Almost any type of business that you can imagine depends on maintaining a healthy relationship with its customer base. With some types of business, however, this is far easier said than done. For instance, a great number of companies must routinely converse with customers over the phone—to process orders, to set appointments, or for other functions that can be best handled through person-to-person communication. In these cases, it can be very difficult to manage the high volume of calls that come through the lines and, as a result, customers are often forced to listen to hold music for extended periods of time or leave messages on answering machines.
Obviously, this isn’t an optimal state of affairs. In fact, some customers will simply abandon ship if they feel that their complaints, questions, or concerns aren’t answered in a timely manner. Your company needs to find a way to respond to incoming calls promptly. One way is to hire a third-party organization like Always Answer to handle yourcall center demands.
At this point, a lot of business owners and managers might reasonably voice any one of a number of objections. Wouldn’t an outsourced call center be prohibitively expensive? How can an outside company provide the kind of customized service that clients expect? As we will see, though, outsourced call centers can provide many benefits; let’s take a look at these below.
Anyone who has ever called a business with an important question knows all about the frustration of hearing a prerecorded message apologetically informing them that the office closed an hour earlier. A significant number of consumers would really rather not wait until 9 a.m. in the morning to contact a customer service representative, and by making your patrons wait you risk damaging your professional relationship with them. An organization like Always Answer can provide around-the-clock agents who will answer your calls no matter what time the phone rings.
A lot of business owners extol the benefits of a diverse customer base consisting of varied cultural and national backgrounds. Certainly, the ability to communicate with a global audience is one of the keys to success in our hypercompetitive transnational business world. Even so, far too many businesses simply don’t have the personnel available to handle the varying language requirements of their customers. An organization like Always Answer has dedicated agents who can speak fluently in several languages, enabling you to provide customers with the person-to-person contact they need, without the hindrance of language barriers.
Help with Sudden Surges in Call Volume
There are many reasons why a company might suddenly find themselves fielding a substantially greater volume of calls than usual. For example, some businesses offer seasonal services, which can mean that customers call far more frequently during certain times of the year. This can place a huge burden on company personnel, who may find it overwhelming to deal with the sudden spike of activity. Hiring temporary workers through an employment agency is a common solution, but it can be difficult to find quality help this way.
This is another area where a third-party call center service can come to your aid. It’s easy to hire an outsourced call center that will cover increased demand for a specific period of time—and, after all the activity has died down, you can easily cancel or scale back the service. This is true even if some unscheduled event or disaster suddenly inundates you with customer calls. A company like Always Answer is highly scalable in nature, making it able to adjust quickly to sudden shifts in activity.
It’s only natural for a business owner to opt to keep important organizational functions in-house whenever possible, but in the case of providing an in-house call center service, the expenses can easily go through the roof. That’s because you need to do more than just hire personnel to field calls; you must also purchase call-routing equipment, support software, and other apparatus. The bill can reach well into the six figures. This isn’t a one-time expense, either: You can expect to pay for software licenses and upgrades for years to come. In addition, you must figure out how to train personnel to handle their tasks correctly, with all the trial-and-error waste that the process implies. Finally, if you need to have a dedicated area for your call center, be advised that office space is not cheap.
All of these considerations are rendered irrelevant, however, when you hire a third-party call center service to handle things. The call center service will bear the expense of agent training and equipment purchasing—and, because these call centers typically have a large number of clients, these expenses will never be substantially “passed on” to any individual client.
Vast Customer Service Experience
For fielding customer calls the right way, it’s hard to find anyone better at the task than a full-time call center professional. After all, this is what they do all day long. In the corporate world, though, “call center services” tend to be provided by administrative assistants, HR personnel, or any other staff members able to grab the phone when it rings. These employees generally deal with calls when they’re not managing the myriad other duties on their plate, and it’s no surprise that these interactions are frequently unsatisfactory to the customer. By contrast, a dedicated call center professional can provide top-notch service because it’s their job—not simply an obligation to be dealt with between other duties. Furthermore, call center pros have typically dealt with a very wide range of scenarios in various industries, which means that even unusual customer questions or complaints will likely be dealt with appropriately.
Access to State-of-the-Art Equipment
A professional call center service has to meet the highest industry standards if it is to remain a viable business. This means, among other things, that it uses only top-of-the-line software and call-routing gear, which helps the company to provide first-rate service. Conversely, businesses that try to run their own in-house call centers often succumb to the temptation to cut corners—by purchasing substandard equipment or failing to make timely upgrades.