Are you running a call center? And don’t know it? You’re not alone. Many companies do not realize that they have a call center. Recognizing that you are running a call center is the first step toward creating a superior experience for your customers and improving your bottom line. Your team will appreciate the improvement in your communications and workflow that will happen when you start managing the call center you didn’t know you had.
Did You Know That You Are Running a Call Center?
If you have 8 to 10 telephones in your office, you are most probably running a call center and don’t realize it.
Many business field scores of customers calls a day without realizing that they actually have a call center operation. The failure to recognize the call center prevents businesses from tuning and optimizing their call center performance. Without this management of the call center operation, the customer experience suffers, and staff member time is wasted needlessly.
Did you know that 86% of customers quit doing business with a company because of bad customer experience? Building a strong customer experience plan into your business is what will set you brand apart from your competition. Leveraging the right solution for your sales and support teams is vital in creating a superior experience for your customers.
Companies that are quick to recognize that they do indeed run a call center operation can start to manage the call center effectively, and later take advantage of virtual call center software that can help drive their business forward.
If you have a group of people with a specialized skills, several who share a common function, or if you have to schedule coverage for key parts of your business like your sales or service lines, your business has a call center. Here are some reliable signs that you are already running a call center.
Five Signs You Are Running a Call Center
1. Multiple Staff Members
If you have multiple staff members in different departments in your business, customers may already be experiencing a call center experience by getting moved from extension to extension as they search for a solution to their need. When customers call, are they put on hold to music and then sent to a different department? Do you have several persons in some departments, any of whom can answer a customer question or make the sale? Then you probably have a call center.
2. Employees with Specialized Skills
Do you have groups of employees with specialized skills – like product line sales for just one line or another? Or do you have several team members in your support group, organized by which applications or products they support? Then you most certainly have a call center, no matter how small.
When you transfer calls to different people based on their skill sets, you are doing skills based routing. This is a classic call center function.
There are many good virtual call center solutions that provide skills based routing. These get the right question to the right staff member, providing a good customer experience and using less staff member time.
3. Trouble Managing Time
Do your team members struggle with finishing “desk work” and, at the same time providing support to customers who call? Do your team members yearn for offline time to catch up on their assigned work, away from customer calls? This is a certain sign that you have a call center operation and that you are just letting the incoming stream of calls splash randomly around your office instead of controlling it carefully. This is a sign that you may need to take better control how your virtual call center is managed, in to improve customer satisfaction and team productivity.
4. Coverage Required
Do you require coverage for certain types of calls that around the clock, or at least during extended business hours? Do you make assignments for staff members to cover a sales line or a support line, and do you rotate assignments from time to time? This certainly means you have a call center.
5. Call Management
As a business owner, are you struggling to run to business at peak efficiency while maintaining a high-call volume? Do you wonder if customers who need your assistance are getting to you quickly? A virtual call center can take a huge drain off of yourself and your staff. Keeping control of the many aspects of running a business can be daunting and may even seem overwhelming but with the proper planning and technology, it can be done.
We Have a Call Center. What Should We Do?
OK, you’ve asked the questions and realize that you have a call center. Maybe it’s a small call center, but it’s still got all the problems and disorganization that detract from your bottom line. So what’s the answer? There are really three steps.
- Chart out the perfect experience for every customer contact
- Plan and implement a virtual call center solution for your office or enterprise
- Set up easy to understand processes to operate and manage your call center
Charting the Perfect Customer Experience
Work with all your team members and departments to build a list of customer call types. What kind of service calls arrive? What kind of sales questions? Which vendors call and why?
With the list in hand, diagram where each query should go. Decide what should happen if no one is available to take the call – what’s the message the customer should receive?
Planning and Implementing a Virtual Call Center for Your Business
Research cloud call center solution providers. These are companies that can provide a virtual call center that requires no equipment or software in your office. Virtual call centers run on servers hosted by VoIP service providers. The virtual call center provided supports your team in your office as well as your virtual team members working remotely. This provides a full call center experience for your team at a modest monthly cost per seat.
Set Up Simple Call Center Processes
Set up your virtual call center and processes to ensure that all those calls you charted out will reach the right person. Include planning for after hours, weekend, and holiday coverage so that you don’t miss sales opportunities or leave customers stranded.
With a virtual call center solution, incoming calls can be routed based on your company’s business hours and can make it possible to conduct business with clients around the world that are on different time zones. So recognize this as you set up your call center management processes.