How to Choose the Best Call Center Services
Will updating your call center services improve customer experience? Both shoppers and customers want a fast response from your company. They ask questions about product features. Or contact for help with installation. Your customer service call center juggles many inquiries.
But shoppers want to contact you in different ways. They turn to other channels to reach your agents, such as messaging applications. To address this, many companies update or upgrade their communication systems. Businesses use in-house, virtual or a combination of services. Some partner with a call center company and outsource parts of their service.
What type of call center services do you need? Compare your options, then build a plan using call center best practices. With the right tools, you can improve customer experience and develop better relationships.
Overview of Call Centers and Services
Many companies start by handling customer calls in-house. They shift to cloud-based platforms to take advantage of the latest options. Features, such as auto attendant, route callers to your customer service agents. But as your needs grow, you may need more help.
Your clients may contact you on different platforms. You may need more lines or flexibility to adjust to calling volume. It's easy to lose track of conversations happening on many channels.
Businesses switch to a modern call center to avoid a drop in customer experience. Doing so reduces customer wait times and improves outcomes. Both in-house services and call center companies rely on advanced features like:
- Call recording and monitoring provides data and agent feedback
- Video conferencing lets your team resolve issues face to face
- Call scripting helps agents create successful outcomes
- Live chat and email integration take a multichannel approach to customer service
- Conference calling gets the right people on the line fast
What Is a Call Center?
Your call center is where agents communicate and build relationships with your customers. Contact centers take place in many forms. It may be a wing of your office building or done by remote employees. Others use third-party call center companies. Most on-site or outsourced centers consist of three areas:
- Training room for new employees to learn the ropes
- Nesting call center area for real-life training with support
- Call center main floor with your service and support agent
Types of Call Centers
Some companies host their call center services in-house with a business phone system. This routes callers to an on-site customer service call center. But updating older phone lines for a call center is expensive.
To avoid massive costs, many companies invest in cloud contact centers. This format puts business communications in the cloud. You avoid costly infrastructure investments. Instead of physical hardware, you install an application on your devices. Your team can switch desks or complete remote work with ease. Using a cloud system puts your agents online and ready to answer calls from anywhere.
Call center companies are third parties that manage your inbound calls. You may outsource parts of your customer support or all of it. Going this route provides flexibility. You don’t have to worry about hiring extra employees. You send your overflow calls or route all communications to your provider. Plus, a call center company gives customers access to agents around the clock.
No matter which direction you go, it's important to choose your services with care. Consistent customer service is vital. Select a cloud provider or third-party service that aligns with your brand. Doing so helps you avoid problems with customer care. It also protects your reputation from issues that arise from poor service.
How to Improve Your Business With a Call Center
With the right tools, your call center agents deliver excellent customer support. But call center services extend beyond inbound calls. Your center may handle many tasks integral to your operations. For example, your agents:
- Conduct surveys and interviews
- Meet sales quotas and qualify leads
- Follow up with customers
- Manage data entry and extra tasks
Workplaces use cloud technology to support a wide range of activities. An updated system boosts efficiency along with call center customer service rates. But that’s not all. Explore the benefits of a cloud call center and how that impacts the customer experience.
Benefits of a Cloud Call Center
Making data-based decisions is crucial to your success. After all, "58% of customers say that customer service is a very important factor that affects their choice of a brand.”
Advanced reporting and analytics features allow business owners to track details. This data gives you insights into the customer experience. It also helps you improve processes and training. Other advantages include:
- Set up a call center fast: Choose a provider with a reliable internet connection. Then, add your call center services. Within minutes, you can equip your center to take incoming calls. It’s a matter of downloading software or applications and getting everyone online
- Add or decrease lines as needed: If your center gets busier around the holidays, it’s easy to add agents. Likewise, if you have a decrease in call volume, removing extra services only takes a few minutes
- Get the latest features or add-on services: Your software lives in the cloud. So you do not need to update or take extra steps to get the newest features. You may also add new options with a few clicks. Then, it begins working on all your devices
- Extra cost savings: You start by saving on infrastructure. But access to data helps you manage staffing. You save money by knowing more about high and low volume times. Businesses also pivot to remote work in an emergency
- Memorable customer experience: Cloud services improve your net promoter score (NPS) and customer experience score (CES). Teams access information from anywhere and at any time. Instead of worrying about tracking conversations, owners focus on giving the best service
Essential Call Center Tools and Systems
Call center companies use many programs to provide better customer support. For example, customer relationship systems integrate with cloud-based call center software. Your tools should also support a smooth training environment, including nesting. Call centers may use:
- Contact center as a service (CCaaS) software
- A billing system that integrates with call services
- Features like call routing and call recording
- Dashboards for communications management of inbound and outbound calls
CCaaS gives you access to advanced reporting features. You set goals and measure your progress. This data highlights agents who need extra training. Your CCaaS also supports the use of nesting call centers.
