A lot of companies shy away from the label of “call center.” Even if they handle a large number incoming customer calls, many business owners don’t think that high call volume alone makes them a “real” call center.
But, we’ve got news for you: if you handle hundreds of incoming customer calls, emails, or even chats, you’re running a call center – you just don’t know it yet. And by living in call center denial, you’re actually hurting your business’s ability to operate efficiently.
In this article, we’ll explore a few indicators that you’re running a call center. We’ll also talk about some of the ways that call center software can help you manage your business effectively and improve customer satisfaction.
How to Tell If You’re Running a Call Center
If you’re quick to recognize you’re running a call center, you’ll have the opportunity to optimize your business’s operations – particularly in the field of customer service. And since 86% of customers decide to stop doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, you just can’t afford to ignore the fact that you are running a call center.
You have employees with specialized skills, such as customer support, sales, or account management.
Does your business have employees (or groups of employees) with specialized skills, such as customer support or sales? Or, do you have multiple team members in a specific departments who are organized by the applications or products that they support? If so, you definitely have a call center – no matter how small!
When you transfer calls to different employees based on their particular skill sets, you are using a classic call center function called skills-based routing. Many contact centers use this feature to ensure that customers are directed to the right staff member right away.
Your employees have trouble balancing customer support and “desk work.”
Have your employees expressed concern about handling customer calls in addition to the desk work? Does your staff look forward to “offline” time, when they’ll have the chance to catch up on assigned tasks without the constant interruption of inbound calls?
This is a certain sign that you’re running a call center – but not as efficiently as you could be. With virtual call center software, you can take control of how customer calls are routed, determine which employees are “on call” at a given time, and improve your team’s overall productivity.
You need to make sure that the phones are covered at all times.
Does your business require coverage for certain types of calls during extended business hours, or even around the clock? Do you have to assign certain staff members to cover support or sales during these times?
If this sounds familiar, you definitely have a call center.
You’re always looking for ways to improve call management.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your call management, you are probably running a call center. As such, call center software can become a very important tool. Features like IVR auto attendant fill the role of a receptionist by directing all incoming calls to the correct staff member or department. You can also ensure that you never miss an incoming call by using time of day routing.
Still not sure if you’re running a call center? Take the test below:
I’m running a call center…what do I do now?
Now that you know that you’re running a call center, you’ll want to start working to optimize your operational practices. This can seem like an overwhelming task, but we’ve broken it down into three manageable steps to help guide you through the process:
- Define the elements of a perfect experience for each of your customer or vendor contacts.
- Plan and implement a virtual call center solution for your business.
- Identify key performance indicators to help you manage and enhance your call center.
Defining the Perfect Customer Experience
Every business receives different types of customer calls. Take the time to work with your team and build a list of all your customer profiles, and the questions or issues that each persona typically has.
One you have this list, determine where each type of customer and query should be routed. If no one is available to answer a particular customer query, what kind of message will they receive? Be sure to map these kinds of details out in the planning stage.
Implementing a Hosted Call Center
You may not have realized it, but all the planning that you did in step #1 will come in handy here. With a list of basic call center requirements in hand, you’ll be ready to compare and contrast virtual call center software providers.
A hosted call center is often the best option for small to mid-sized businesses for a number of reasons.
- Your team can work remotely. (Staff members can log on from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection.)
- No hardware or maintenance is required. Everything is hosted and maintained by the VoIP service provider.
- Access to key call center features, such as time of day routing, live monitoring, call recording, and more.
Managing Your Call Center Operations
After you’ve chosen a virtual call center software provider and implemented your new solution, you can implement clear processes for call routing and coverage.
As you can see, the definition of a call center has grown vastly and now really includes any business with at least a small team that handles both inbound and/or outbound calls. It’s important to recognize the true definition of your business in order to effectively manage it for future success.
Looking for more articles about virtual call center software? Explore the resources below: