Running a thriving call center necessitates hiring the best agents, which entails a simple resume review. Call centers have only one goal: to successfully communicate with current and potential consumers for the company.
Compared to the early 2000s, there have been significant advancements in today’s call centers. Previously, hiring a call center required a large contract, and they primarily worked with large corporations such as telecommunications companies and financial organizations.
But the advancement of telecommuting software and tools liberalizes the industry. As a result, employing a call center may now serve organizations and businesses of all sizes in various industries.
This article will assist you and help you answer these questions:
- Do you need to hire a call center for your business operations?
- How do you select and employ a call center?
Table of Contents
Definition of Call Center
A call center is a centralized department that handles both inbound and outbound calls from existing and new clients. Call centers are either housed within a corporation or outsourced to a company specializing in answering phones.
AI and automation, according to some, are posing a danger to call centers. It, however, may not be the case. Large corporations led the first wave of outsourcing, but small firms and startups have a bright future.
When building customer support teams, millions of small businesses continue to look for ways to save personnel costs and resources. They may still find chatbots and automated responses inconvenient and pricey.
Thus, outsourcing is a fantastic option for companies to hire and manage employees from afar. They can also scale up or down their teams as needed.
How Do Call Centers work?
Online merchants use call centers, telemarketing businesses, help desks, mail-order organizations, polling services, charities, and any significant organization that sells items or provides services over the phone. These businesses also employ call centers to improve customer service.
Types of Call Centers
Inbound, outbound and blended call centers are the three most frequent types of call centers.
Inbound call center
An inbound call center typically handles incoming calls, with the agent providing customer service help over the phone in the form of product or service inquiries, sales, billing, or general questions. Most inbound call centers offer additional support via email or live chat to serve their clients better.
Inbound call center activities:
- Telephone Answering
- Live Chat and Email Support
- Claims Processing
- Medical Answering
- Appointment Management
- Help Desk and Dispatch Services
- Hotline Services
- Virtual Receptionist
- Order Processing
- Reservations & Booking
Inbound call center metrics:
- First Call Resolution (FCR)
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Abandoned Call Rate (ACR)
- Average Speed of Answer (ASA)
- Average Handle Time (AHT)
- Average Call Transfer Rate
- Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
- Customer Churn Rate (CCR)
- Call Duration
- Cost Per Contact
Outbound Call Center
Outbound call centers are primarily concerned with making outgoing calls, in which an agent contacts a list of potential or present customers. This sales-driven strategy is frequently connected with telemarketing and lead creation. These agents often make more because of the company’s commissions and bonuses.
Outbound call center activities:
- Lead Generation & Qualification
- Appointment Setting
- Insurance Sales
- Warranty & Renewals
- Market Research
- Survey Gathering
- Billing and Debt Collection
- Event Registration
Outbound call center metrics:
- First Call Close
- Conversion Rate
- Calls per Agent
- Calls per Account
- Hit Rate
- Hold Time
- Abandoned Call Ratio
- Average Call Length
- Revenue per Successful Call
- Occupancy Rate
Blended Call Center
This type of call center handles inbound and outbound calls.
Call Center Examples from Various Industries
Any industry that communicates with customers over the phone can benefit from call centers. The following are some examples:
- Airlines. Customers dial toll-free airline numbers to interact with IVR menus or customer support representatives. Customers may check flight statuses, get flight details, and see how much mileage they have left on their frequent flyer cards. Flyers can also contact customer care employees to rebook a flight. Airlines can promptly respond to customer needs when weather circumstances, such as a severe winter storm, produce flight delays or cancellations.
- Healthcare. Customers contact healthcare professionals to schedule, change, or confirm appointments and ask doctors questions. Healthcare providers can use outsourced call centers to receive calls and route them to an on-call physician when a medical emergency occurs outside business hours.
- 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. After purchasing, customers can contact to report a missing item or request a return.
How to Select and Employ a Call Center?
You can waste much time looking for call centers, evaluating them, comparing them, and haggling with them. You might not be sure if you want to hire or work with one yet. Thus, your best option to start is by reading up on local and offshore call centers that can help your company.
Checking the reviews of these call centers on third-party websites can frequently provide you with a better understanding of the experiences of other clients who have utilized or are still using their call center services.
Other websites, such as Glassdoor, include comments from previous or current call center employees; this is another good approach to see if the company’s culture matches yours.
