When a business is started, an entrepreneur tries his best to make all the right moves. But as it grows, its complexity increases and the person in charge does not get enough time to focus on all of its aspects. And when it comes to client- and customer-facing operations like outbound and Inbound Call Center Services the level of abstraction grows manifolds. Therefore, a business owner is unable to view the communication of these services in their totality, and that’s when mistakes start to creep into the process.
Understanding Call Center Operations
On the surface, a call center seems like an easy department to run. But once you comprehend its many aspects, then you realize how complex it can be. Some of the many functions that make running a successful call center difficult are listed below:
- Hiring – Hiring accomplished call center agents can take a toll on even the most resourceful business owners. Especially for new companies for which call center is just a side operation, it is hard to convince the best agents about a promising career.
- Training – A call center department cannot be run without a separate training department. Cost of trainers needs to be incurred by the company, which can be an irritating overhead. Also, good trainers are hard to find, especially those who are experienced in the industry.
- Software procurement – There are many tools and software solutions, without which it is hard to envision a successful call center operation. Funding the purchase of such software solutions can be major pain for any business owner.
- Management – Probably the biggest challenge in an inbound and outbound call center services comes in the form of good management. Call center operations require your agents to be motivated, which is difficult in odd hour shifts that stretch deep into the night. Finding good motivators that understand all essential call center KPIs and are available at cost-effective salary packages can be a nightmare.
- Agents – Last but not least, the agents who are actually facing the customers need to have the right attitude for dealing with customers. Politeness and assertiveness are two essential traits of an agent. However, it is very difficult to screen such agents.
Common Mistakes Made Due to Ignorance in Call Center Operations
Even when you manage to overcome all the aforementioned challenges and start a call center operation, there are many mistakes that can still be made due to lack of supervision. These mistakes may look small on the surface but can have major repercussions for your business. Have a look at some of these mistakes:
- Putting call on hold or mute for an unjustifiable amount of time – It is seen that when supervision is not constant (from the top management), agents and TLs start relaxing and indulge in malpractices like putting call on hold or mute for an injudicious interval of time. This cuts off the flow of communication and customers feel humiliated and unimportant. Definitely bad for your business!
- KPIs gone for a toss – It is a well-known fact that call centers KPIs can be fudged to look good when they are actually not. So, when there is no real direction coming from the top-end (as CEOs and senior managers are too busy or do not have the understanding of key parameters), it is hard to keep an eye on the integrity of these essential parameters. Hence, the KPIs go for a toss and so does the process, without anyone having any knowledge about it. Such ignorance, if allowed to fester, can shut your in-house call center in a few months.
- Lack of analytics and power tools that can make a difference – Today’s CRM solutions are empowered with AI that lets you learn a lot about your customers. From their previous discourse to the time when they called up the last time and their purchasing preferences, you gain a lot of insights that can be used for making customers’ experience better. But for an unaware CFO, the importance of CRM is completely lost. More so, when there is a critical core process that needs a makeover or a new deal to finalize; the likelihood of an expensive purchase in the form of an analytics-driven CRM is wishful thinking. Therefore, such crucial purchases are never made and due to ignorance, the whole process suffers.
Reduce the Burden on Your Shoulders by Outsourcing Outbound and Inbound Call Center Services
As companies realize the potential of customer care in their business, the demand for quality inbound and outbound call center services is increasing. Entrepreneurs are either running their call center operations in-house or outsourcing to vendors located in their country or abroad. Both these methods have their own pros and cons, and the choice of selecting either one of them wholly lies with the entrepreneur. Although running a call center operation from your own premises allow you to have more control over it, a good outsourcing vendor frees you up of the burden of managing an extra department and makes your life a lot simpler.
4 Clear Benefits of Outsourcing Outbound and Inbound Call Center Services
Outbound and inbound call center services are specialized tasks that should be performed by experts for achieving maximum gains. Getting the desired output from an in-house call center operation requires you to spend endless hours on training the workforce. Also, you have to procure the right infrastructure, manage the payroll (with all those new hirings) and manage the operation in real-time. On the other hand, call center outsourcing (if done to the right vendor) has tremendous value for businesses. Some of its major benefits are:
- Economic benefits for companies in developed countries – Currencies like dollar and pound are extremely strong against currencies like rupee and renminbi. So, when a company in a developed country outsources to a country like India or China, it automatically makes a profit due to the currency exchange rate.
- Access to software – There are many specialized software solutions that are needed for the accurate completion of tasks. Buying these software solutions can be a huge burden on the finances of a company, more so, when you will only be using these tools for your non-core tasks. By outsourcing, you get access to tools like CRM (Customer Relationship Management), call center software, data mining tools, data entry tools and a lot more. You only have to pay for the call center outsourcing services and leave the tension of buying expensive tools to the vendor.
- Expertise – Finding the right employees for call center tasks is not easy. There are so many different skills needed that an HR department gets stretched to the limit during the hiring process. On the other hand, after outsourcing, you get a readymade workforce that is already well-versed in the operations of a call center.
- Management – Managing call center agents is very different from managing other operations. Call center representatives are rated on parameters like AHT, CSAT and FCR. Managers who have made their way from a call center agent to a manager understand the nitty-gritty of call center operations. You can’t simply designate someone managing other tasks as the manager of your call center operation and expect good results. Hence, it is a wise decision to invest in seasoned campaigners than newbies who don’t know much about call center Outsourcing management.
Apart from your call center operations, it is also possible to outsource back office support services for maximum advantage. Tasks like catalog management, data entry and data mining are worthy contenders for outsourcing.
The ignorant mistakes made by top management in presiding over call center operations are rampant in most in-house call center Outsourcing services. The only way to solve these errors in operation is by devoting extra time to non-core inbound and outbound call center services. But this can take your focus away from your main process, which is equally bad, if not worse. The best way to approach this situation is by fixing the problem at its source i.e. not to run an in-house call center at all.
In this era of globalization, outsourcing is the perfect solution to nip this problem of ignorance in the bud. However, you should pay special attention before outsourcing and only choose those outbound or inbound call center services providers that have significant experience in the field and care about each and every aspect of their operation. This search is a lot easier than searching for every resource that goes into the making of a successful call center.