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How to Maximize Savings by Outsourcing Your Call Center

How to Maximize Savings by Outsourcing Your Call Center

Call centers are often an essential part of a business. It is where your customers can turn when they have questions or problems. The people who work in your call center make the difference between satisfied customers and disgruntled ones. Because your call center is so vital, you may hesitate to entrust it into someone else’s hands. However, outsourcing your call center can actually make your business run smoother and result in some satisfying savings. You Only Pay for Productive Time If you own and operate your own facility, you pay for every minute that your employees are on the clock. You pay for those five-minute bathroom breaks and those chats with the neighbor to catch up on football. You also have to pay for employee coaching, and that usually involves paying two people, the employee and the coach. All those manpower minutes can add up. When you partner with an outsourced call center, you only pay for the time the call center spends actually helping your business. For example, if a customer service representative makes $20 per hour but is only productive for 50 minutes of that hour, you would only pay $16.67 if that person worked at an outsourced call center. This savings is particularly striking when you consider the hours of training it takes to get new hires up to speed. If those new hires work for an outside company, you don’t pay anything for that person’s basic training. You Save on Technology Costs When you decide to invest in new technology, it may be a while before you see a return on your investment. You...
How to Be Successful at Outbound Sales Calls

How to Be Successful at Outbound Sales Calls

Outbound sales are a challenging aspect of your business. You must make your services or products appeal to people who perhaps know nothing about what you offer. In order to maximize results from your outbound sales call efforts, keep the following tips in mind. Courtesy Is King Start out with a somewhat formal greeting. By using titles like “Mr.” and “Miss,” you set yourself apart from businesses that take a more casual approach. Most people probably will not mind if you use their first name, but err on the side of caution. Also, when you ask the customary “How are you?” listen to the answer and acknowledge it appropriately. Live up to your word. When people say they are busy and you promise to be brief, stay true to that promise. Remember that the goal is to build lasting customer relationships, and taking more time than you said you would does not leave a good impression. Never neglect to say “thank you.” Even if you do not close a sale, you can still express gratitude for the person’s time and listening ear. Be Professional and Friendly Being polite and being professional are not always the same thing. A professional will sound calm and practiced. To discover how you sound on the phone, you may want to record yourself saying your normal greeting. If you were at the other end of the line, how would you react to your tone, pace, and choice of words? There is nothing wrong with engaging in a little friendly conversation about the weather or your customer’s day, but be careful that the discussion does...
What Is Your Abandonment Rate?

What Is Your Abandonment Rate?

Monitoring your company’s call abandonment rate is an important way to measure the impact of your customer service team as well as the happiness of your customers. Here’s what you need to know about making your call abandonment rate the best it can be. What Is a Call Abandonment Rate? The abandonment rate refers to the percentage of calls that an inbound caller ends or abandons before connecting with a customer service agent. You can determine your call abandonment rate with a simple calculation. Subtract the number of calls the center handled in a specified amount of time from the total number of calls received during that period and divide the result by the total number of calls received. Multiply the result by 100 to determine the percentage of abandoned inquiries. When calculating abandonment rate, remember that it’s standard to omit calls ended within the first 10 seconds. Typically, customers hang up this quickly only because they genuinely misdialed, fear that they entered the wrong phone number, or weren’t prepared for the call. These are considered errors and thus eliminated from most abandonment rate calculations. How to Measure Success For many call centers and their clients, abandonment rate is a key performance indicator (KPI). This percentage shows how well you perform and whether you’ve successfully met goals. In the call center industry, an abandonment rate of 2 percent generally signals good to excellent performance, while rates up to 5 percent are considered acceptable. If your call center experiences rates higher than 5 percent, consider a few strategies to improve customer service and satisfaction. Add More Staff Members Unusually high...
5 More Questions to Ask When Outsourcing Your Call Center

5 More Questions to Ask When Outsourcing Your Call Center

If your business has always performed customer service in-house, moving to an outsourced call center can be a daunting prospect. When you’re considering one center over another, be sure to tackle the right issues so you know what you’re getting into. If you missed the first part of this series, be sure to check it out. Here are five more questions to ask when outsourcing your customer service. How Do You Determine Quality? Call centers typically track numerous measures of quality, from agent performance to call results. Be sure that the center’s quality assurance methods and metrics both meet your expectations. First, be sure that the center continually monitors quality and makes adjustments to its processes when necessary. Next, evaluate the call center’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Confirm that everything, from agents’ time to answer to abandon rate to first call resolution, will satisfy your customers. Do You Offer Round-the-Clock Service? Many businesses outsource support during regular working hours only, which typically means that your customers can only receive support from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Keep in mind that limited call center hours can lead to customer frustration, while extended support hours can pay off with additional sales and satisfied customers. Consider an after-hours call center that provides service in the evenings, on weekends, and on holidays. Novasors even offers round-the-clock support, which can be critical for businesses with customers in a range of time zones around the world. How Can You Ensure Consistent Service? Many businesses sell products and services that have distinct seasons, which means you may have low call volume in the winter and excessive...
What Makes a Great Call Center?

What Makes a Great Call Center?

Call centers can present an ideal solution for many businesses by solving customer service problems, bringing on experienced professionals, and taking the pressure off in-house staff. But what makes one more than just good? Look for these six qualities that make a call center great. Language Proficiency As a customer, nothing is more frustrating than contacting a company with a question, problem, or order and not being able to communicate with the customer service representative. For a business owner, nothing is more frustrating than losing that customer. Great call centers employ agents who are fluent in English and any other language that’s relevant to your business. The ability to communicate with callers is important, but great agents should be capable of going the extra mile by responding to tones of voice and adequately addressing customer concerns. Focus on Building Relationships Many companies train their Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) to follow scripts and respond to concerns in a formulaic manner. This may get the job done, but it won’t necessarily drive additional sales or turn consumers into lifelong fans. Great call centers guide their CSRs through small talk and conversational skills, making everyday chitchat appear effortless. This may seem minor, but it’s a win for your business when a friendly agent can smooth over problematic issues and drive new conversions. Agents with these skills can build relationships with customers, which will continue to benefit your business. Integrated Systems Some facilities rely on proprietary technology or software when tracking call data and storing customer information. This may work well for the company’s purposes, but it might not mesh at all with...
Challenges Call Centers Will Face in the Future

Challenges Call Centers Will Face in the Future

Your call center is one of the most important points of contact with your customers. Customers can ask questions, learn about your new products, and gain more reasons for continuing their business with you. However, the customer service landscape has undergone drastic changes in recent years. What challenges does the future hold for call centers and how can companies meet those challenges successfully? Evolving Technology It seems like “the next big thing” is always on the horizon. For example, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology is becoming ever more reliable and feasible for call centers both large and small. VoIP can help companies save money, but depending on the type of VoIP service, the setup can be expensive. CRM (customer relationship management) systems may also pose a challenge to call centers. While many of the programs are intuitive and cloud-based, it still takes time for employees to learn about new features and make the most out of the program. Call center managers should always look for new opportunities in technology and research the pros and cons of each. Any shift to new gadgets should come with well-organized employee training and specific productivity goals. People Don’t Want to Talk While voice calls are common, some people do not want to talk to another human being. A Pew Internet study found that 31 percent of cell phone users prefer communication via text rather than a voice call. The study also found that more than half of people who send 50 or more text messages per day chose texting as their favored mode of contact. Companies can still keep in touch with...

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