Call centers are a great option for any size company that is looking to outsource their customer service needs. Not only does outsourcing these services allow your employees to focus on business operations, it also helps save your company money by reducing equipment, staffing, and training expenses. Most importantly, your customers are provided with professional customer support services by trained call center agents.
However, it is crucial that your business chooses the right call center, or it could end up hurting your company rather than helping it. Here are a few important questions you should ask a potential call center.
How many years have you been in business?
You want to find a call center that has been in business for at least five years. They should also have a good reputation and currently work with companies within the same industry as yours. A call center service provider that has been in business for many years is indicative of a business that knows how to maintain its clients, which often means their service is superior.
What is the capacity of your call center?
You should ask the center what the call capacity is and how many calls they handle within any given day. You also want to ask about their availability. If you need a call center available 24 hours day, 356 days a week make sure they can accommodate this type of service. You will also want to know how quickly they answer calls.
Do you provide call recording or transcription services?
Recording or transcriptions of each call that comes into the center is crucial. If you have a problem with a customer, it is important you have the ability to look back and find out exactly what happened. This will help you offer a disgruntled customer a proper solution and the best possible service.
Do you offer various queuing options?
Handing over your customer service requirements to another agency can be difficult. After all, your customers interaction with the call center will affect how they view your business. Ask about the queuing options offered to you. Find out if you can determine the specific music that is played while the caller is on hold, how many callers can be on hold at a time, and how long a caller can remain on hold. The ability to make these decisions will increase your influence on how each call is handled.
What information do call agents have access to during a call?
You will want to find out what information call agents will have on hand while dealing with customers. Keep in mind the more information available, such as purchasing and complaint history, the better they will be able to serve the customer.
Do you offer IVR services?
IVR, or Interactive Voice Response, systems allow a call center to better serve customers. It also ensures that the customer will be transferred to the agent that is best equipped to handle their specific needs. IVR integration allows calls to be processed more efficiently, which means happier customers and less overall costs for your business.
How do you charge fees?
You must find out how the call center charges for their services. You want to look for a company that charges per-minute, and not per-agent or per-seat. The per-minute fee means that you will only be charged for the time agents are actually serving your customers. With per-agent or per-seat fee arrangements, you pay for the entire timeframe whether they are talking to a customer or not. You should also make sure that the call center does not charge a set-up fee in addition to other fees.
Do you require a long-term contract?
The last thing you want to do is sign into a long-term contract before you know the quality of the services offered. There are plenty of call centers that do not require a long-term contract, so shop around before signing any type of agreement.
Choosing the right inbound call center service is not as difficult as it may seem, as long as you ask each prospective center the important questions listed above. Be sure to also ask for references from several of their current business customers who can vouch for the quality of their services. Together, this information will help you find a professional call center that can serve your business the best.