How is the success of a call center determined?
Organizations should track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure call centers and agents’ success rates and efficiency. Organizations should track key performance indicators (KPIs).
Depending on the center’s function, the KPIs may differ: Cost per call, money earned, total calls made, and activities done are some metrics that an outbound call center may track. First call resolution (FCR), average wait time, and abandoned call rates are inbound call center KPIs.
Call center agents’ performance can also be tracked and analyzed using speech analytics tools. It can identify areas where more excellent knowledge and training are required, allowing faster call processing and a lower FCR.
Outsourcing a Call Center
By enlisting the help of an outsourcing company to manage your call center operations, you can save up to 70% on wage costs. Instead of dealing with a range of consumer queries, outsourcing allows you to focus on your core business activity.
Pricing for Call Centers
Different pricing structures are available at various call centers. Some companies may provide you with a dedicated or shared crew, and you will be charged hourly, monthly, or per commission for their services. However, it’s still crucial to compare their prices and find the most fantastic offer for your needs.
The following is the pricing for call centers:
If you predict a low volume or on-demand call from your consumers, you may be able to get a per-minute charge for your service. It also allows you to engage a shared crew that works with a variety of clients daily in addition to your account.
Inbound services in low-cost countries like the Philippines and India are frequently charged at US$0.35-0.45 per minute.
You can pay a per-hour fee if you predict a medium to a high frequency of calls and want to keep a closer eye on your operations. A per-hour service allows you to save money and keep track of how much money you’re spending on volumes of calls.
Depending on the business, you may be charged weekly or monthly for the bulk hours you’ve used. Costs may also differ by nation. In the Philippines, firms charge an average of US$6-15/hour for inbound calls. Meanwhile, outbound rates may range from $8 to $20 per hour.
Per phone call
If you have a medium to a high volume of calls but want to preserve control of your team, you can hire specialized personnel. They are solely responsible for your account, allowing them to concentrate on providing the best possible service to your clients.
Companies charge you a per-call fee, which varies based on the deal. They can set you a fixed monthly payment with a specific call quota or charge you on a per-call basis.
Businesses that require specialized services can use part-time charging. Whether it’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or after business hours, we’ve You have the option of hiring a shared or dedicated team to work your precise hours. This service might be charged per hour or on a commission basis.
Commissions are frequently charged for lead-generating calls, seasonal accounts, and other outbound services. You and your company can agree on a full commission once you’ve met your quota. Contact centers often need to earn an extra 10-20% per hour on top of their regular rates.
Hourly rate plus commission
Combining a call center’s hourly rate and commission may get the most out of them. It is better for both inbound and outbound call centers because the remuneration for your call center team’s performance might be higher.
Also Read: Top 10 Call Centers in the Philippines
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring a Call Center
Before hiring a call center, consider numerous benefits and drawbacks. It’s a matchmaking process because you’ll need to find the ideal call center firm to make it work.
Outsourcing a call center should not be driven solely by cost; paying too little typically leads to unqualified agents, which can only make things worse for you and your company.
The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing a call center.
Pros of Hiring Call Center
- Cost-efficient and scalable solution
- Experts and process specialists
- 24/7 customer service
- Easily manage call volume
- Increase business continuity
Cons of Hiring Call Center
- Reduced quality control
- Confidentiality and security
- Lack of flexibility
- Constant management
- Potential hidden costs
The Value of Call Centers
When it comes to customer service, customers have high expectations. They expect their concerns to be addressed and resolved immediately and effectively.
When customers call for service or assistance, organizations must have agents available, and those with call centers can better serve customers in need.
Call centers can make a company available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or throughout a time window corresponding to client expectations.
Customer phone calls are valuable for reasons other than customer service. For some products or services, phone calls are the only way for businesses to contact clients, hence the only way to connect with them directly.
You Can Also Check: What is Customer Service in BPO?
Call centers are far from outdated. They are still the most effective approach to communicating with clients and even internal teams today.
Call centers have been able to shift their perspectives thanks to technological advancements. To make their work more flexible and productive, they increasingly use internet technologies. Customer service nowadays is not limited to phone calls but also includes video conferencing and other forms of communication.
Apart from that, call centers are now extensively regulated, providing additional layers of security for both businesses and their customers. Most companies must now comply with regulations such as having proper scripts and establishing a brand identity.
Overall, businesses nowadays benefit significantly from hiring a call center.