A call center is a business place where customer support is being provided to businesses or sole customers. A call center is a facility is designed to operate and handle large number of calls (inbound and outbound) to and from existing and potential customers. Some of the call centers are located within the organization but some companies opt to outsource it to other who are specialize in handling the calls.
There is difference in call center services as they are categorized in two type. There is difference between a call center and a contact center, many people assume it as same. A call center is a specially designed place where CSR are connected via phone calls to customers. However, the contact center provide services to customers via email, chats and applications.
Significance of call centersCustomer always want their issues to be addressed quickly and effectively. This is why they have high hopes on call center customer services. In call centers, the customer representatives are available for support and services whenever a customer calls, they provide efficient assistance to those who might need the services most. Call center services are significantly important for any business as they act as interaction point between product/service and the customers.
Types of call center services
Typically there are two types of call center services: inbound and outbound. There is another one known as blended call center. Inbound call center services receive calls from customers, while outbound call center services make calls to customers. Here’s a more detailed look at the difference between inbound and outbound call center services.
- Inbound Call Center Services
Inbound call center services are responsible for handling customer service inquiries, such as product questions, billing inquiries, and technical support issues. Inbound call center services are operational during business hours and answer the customer queries in real-time.
- Outbound Call Center Services
In outbound call center services, the agents makes calls to the customers for the purpose of marketing and sales. Outbound calls are made to promote any new product or service provided by company or if there is any discount on the existing products. In outbound call centers, auto dialer is used to make calls as there is need to handle large number of calls in short time.
Both inbound and outbound call center services play an important role in businesses and organizations. Inbound call center services provide customer support, while outbound call centers focus on sales and marketing efforts. When deciding which type of call center service is right for your business, consider your needs and budget. However these call center further classified in to subcategories:
- In house call center
- Off shore call center
- Outsource call center
- Virtual call center
Teams and Structure
There are different roles assign to people working in a call center. It includes sales executive, team lead, sales managers and IT associates.
- Agents: also known as CSR (customer sales representative) are considered as a connecting point between customers and organizations. They connect and talk to the customers directly on behalf of organization. They are assign with a role to handle inbound and outbound calls.
- Team leads: the role of team lead is to manage small group of agents, this split is to ensure easy management of agents. These team leads assist agents to solve issues, deescalate conversion and answer their questions of agents or customers. Moreover their duty is to enhance the overall performance of agents.
- Sales Manager: the role of sales manager is to direct the team leads and make sure that overall operation of call center runs smoothly. They also set standards and ensure that agents meet the overall quality expectation demand by the customers.
- Quality Assurance: QA is a practice that guarantee products/services meet exact requirement. The Quality assurance team observer and evaluate the calls of agents in call centers so that calls meet the overall quality standards.
- IT Associates: the IT professional plays a crucial part ensure that the technology and tools used in a call center is up to date and it runs smoothly in a call center.
Technology used in call centers
Technology plays an important role in success of every business. Same is the case with call center industry. However in call center, the agents needs a computer and headset plus a quality internet service so that they can make and receive calls easily. Some software used in call centers are listed below:
- Call monitoring software
- Call management software
- Speech analytics
- CRM software
- Outbound dialers
- IVR software
- Workforce management tool
Call centers offer tremendous learning opportunities since they are a microcosm of the entire organization. You will get to know everything in one place, including teamwork, politics, and enormous quantities of technology, people management, and operational management. It is right time to kick start your career at a call center.
Hiring your next call center agent, it is not always going to be an easy task. If you hire a right candidate, it will help you build a great sales team but hiring the wrong candidate would cause organization to lose a lot of money.