Working with inbound call center services in the call center industry for over 25 years I get a lot of questions. One of the most common I am asked is, “Aren’t all call center’s the same, I mean a call center is a call center, right?”. Well, there is a straightforward answer to that question…. No, call centers are different, specifically those that provide inbound call center services.
Inbound telemarketing may sound like a simple profession if you’ve never worked in an inbound telemarketing call center before. You answer the phone, look up answers for customers or prospects, solve problems, enter orders, upsell or cross sell, and note all the details in your CRM. Easy! Well… not really.
The most challenging aspect of handling incoming calls is that you never know what the next call will require. Some customers are having a great day and are super chatty and nice – which can be challenging if you have other calls in queue and you need to keep the average handle time down. Other customers are having a bad day and they are super angry and because you answered the phone, they want to take it out on you. Compound the different customer temperaments with the fact that many customers are calling because the available self-service options didn’t meet their needs, and this makes the call handling even more complex. Continue reading →
Telemarketing companies come in many shapes and sizes. I have written many times about how a call center is like a person, and each one has their own strengths and weaknesses. Evaluating those strengths and matching them with a client or program that needs those strengths is a crucial first step in having a successful inbound, outbound or omni-channel call center program.
But where does actual size fit into this equation? Is a bigger telemarketing company always better? Surely a call center with 500 seats is better than one with 75, right? The answer isn’t so black and white and in many circumstances that might not be the case. Below are the top factors to consider when evaluating if a telemarketing company is the right size for your client or program. Continue reading →
How do inbound calls enhance outbound call programs? Many companies have an inbound customer service number. Customers can and do call in for a wide variety of reasons. They need to order an item or service, maybe they are unhappy with that item or service and wish to get a refund or perhaps to check the status of an order to name a few. But how do those inbound calls enhance the outbound call programs those businesses may be running? We will talk about that in a moment, but before any of that can happen you must have one really important piece – a great team! Continue reading →
One of the best tools an outsource telemarketing or contact center manager has is the blended seat. A blended seat is a call center workstation that allows the call center agent to handle inbound calls, outbound calls, email, chats and text messages. Most call center management pros are adept at carefully constructing a plan where different call center agents are “skilled” for different types of contacts and by using skills and skills-based routing, the call center agents are kept busy with the contact types that they are most skilled at; however they are also available to handle non-primary contact types as needed to achieve the service level and customer satisfaction goals within the call center. Continue reading →