The customer is at the heart of your business values. Your company is dedicated to creating fantastic products and services as you offer the most amazing customer experience. But, the quality of that experience relies in part on the ability of your call center to offer a consistent, satisfying level of service. At times, even with the best of intentions and good business planning, an in-house call center can face difficult challenges:
- Staffing challenges, limitations on scheduling and/or call center employees that are overworked
- Technical product lines that require extensive experience and knowledge, making the in-house call center a costly and challenging business segment
- Accelerated company growth:
- Too many calls going to voice mail due to call volume
- Challenges staffing positions quickly enough
- Short-term opportunities, such as a new product release, promotion or holiday is creating a shortage of available agents
- The company has a need for customer service representatives trained in upselling and cross-selling efforts
- Call center employees that do not have access to the latest tools to address client needs efficiently
- Insufficient training or inadequate support for representatives to resolve complaints or questions on the first call
- You may not have agents empowered to solve complaints and inquiries on the first call, or you may need a support team with expanded authorization for these situations
- A business partnership may create a situation where customers are dissatisfied with the level of service by agents outside the U.S. because of language barriers, culture differences, or quality of service
- You may have a need to reduce costs by moving call center operations to a part of the United States with lower wages.
Even when these challenges are caused by factors outside the control of the enterprise, the result may create a significant problem: customers who seek a superior experience with your competitor. If you are noticing these trends creeping up in your business, it may be time to explore the benefits of outsourcing to a U.S.-based inbound call center.
While a myriad of situations can lead to the consideration of using a new inbound call center provider, there are some indications that it’s time to boost your customer service with outside help:
Your Team is Too Taxed: Whether you’re experiencing high turnover rates, or employees are disengaged, or dissatisfied, inbound call centers offer a way to remove the more mundane interactions from your in-house agents and improve satisfaction levels. In some cases, call centers are being asked to handle not only voice calls, but also chat, email, social media and messaging.
Even if you recognize some of the above challenges as issues that are impacting your customer service team and, ultimately, your customers’ experiences, you may not have a clear idea of what types of services are available through inbound call centers. The following are a few examples of the most common options:
- Customer Service: This is usually handled by a dedicated agent, who acts as an extension of your team, adhering carefully to your brand voice and messaging. They will satisfy customer requests with specific protocols and permissions allowed by your company.
- Message-Taking or Call-Patching: These are some of the simplest services available, with agents able to capture information either for a message or to appropriately direct the call to its destination.
- Order-Taking:Inbound call centers are able to assist with order-taking, such as for customers needing help as they place an online order. Order-taking services may include upselling and cross-selling, which can help companies increase revenue through an outsourced inbound call center.
- Complaints and Support: Specially trained agents handle customer problems, sometimes equipped to offer discounts as a way to resolve a complaint. Inbound call centers may also perform help desk functions, offering support for a complex product. For more high-tech solutions, inbound call centers can be equipped to dispatch technicians, streamlining your in-house response process.
- Upselling and Cross-Selling: Agents are trained to look for opportunities where they can share helpful information with customers receptive to exploring options that expand their engagement with the company.
- Data Clean-up and Enrichment: Every year, corporations lose money when outdated information allows marketing efforts to go wasted, so agents clean and correct relevant data to keep your records current. Contact center agents can enrich your database by collecting additional information about clients and prospects.
- Appointment Scheduling: Removing the scheduling of appointments and other routine tasks from your in-house contact center agents is an effective way of boosting job satisfaction and allowing agents to focus on less-mundane and complex customer issues. You’ll reduce employee turnover and improve employee engagement when you turn appointment scheduling over to a call center.
Complaints Are on the Rise: Only a decrease in sales could be a starker indication that something is amiss. When complaints are not only increasing, but they are moving higher up to the executive level, it’s a sign that your customer service team is floundering.
Your Brand Voice is Lost: If your in-house customer service agents are answering the phone or handling inquiries inconsistently, you may need to outsource to an inbound call center that specializes in representing your brand with consistent precision.
Your Customers are Defecting: You’re losing customers, and your competitors seem to be gaining on you. This is a clear reason for outsourcing your inbound call center, because customers aren’t enjoying the experience with your company. They’re dissatisfied with your service, they want more interaction or more engagement, and an inbound call center can help with all three.
Reasons it May be More Cost-Effective to Choose Outsourced Inbound Call Center Services: Depending on where your business is based, and your talent management process, you can realize significant cost savings by partnering with an inbound call center.
- Talent Costs: Your in-house call center may be struggling to communicate across all of the channels that customers prefer, such as email, chat, text and social media. In addition, all of the training, management and turnover costs that come with handling an inbound call center in-house can add up.
- Based on your location and the minimum wage laws in your state, you may see significant cost savings by utilizing an inbound call center in a state with a lower minimum wage. The minimum wage ranges from $14-15 in some states, while in others, it is as low as $7.25.
How Do You Choose an Inbound Call Center? There are a number of factors that every company should consider when choosing a business partner to handle outsourced inbound call center services.
- Does the service use incremental billing or do they bill second-by-second? A call that is rounded up to the nearest sixth second will quickly increase costs compared to one that bills you for exactly the length of the call.
- Where are the agents located? If it’s important to you that the agents offer a consistent experience, you may want to choose a call center that is in the same country as your company.
- Does the service offer dedicated agents who can act as an extension of your own company? You need agents who are trained to represent your brand consistently so that your customers experience the highest level of quality with every interaction.
- What is the availability of the agents? Are they able to match your hours of business, and are they able to adequately staff the call center during the hours where you experience the most volume?
- How are the contact center agents trained? Particularly if you have frequent product updates or sell a technical product, it’s important to know how the agents will stay up-to-date on new information.
Blue Valley Telemarketing offers valuable inbound call center services that are tailored to match your exact brand messaging. With agents located 100% in the United States, your customers will receive consistently excellent service. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your inbound call center.