The Benefits of Using a Call Centre
August 23, 2013
A call centre is an operation which was designed to handle high volumes of phone calls. More recently through the evolution of the contact centre model many now offer additional support and are able to answer queries, place orders, take payments and where necessary, ensure the customer’s call is transferred to the correct department.
Whilst many of us may roll our eyes at the connotations of the words ‘call centre’; there are a lot of benefits to using a professional call centre and their services, not least of which is a satisfying boost to the profit levels of a company.
Operating a business can be time consuming; especially when there’s a high volume of incoming phone calls from both existing and potential customers which interrupt daily working patterns. When the call volumes become too much to handle, it may be necessary to think about another method of answering all these calls to prioritise running the business. At this point, more and more companies are now looking to outsource to a call centre.
This is not to say that call centres are solely the province of big businesses – on the contrary, a lot of small businesses or even sole traders use call centres as answering services to ensure they do not miss an important call whilst they concentrate on serving their clients. Having a professional greeting to a call can create the pleasing impression of a well-established and trustworthy business, rather than a small enterprise.
When a customer calls with a quick query, they do not necessarily need to speak to a sales expert immediately. Instead, a call centre operative can easily handle the call efficiently and promptly. With recent price lists, a comprehensive catalogue, and access to up-to-date information, the customer can gain an answer to their question in a matter of minutes.
Had the customer had to wait a while for the phone to be answered by a hurried salesman who was trying to serve customers in the store while answering telephone calls; this could easily generate a negative perception of the company. In this way a call centre can certainly enhance B2C relationships.
One of the ways a call centre can save money is by taking the burden of hiring staff members out of the hands of the business; thereby saving salaries and ensuring that somebody will always be there to answer the call, avoiding the stresses which are often caused in times of staff shortages. Call centres employ their own staff, taking care of all the overheads incurred by the running of their premises and will only charge the company for the services used, allowing customer to flex their use of the services as they need.
Using a call centre to handle the straight forward calls (price checks, payments, orders etc) can free up the business staff to grow the business dynamically, chasing big contracts and concentrating on all the other aspects of the business.
Professional Call Handlers
Call centre staff can also perform other tasks, such as calling customers in the event of a product recall, or even to gage customer satisfaction by ringing after services have been rendered or products delivered to ask their level of satisfaction with the service they have received.
Call handlers are required to work to certain standards, which mean that any business dealing with them can rest assured that their specific requirements for greetings, farewells and every aspect of business in between will be adhered to very precisely, without the need for the business to train each and every person that takes the call. Call centre management will work hard to keep the centres clients happy, and they do this by monitoring the calls and personnel, making sure they all meet the required standards.
Call centres often work longer hours than typical businesses as they often operate on shift patterns, particularly for those who offer 24/7 call answering. For a business to arrange telephone coverage for these extended hours would mean employing two or even three people, whereas a call centre can easily flex its staffing rota in quiet times and similarly in busier spells can take on extra staff. In this way, a business needs not lose out on a single potential sale due to the store being closed for the day.
According to a study by Cornell University, each call centre employee can answer and deal with an estimated 80 calls per day – compared to the busiest company that was included in the survey, which can in at about 65 calls per day – the average was very much lower! This ferocious efficiency is due to the way of working found in a call centre – all the focus is on answering the calls quickly and efficiently, satisfying the customer’s need, and then only finishing the call once the customer was happy. If even 10 percent of the extra calls are new sales, it is easy to see another very basic way that using a call centre can save you money!
Adapting to a Changing Environment
As trends in business models change, some companies can be left behind, which can give customers the impression of an old fashioned business, left in the past. Call centres are, by their very nature, adaptable and geared to keep up with changing fashions and trends. There are few customers who can be left unmoved by contact with a vibrant and completely up-to-date company.
If you run a company and need to make more profit, answer more calls from current customers, stay up to date with the always changing business world and target and attract new customers you can do no better for your company than utilise the services of a call centre. A call centre will simply lift the burden of answering all those telephone queries from your shoulders and allow you to freely devote your attention to other areas of the business