The Call Center Experience

The Call Center Experience

As more and more businesses work with call centers to boost their company’s customer service and sales programs, the industry has kept pace by creating state-of-the-art operations facilities. All successful modern call center operations have a carefully planned and comfortable work facility, the latest communications, connectivity, and data storage technology, as well as a motivating culture.

Carefully Planned Work Facility

Call center headquarters are typically designed in an open office plan that facilitates communication among staff. While many have cubicles to provide some level of privacy for staff conducting individual tasks, their walls are generally around half the size of typical cubicles to best meet the need for team communication among operators. Cubicle walls are typically freestanding and portable, so they can be moved according to the changing staff requirements of the center.

Desks and other work surfaces are adjustable to meet the varying ergonomic needs of individual staff, and adjustable chairs are chosen with staff comfort in mind. They typically have small wheels that allow for fast movement in small spaces. Managers usually have offices stationed around the periphery of the cubicle area. These all will have glass walls on the side of the offices that face the cubicle area for staff supervision purposes.

Restrooms and break rooms are important respite areas for call center staff, who are usually doing intense, repetitive, and highly time-sensitive work.  These are typically outfitted with a greater amount of supplies than those of more traditional businesses to support shift work. Break rooms will be outfitted with a range of snack, beverage, and meal options available from computerized vending machines – in addition to complimentary cool water, coffee and tea. The staff enjoys their breaks at the room’s tables, chairs, and sofas.

Communications, Connectivity, and Data Storage Technology

At the heart of all call centers is the technology used to communicate among staff and with clients. Also key are the data storage systems. These include:

  • Desktop computers with several screens that allow for multi-tasking
  • Wireless headsets that facilitate the operators’ ability to type and retrieve files relevant to calls
  • Central tracking software that distributes waiting calls in the order they were received and gauges the time operators spend on each call
  • Uninterrupted power source so the center functions under any circumstance
  • Data storage devices
  • Data connectivity devices
  • Voice connectivity devices
  • Interactive voice response (IVR) system to collect sensitive data
  • A customizable customer relationship management (CRM) system to suit individual clients needs

Motivational Culture

Having a motivational culture within a call center is essential. Perhaps more than anything else, the culture of a company affects how its staff delivers customer service. Several techniques have proven successful over the history of the call center industry, such as:

  • Visible and accessible managers
  • A program to recognize and reward success on a regular basis
  • A protocol for suggestions from staff
  • Available coaching and skills-building education
  • Consistent policy implementation

Responsive Call Center has all of the above and more.

Responsive Call Center has managed call flow for many industries, including medical, legal, transportation, HVAC, plumbing, real estate, property management, construction, government, leisure & travel, and much more for over 40 years. We have live operators available all day, every day to handle your business calls the same way you would so you do not have to rely on answering machines or automated systems. Our state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained staff allow us to make sure you never miss your customers’ calls again.

Contact Responsive Call Center to find out more about how we can help you best manage the calls that are most important to you.

What is the Difference between a Call Center and an Answering Service?

Difference between a Call Center and an Answering Service

When deciding whether you need an answering service versus a call center, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. An answering service simply takes calls, routes calls, takes messages, and notifies you of emergency calls. A call center can also function as an answering service but it takes more complex and longer calls. Let’s examine the similarities and differences a bit further to ensure your business chooses the correct support.

Call Center Services

Call centers are set up differently than answering services in that they handle more operational support tasks like:

  • Customer service calls
  • Order and shipping management calls
  • Overflow calls
  • Virtual receptionist needs
  • Tech support services
  • Bilingual representative services
  • CRM & loyalty/renewal program

Answering Services

When determining if your business needs a call center versus answering services, an answering service would handle these types of tasks:

  • Sudden increase in call volume
  • Shorter call duration
  • Message taking and call relaying to another department
  • After hours answering and call routing
  • Live chat answering
  • Message forwarding

Both services answer calls and function as employees from your business. Call centers and answering services both also handle inbound and outbound calls. However, answering services are different from call centers in that agents typically are not providing additional information to the caller. Answering service agents are trained to properly take messages and route calls. In a call center, the agents are providing additional information and answering call questions. The call passed through an answering service will be much shorter in duration than one routed through a call center. Answering service calls are simpler in nature than call centers.

