Many growing businesses turn to call centers to handle the influx of customer service calls. This allows their employees to spend more time on providing specialized services or focusing on other, high-priority tasks. However, switching to a call center represents a significant change in company culture and employee responsibility so businesses need to make sure they contract with a call center that best meets their needs.
The following are some guiding principles for identifying top tier call centers:
- Make security a top priority. Many call centers have moved to the cloud for several reasons. It’s easier to install technology and render services that way. It’s also a good fit for businesses that have agents operating at multiple sites. However, companies will want to make sure their data is secure as well as investigate what redundancies and data recovery the call center offers in the event of a disaster.
- Look for compassion. Businesses need more than a person to answer a ringing phone. They need a friendly voice to help answer customers’ questions or resolve their issues. This is particularly important in the insurance industry when handling calls related to a loss. First notice of loss (FNOL) is the single greatest opportunity for securing customer satisfaction. Having a compassionate agent can help achieve that goal.
- Ensure a call center’s services align with business goals. Businesses should identify what they need from a call center and compare providers that meet their established criteria. Creating this short-list in advance saves time by avoiding interviews with providers that don’t offer the necessary services. This is particularly important for businesses that require special features like chat support or around the clock services.
- Meet with the call center. A provider may check every box from security to friendliness to specialty services and still fall short of the mark. Several providers may look good on paper, but businesses need to perform their due diligence by taking a tour of the call center’s facilities. If the call center’s leadership and management style differ vastly from a company’s culture, there could be significant clashes later.
- Determine how much location matters. Call centers can be offshore, nearshore, or onshore. Onshore call centers often have restrictions on hours of operation either due to time zones or expense. While offshore call centers are often cheaper, there can be a significant cultural divide that can cause friction between customers and the company. Nearshore call centers offer the best of both worlds by having similar cultural experiences and decent proximity for business meetings while providing enough distance to cover more hours of service.
Outsourcing calls gives companies a competitive edge for several reasons. For example, if one business has a customer service line and the other does not, potential customers are more likely to opt for the option they can call with their questions. Customers also prefer businesses that offer extended hours for customer service calls beyond the traditional 9:00 to 5:00. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how investing in a nearshore call center can improve your business.