of things may play a significant role in this. As well as younger generations not wanting to talk on the phone.
9. Call center executives are unconcerned about their workers
Obviously, executives must be concerned with the call center's profitability and return on investment. However, leaders must invest in people and care about their satisfaction in order to keep customers loyal and genuinely create money.
10. Robots will replace people in customer service
Technology serves to assist and enhance customer service, but the human experience will be needed for many more decades to come. Sure people will have to adapt to integrating technology, but it will not replace us completely any time soon.
11. Call Center is a Contact Center
Customer support and outreach are provided by both call centers and contact centers, but the communication channels they use differ. While call centers use only one channel, the phone, contact centers use a variety of channels. Call centers arose before the advent of digital platforms.
WHAT WE RATHER NEED TO KNOW AND LEARN ABOUT CALL CENTERS
Call centers, as defined, are locations where agents answer customers' questions and resolve their issues over the phone or through other forms of contact. Customers may ask agents for inquiries, place orders, or arrange for services such as insurance. In actuality, however, the entire experience and function of contact centers have evolved dramatically in recent years. This is mostly due to advancements in numerous technologies.
TYPES OF CALL CENTERS
Call center agents do not simply accept calls from whatever and whenever. Call centers are also categorized according to the type:
1. Inbound call centers- Work by employing people to take calls from clients.
2. Outbound call centers- make calls and reach out to potential and existing customers.
3. Cloud-based call centers- another term for virtual call centers. This form of call center is growing increasingly popular in recent years.
4. Blended call centers- Inbound and outbound calls are handled by this type of call center.
This form of call center handles both inbound and outgoing calls.
In addition to inbound, outbound, and blended call centers, there are several other types of call centers:
1. In-house call center- The company owns and operates its call center, as well as employs its agents.
2. Out-sourced call centers- The company engages a third party to answer calls on its behalf in order to save the costs of employing and training call center personnel, as w ell as investing in and updating call center technology.
3. Offshore call center- The corporation outsources its activities to a company in a different nation, usually to save money on wages and provide services around the clock. Reduced client satisfaction owing to language barriers and a lack of understanding about the organization, product, or service due to distance are also disadvantages of using an offshore call center.
4. Virtual call center- Using cloud call center technology, the company employs geographically distributed agents that answer calls. Agents in call centers work in small groups in different offices or from their homes.
PROPONENTS OF A CALL CENTER
1. The Call Center Manager- Call center managers would be the queen bees if call centers were hives. They hire, train, inspire and prepare their employees to offer excellent service to their consumers.
2. Call center directors- While team leaders are in charge of smaller groups, call center directors are in charge of the overall operation and ensuring that everything goes well. Agent performance metrics and goals are set by directors or managers to ensure that agents satisfy client expectations and the call center runs efficiently.
3. The Team Leader- After managers, team leaders are the next position down the hierarchy. They are both essential elements of a dependable and effective call center team. While some of their responsibilities are comparable to those of call center managers, the roles are distinct in other ways. Before you can work as a team leader, you'll require previous management and call center expertise.
4. The Call Center Agents- Call center agents are employees that spend the majority of their time calling and interacting with potential customers. Those who answer a variety of calls from various customers, both incoming and outgoing. They also handle account queries, customer complaints, and other customer service difficulties.
5. Quality assurance team- Quality assurance (QA) is a method in which QA teams check that products or services meet particular requirements. These groups can track and analyze agent phone conversations in call centers to verify that call quality and customer service meet the center's expectations. In some circumstances, QA checks are performed by call center directors.
6. IT personnel- Call centers, especially those with remote operations, require IT expertise. While IT professionals aren't limited to contact centers, they do guarantee that agents' equipment and tools are up to date in order to keep the call center working efficiently.
CALL CENTER AS A TECHNOLOGY
Computers and headsets are two essential pieces of equipment for call centers. To make and receive calls, call center operators to require computers and reliable headsets so that their voices seem clear and understandable to customers. Organizations may want to invest in home networking equipment for remote call center agents since they may want increased internet access to access their organizations' call center software reliably.
The following are examples of other important call center technology and software:
1. Call management software like the ACD technology- Automatic call Distribution is abbreviated as ACD. It's a phone system that automatically collects incoming calls and routes them to the next available agent. Its goal is to assist inbound contact centers in sorting and managing enormous numbers of calls in order to keep the staff from being overwhelmed. It also enhances client experiences by ensuring that they are linked to a knowledgeable representative as soon as feasible. The caller must first travel through the IVR before being queued and routed. IVR and ACD are often confused with each other, so let’s take the time to differentiate the two terms.
2. Call monitoring software- Call monitoring software is used to track ongoing support calls so that new agents can be trained, quality assurance can be ensured, and customer feedback can be obtained. (Don't worry, it's not big brother.) Managers and supervisors can listen to calls in real-time without alerting agents or customers using the call monitoring feature in Zendesk phone support software. This reduces agent ramp time and ensures that quality requirements are met, resulting in a c consistent client experience.
3. Speech analytics tools- is used in the process of analyzing voice recordings or live customer calls to contact or call centers with speech.
4. Workforce management software- Workforce management (WFM) software is a catch-all word for desktop and mobile tools that assist a company with employee scheduling. The word came from call centers and other service organizations that employ a high number of hourly workers.
5. Customer Management Relationship Software- CRM software (customer relationship management software) is a tool that helps your company provide a unique and seamless experience for its customers while also building stronger relationships by providing a complete picture of all customer interactions, tracking sales, organizing, and prioritizing the customers.
6. IVR Software- Incoming callers can obtain information through a voice response system of pre-recorded instructions without speaking to an agent, as well as use menu options via touch-tone keypad selection or speech recognition to have their call routed o specified departments or specialists.
7. Outbound Dialer Softwares- are software or cloud-based solutions that enable your contact center to make outbound calls. Outbound dialing solutions assist your agents in speeding up and automating outbound calling, resulting in increased efficiency and production.
8. Chatbot or Virtual Assistant Technology- A chatbot, at its most basic level, is a computer program that simulates and processes human dialogue (written or spoken), allowing humans to communicate with digital devices as if they were speaking with a real person. Chatbots can be as simple as one-line programs that respond to a simple query, or as sophisticated as digital assistants that learn and adapt as they gather and process data to give increasing levels of personalization.
Meanwhile, call center agencies to operate across industries, including:
1. Retail- Customers want assistance from retailers before, during, and after purchases. A customer may inquire about delivery specifics or the retailer's return policy before or during the purchase process. Customers can contact after making a purchase to report a missing item or request a return.
2. Healthcare- Customers contact healthcare professionals to schedule, change, or confirm appointments, as well as to ask doctors questions. Healthcare providers can se outsourced call centers to receive calls and route them to an on-call physician when a medical emergency occurs outside of business hours.
3. Airlines- Customers dial toll-free airline numbers to interact with IVR menus or peak with customer support representatives. Customers may check flight statuses, et flight details, and see how much mileage they have left on their frequent flier ards. In addition, flyers can speak to customer service agents to re-book a flight. When weather conditions, such as a large winter storm, cause flight delays or cancellations, airlines can quickly respond to customer needs.