By Megan Fallis
Before we dive into the meat and potatoes (see what I did there?) of why the best inbound call center services companies are in the Midwest, let’s talk about the basics of inbound call center services. We’ll start by defining what they are, services offered, experience with Midwest call centers, and questions to help determine the scope of your work.
What are inbound call center services?
Simply put, inbound call center services provide support to incoming traffic. Historically this strictly meant incoming calls; however, many call centers have omnichannel capabilities offering additional support through email, text, webchats, and social media channels.
The best inbound call center services can support both Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) client needs. The most common inbound call center services are:
- Order processing
- Customer service and support
- Billing issues
- Tier 1 technical support
- Lead qualification
- Overflow for call volumes
- Appointment setting
- Inquiry management
- Help desk
- Direct response marketing support
- Contract tracing
- Loyalty program management
- Appointment management
Outsourced inbound call center services
Why would a business choose to outsource its inbound call center services? The reasons are varied, but predominantly, companies outsource the inbound calls to free their internal team up to focus on less repetitive tasks and provide a higher quality service than their internal team can support. Other reasons include:
- Support unpredictable call volumes
- Increased productivity
- Leverage proven processes
- Provide a consistent customer experience
- In-house teams are stretched beyond capacity
- Cost savings
- Technology limitations
- Tap into industry expertise
- Access to expansive talent pools
- Best-in-class training programs
The best inbound call center services partners are in the Midwest
Selecting the right inbound call center services partner is not an easy decision as not all inbound call centers are the same. Acting as an extension of your team, the partner will need to provide a seamless interaction for your customers. They need to have experience, be reliable, and cost-effective.
Call centers in the Midwest employ people…. well, in the Midwest. For those that don’t have a lot of experience with Midwesterners, let me tell you, you’re missing out. I spent nearly ten years traveling to the Midwest and visiting call centers that supported my business. The first impression I had was that the Midwest had the kindest, hardest-working, dedicated, and genuine people I had ever met as a collective group.
My experience with Midwesterners is also grounded in data. A study assessed traits of over more than 1.5 million people and found that personalities in the Midwest had moderately high levels of extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and were sociable, considerate, dutiful, and traditional. Who wouldn’t want their business supported by a Midwest call center?
The work ethics that I experienced among Midwest call center teams were different than I had seen in other regions of the country. It started at the top with leadership. Leading by example, the front-lines saw what hard work was. Collaboration, feedback, trial, and error were all baked into the culture.
As a whole, teams were receptive to new ideas, eager to learn, and took pride in their work. I often found that team members would suggest tweaking a script or offering a different product set to different customer types. In one instance, providing feedback on pricing, we saw a revenue increase of over 200K in a short time period.
At-home inbound call center services in the Midwest
COVID-19 forced the hand of traditional brick-and-mortar call centers to transition to remote models to keep employees safe. At-home models have proven to be successful. One study found a 13% increase in productivity over nine months; productivity naturally increased performance, leading to handling more calls per minute attributed to a quieter, more convenient working environment and working more minutes per shift because of fewer breaks and sick days.
Three advantages to at-home inbound call center services
Access to talent: By taking location out of the equation, a remote model makes it easier to scale teams, attract high-quality applicants, and increase the likelihood of new hire retention.
Eliminating the commute: Reportedly, the Midwest has an average commute of 24.5 minutes, while I am aware of some team members I worked with traveling over 40 minutes. A recent Harvard Business Review study reports a 37-minute increase in personal activities, especially in the morning with eliminating commutes with a WFH model.
Increased employee and customer engagement: When team members are satisfied with their job, they provide a better overall customer experience, which leads to an increase in customer and client satisfaction. For the business, when team members are engaged and happy with their work, productivity naturally increases.
There are many factors to consider before signing a contract with a call center partner.
Identify the requirements for the business with as much specificity as possible. Consider the following:
- What are the technology requirements?
- Does the team need specific skillsets or certifications?
- Do you need a dedicated team, or would a blended model work?
- What is the project budget?
- Timeline for completion?
- How does training work? How much time is needed?
- What level of management or oversight would you like? Hands-off or actively participate?
- Do you require resources in the US, or are offshore companies ok?
The best inbound call centers have their unique personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and skillsets. It is essential to do the proper research, ask the right questions to make the best decision to support your business.
Want to learn more about inbound call center services? Drop us a line to learn more about our Midwest owner-operators partners.
Megan Fallis is Vice President of Marketing for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity and passion the team brings to work on a daily basis. You can reach Megan at [email protected] or 516-656-5120.