When understanding if your business needs a call center or answering service support, think of the nature of the call and how you would want the call to be answered and handled. From there, Responsive Call Center will work directly with you to map out a call flow and benchmarks needed in terms of call length. Responsive Call Center will provide your team with a recommendation if an answering service or a call center will be needed and which solution is best for you.

Responsive Call Center agents are trained to handle all different types of complex calls across verticals. Responsive Call Center agents work directly with your operations team to ensure quality, brand and message are carried through and every call is answered. Whether your business provides a medical or real estate service, the Responsive Call Center team will set up an introduction and on-boarding call directly with your employees to train in the company’s culture and expertise. The Responsive Call Center agents become a direct extension of your company providing your team the scalability and automation that is needed at this time. Free up your management and sales team to address core business related issues while the Responsive Call Center agents take care of your clients.

Let’s get started today to understand what type of service works best for your business and create a plan.

Our state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained staff allow us to make sure you never miss your customers’ calls again. Contact Responsive Call Center to find out more about how we can help you best manage the calls that are most important to you.

Where Should Your Call Center Location Be?

Where Should Your Call Center Location Be

Now that you have decided that having a dedicated call center is right for your business, the next point of consideration is where it should be located: onshore, nearshore, or offshore. Your decision will likely be impacted by the industry your business is in, your budget, and the needs of your customers.

The location you choose should be one you can affordably visit to monitor operations for quality and regulatory compliance. It should also offer you access to talented employees at a cost you are comfortable with. Employees at the site should have access to training on your products, services, and policies as necessary, in an environment that provides data security for your company and customers. They should also speak all of the languages your customers do so they can provide the best customer experience and service.

These issues considered, here’s how the three options for call center locations compare.

Onshore/Domestic Call Center

Located in the United States

  • If your company is located in the United States, this option provides the least concern regarding any language or cultural barriers for your customers and the best assurance that your brand will be properly supported.
  • Your call center operations would be close to your company’s base, making travel for training and oversight convenient.
  • Your understanding of and compliance with any regulations that govern your industry is likely to be better.
  •  Data security can be easily created, supported, and monitored.
  • Usually the best option for call centers highly driven to provide premium customer service.

 

Nearshore Call Center

Located outside the United States but nearby in either Mexico, Central America, South America, or islands near those places

  • Travel to your call center in these regions is not difficult in terms of time and cost.
  • Your call center would likely have access to agents who speak both Spanish and English well – two languages that are most common to customers in the United States.
  • Potential employees will likely understand the cultural aspects of life in the United States.
  • Labor costs are generally lower than in the United States.
  • This option is typically best for smaller call center operations.

Offshore Call Center

Located in areas distant from the United States, such as Eastern Europe, Asia, India, and the Philippines

  • If the cost of labor is your primary concern, having an offshore call center may best meet that requirement.
  • You would likely locate your call center in one of the larger cities in any of these regions so you would probably have access to a large labor supply that speaks multiple languages.
  • Many potential employees will likely understand the need to work hours that are compatible with business hours in the United States.
  • You may find that governments in these locations will offer incentives for companies that offer jobs in their countries.
  • This option is typically best for large call center operations.

Whichever call center option is right for your business, Responsive Call Center can provide a dedicated call center solution that helps your business grow. We have been helping businesses like yours nationally and internationally for more than 40 years manage their inbound, outbound, and business process outsourcing services to satisfy each of their unique needs.

We provide real-time technological solutions to optimize workflow and our call centers utilize a myriad of telecommunication applications, including Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Workforce Management (WFM), Softphone Software, and computer telephony integration (CTI) enabled phone systems.

Contact us to find out more about how our dedicated solutions can work for your business.

