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
By Melissa Werth, Customer Service Supervisor
Author note: When I use the term inbound calls, I am also referring to other customer contacts like text, chat, and email. In today’s inbound customer service model, all of these customer contact types are viewed interchangeably.
You’ve made the decision to employ inbound call center outsourcing to save money, improve service or both. Inbound call center selection is not easy. There are lots of call center options. And after you’ve made the decision, you need to be prepared to make a heavy investment of time with the new team to ensure they are successful. Many executives and managers overlook the importance of the time investment when they are developing the plan.
To ensure your outsource initiative is successful, here are some keys to ensure success. Continue reading