Not all call centers are created equal — some are better suited to your needs. Before you partner with an agency, assess these key considerations to ensure you outsource your customer service to the right call center.
The Complexity of Your Calls
The calls that companies receive vary in complexity. Some types of calls require only general information about the business, while others demand specialized data and training.
This is where call center services and answering services differ. Call center services often provide broad, basic information for frequently asked questions. Agents usually follow a script to answer basic queries, take orders, manage leads, and more. Call center services are ideal for businesses that get relatively simple calls, like retail companies.
In contrast, answering services manage complex and specialized tasks. Agents have an intimate knowledge of the field and provide more critical information to the customer. Answering services are ideal for niche businesses, like a law firm or medical practice.
Take note that some call center companies provide both services.
Inbound & Outbound Services
Consider the call center operations you want to outsource: do you need inbound or outbound services?
Inbound services receive calls from customers. Agents answer the questions and provide support. Outbound services, on the other hand, call customers or prospects. Agents cold-call customers to generate leads, do follow-up calls, or get data for customer loyalty surveys.
Most agencies provide inbound services, but if your company needs to outsource your outbound operations, call center companies can provide both.
English has been the lingua franca of international business, but many companies cater to a multilingual market. Others don’t want to lose opportunities, so they invest in multilingual customer service support to accommodate clients with limited English proficiency. After all, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2015, at least 350 languages were spoken in U.S. homes.
Many businesses outsource multilingual call center services, including Chinese (with over 1.3 billion native speakers around the world) and Spanish (471 million native speakers).
If you have a multilingual market, make sure your call center agency partner can support all verticals.
Call Center Availability
Does your company receive calls round-the-clock? Then outsource to a call center that provides 24/7/365 customer support. This is ideal for businesses that:
- Deliver round-the-clock services, especially for emergency cases
- Provide time-sensitive services, like utility-related issues
- Serve a global market or customers in different time zones
If you don’t need 24/7/365 availability, call centers provide customer support for regular business hours or only 12 hours a day.
Minimum Monthly Call Volume
Agencies often require a minimum monthly call volume. As such, companies that receive only a small number of calls might not need to outsource their call answering operations. Take note too, that call volume affects the pricing when you outsource to a call center agency. In most cases, the higher your call volume, the higher the cost.
Assess the number of calls your business gets. If it doesn’t meet your preferred agencies’ minimum monthly call volume if they have one) then you may need to consider other options.