By Shannon Svasek, Operations Manager
With almost twenty years as an operations manager that is responsible for leading a team of business to business salespeople in an outbound and inbound call center setting, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on why I enjoy my work and see it as worthwhile work.
Worthwhile work in an outbound and inbound call center setting can mean lots of different things. The ability to work effectively, efficiently, swiftly, completely, whole heartedly and all the while displaying integrity and attention to detail. Does this sound like everything on your want list when hiring for Outbound or Inbound call center agents? Many other Outbound and Inbound call center managers would agree with you. But in the end…is all the work you are doing and the time you spend doing it worthwhile? Employees that display these traits day in and day out are hard to find. So, as management it is up to us to cultivate, display and enforce good work habits. Continue reading
By Marcia Jenkins, Senior Operations Manager
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
By Shannelle Krebbs, Operations Manager
Determining inbound service level goals is one of the most important factors for anyone responsible for the inbound call center function. Determining the right inbound service level goal is not straight forward. A study conducted by AT&T 30 years ago determined that 80% of calls should be answered in 20 seconds or less. This was based off research that indicated that many callers would hang up the call after waiting for 20 seconds. Referred to as the 80/20 rule, this began the foundation for determining benchmarks for inbound service level standards. This study was conducted before the majority of inbound call centers implemented technology that is considered standard today, including Integrated Voice Response (IVR), Priority Queueing for high value customers based on the phone number they are calling from, In-Queue expected wait time announcements and In-Queue self-service options. Continue reading
By Rich Hamilton, Director of Marketing & Product Development
It’s said that the heart and soul of most companies is their Inbound Contact Solutions operation (also known as an inbound call center). This vital department with an organization has an opportunity to get key customer insights and the call center interactions often make or break the customer relationship.
Author note: When I refer to inbound contacts, I’m talking about inbound voice contacts plus the other non-voice contacts that contact centers are responsible for handling, including email, text and chat.
Have you ever sat on hold, trying to call a company and finally gave up, never to interact with that company again? Making sure that your Inbound Contact Solutions operation is properly staffed is super important. Whether this is a first impression or an angry customer that is giving the company one last chance, each inbound contact can be vital. Continue reading
By Ryan Apodac, Operations Manager/Trainer
Busy season can be vastly different from one business to the next. Many people think of the holiday busy season as Black Friday through Dec 31st. For one of our clients in the party supplies business, they do 80% of their business in the six weeks prior to Halloween. For another client in the energy business, their busy season is defined by the state’s public service commission’s rules surrounding when they can market to new customers and sign them up for an agreement (typically in March and April of each year). Continue reading