New team members start in a nesting call center. There, they become familiar with CCaaS before moving to the training center. Agents get feedback and learn on the same system used in your call center. Plus, some software options offer onboarding programs for smooth integration.
Vital features assist your customer service call center team. With extra support, your agents make fast decisions and provide accurate information. Deloitte reports, "66% of telemarketing call centers believe customers will place a high priority on the accuracy of the data provided." The latest features empower your agents. For instance:
- Guide your client to the best agent with skills-based routing
- Knowledge bases help your agents respond to questions
An essential element for call center services is a communications dashboard. This puts all client call and messaging data into one spot. It helps your team handle messages across many channels. Your dashboard gives agents access to chat messaging with a supervisor.
These different options get your team the help they need. In return, your customers enjoy their experience and trust your company. The combination of tools and systems leads to higher customer satisfaction rates. For example, a smooth process helps you improve your:
- Customer call abandonment rate
- The average time your caller spends in the queue
- Rates for first call resolutions
- How long it takes agents to provide an answer
- The amount of time spent on calls
How Call Center Companies Support Growth
Great customer service creates repeat customers. It also results in better reviews and testimonials. Your customer service call center’s commitment to excellent care reflects on your company. It's an investment in your future. Plus, call services give you many options to boost your revenue. The best combination of tools puts everything you need at your fingertips. Four ways to grow your business include:
- Use call center solutions that provide flexibility
- Boost efficiency and productivity in your call center
- Use call center best practices for successful outcomes
- Review data and take immediate action
Use Scalable Call Center Solutions
A great way to grow your business is to use services that adapt to your needs. If your call volume rises or you need extra features, then do not wait weeks to make a change. Choose a provider that offers add-ons when you need them for your call center. This gives your company great flexibility. It also helps you control costs.
But not all services make it easy to change call features. Check with your provider and see what type of support they offer. Cloud services should let you upgrade or update features with ease.
Increase Call Center Services Efficiency
Improving efficiency helps you meet performance benchmarks. A well-defined process gives your agents access to data for better customer support. With call center software, you can track how your agents spend after-call work time. Or gauge how long reps perform work-related activities. Look at this data and find ways to improve your standard operating procedures. For example:
- Connect agents with supervisors via internal chat and workgroups
- Reach out to high performers to mentor new team members
- Provide clear feedback with steps everyone can take
- Identify common issues using data insights and adjust your process
- Develop a smooth onboarding process
Apply Call Center Best Practices
Grow your business and increase efficiency using call center best practices. Quality service relies on your application of proven methods. Train staff and track activities with these call center best practices:
- Create standard operating procedures
- Use a central knowledge base
- Employ a nesting call center approach
- Develop training programs that accept and apply feedback
- Track metrics for customer experience and efficiency
- Segment your clients and review their buying habits
- Add or remove call center features to support growth
What to Look for in a Call Center Company or Software Provider
Your software or call center company choice affects your reputation. Create the best outcomes by reviewing your options. Key areas to look at include:
- Call reporting and analytics: Ask for real-time analytics and features like call recording. Access to data helps you track call quality and grow your business
- Inbound and outbound support: Check with potential partners for your growth options. Adding outbound support gives you more options for building relationships. Your teams generate leads, follow up with clients and conduct surveys
- Unified communications (UC) integrations: The easier you make it for your team to access data, the better your customer experience will be. UC puts all information in one spot for access from any device
- Call volume support: Consider the plans and pricing options for various services. Your partner must support your call volume and offer ways to add or delete services fast. Great providers also provide tools to track high or low volume times
Explore Call Center Business Opportunities
You’ll find many options for call center business opportunities. Off-site or virtual operations help companies with inbound and outbound calls. Features like SMS, video conferencing and live chat connect your team and clients. Plus, your system evolves to help you meet business and customer needs.
For instance, you may need extra help throughout the year. You may want to switch to a remote workforce. A cloud-based program supports call center business opportunities. Many owners embrace the cloud as a way to boost revenue.
Get Help With Your Call Center Services
Managing your call center services is challenging. But many options exist that allow you to deliver top-notch support. Decide if you'll use a call center company, cloud services or remote workers. Then review the call center best practices. Check with each provider to ensure they meet your standards.
Start with a service that gives you real-time analytics. 8x8 Virtual Call Center offers tools that support:
- CRM integration
- Nesting call centers
- Real-time tracking
- Advanced analytics
- Fast onboarding with 8x8’s JumpStart program
Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center, you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-855-689-1008 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.