Outsourcing Live Chat

Benefits of Outsourcing Live Chat

Customers and potential customers who visit your website want answers to their questions as quickly as possible. If they have to wait for you and your staff to answer by email or phone, you may lose business in the process. Live chat is a web-based service that allows businesses to communicate, or chat, in real time with visitors to their website. It is commonly used to provide immediate customer support and information to clients and customers.

Having live chat on your website helps you retain business and grow your business in real time. These services are even more effective for your business when you outsource live chat.

Outsourcing live chat can work wonders for your business. Consider the following:

  • Live chat helps to increase sales
    • • Live chat is 100 times faster than any other digital support channel.
    • • An American Marketing Association study found that businesses using live chat increased sales by an average of 20%.
    • • An eMarketer study found that 35% more people made purchases immediately after using live chat, as opposed to other channels.
  • Live chat helps you retain business
    • • eDigital research showed that live chat has the highest rate of customer satisfaction, compared to email and voice.
    • • Industry research shows that live chat helps improve customer loyalty.
    • • Live chat provides transcripts of customer information which helps you stay in touch with them.
  • Reduces staff and operations costs
    • • A Technographics study shows that handling customer service functions via live chat is 50% less expensive than using live calls.
    • • No need to allocate or increase staff to handle your live chat function.
    • • No need to pay for extra staff salaries and benefits.
    • • No need to buy expensive technology to facilitate live chat.
    • • Industry research shows that skilled live chat operators can handle many interactions simultaneously.

Responsive Call Center can provide your company with top quality live chat support as well as other services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – or just when you need it.

Take a moment to contact Responsive Call Center today. Let’s discuss how we can help you grow your business.

How to Stay in Touch in an “Always On” World

answering services

The right telephone answering service will be an expert at helping you employ a variety of communication methods to help you stay top-of-mind with your customers. At certain points of customer contact, it is crucial to know and employ the best communication methods for the purposes of positive customer response and conversion rates.

Here are a few tips on how to create and use the best direct response tactics:

Create a Customer Journey Map as Part of the Communication Plan

This will detail every step of your customers’ contact with your business so that you can align your communication with them to sync with each step in their process.

Communicate As Your Customers Do

Pay attention to how they communicate with their audiences and your company, and model your communications with them in the same way.

Create a Communication Plan to Address Customer Pain Points

Pain points that customers experience when interacting with your business can actually be opportunities to grow your business with them if they are handled well by staff. Creating a communication plan to address each of these is an important step in making that goal a reality.

Create a Communications Plan for Leveraging Your Customers’ Best Experiences

With the advent of social media, customers’ recommendations have become even more important than ever before. Create a communication plan to incentivize your happiest customers to spread the word.

Create a Communications Plan to Entice Back Inactive Customers

Chances are good that these prospects can be brought back into your company’s fold with the right contact and incentives.

Support Customers’ Preferences for Call, Text and/or Email Responses

Give your customers as many options as possible when it comes to communicating with your company.

Validate Your Customers’ Purchases

Make sure to have a communication plan to thank customers for doing business with you and highlight the positives of their purchases.

Keep Communication Simple

Make sure that all of your options for customer communication have as few steps as possible.

Timing is Crucial

Are you communicating with your customers when it is most important that they hear from you? Make sure that your communications don’t lag behind customer activity or desired activity.

Build Helpful Content into Your Communications Plans

When you offer information that your customers likely will find helpful in running their business or their own marketing efforts, they see you as adding value to their interaction with you and you build brand loyalty.

Make Sure Your Customer Communications are Consistent

Customers want to know that they can depend on you no matter what the reason is for contact with your company. Make sure your communications with them are consistent in terms of voice, frequency, and quality.

 

For more than 40 years, Responsive Call Center has created and managed customer communications plans for numerous industries, including medical, legal, commercial services (plumbing, HVAC, etc.), real estate and property management, construction, government agencies, and charities. Our team of live operators are available all day, every day to handle your business calls the same way you would; you will see the difference when your business no longer relies on answering machines or automated phone systems. Our highly trained staff will make sure you never miss your customers’ calls. Contact Responsive Call Center to discuss the ways we can help you manage your calls.