Many businesses nowadays turn to outsourcing to help them in various aspects of their day-to-day operations. Call centre outsourcing has already proven to improve business performance for thousands of companies and drive revenues in many industries. But despite the proven benefits of engaging with a specialist outsourcing partner, there are still those companies that are not able to fully experience its benefits, leading to an unsuccessful partnership. Such instances may be avoided as long as your company has assessed if outsourcing is right for you and that your selected partner understands your business in a way that enables them to successfully operate as a full extension of your brand. There are quite a number of things that are fundamental in engaging with a call centre solutions provider, which we will look to explore in this blog post.
Types of Call Centre Services
There are more than two types of call centre services but the most fundamental and well known categories that are widely used across different verticals are inbound calls and outbound calls.
Inbound calls are usually those comprising of customer service representatives (CSRs) who attend to your company’s customers. Customer care support is probably one of, if not the most popular, type of inbound call centre service. The reason behind its popularity is because most companies who engage directly with their customers are the ones seeking this kind of call centre service. The call centre support team will help your company attend to your customers with their queries, concerns and clarifications regarding a particular product or service your company is offering to the public with the aim of delivering the highest quality, full brand extension customer experience. But aside from keeping your customers, call centre support may also generate customers for your business as a contact centre support may also take calls regarding a purchase of your company’s product that can generate additional revenue.
Outbound call centre services may be less popular than its counterpart but it does not mean that it is faring any less in terms of helping a company with its operations or with its revenue generation. Outbound calls are for those who are looking to engage with business-to-business sales, as this is one of the known ways for a company to increase its sales. Outbound calls are useful for lead generation and sales solutions, as it provides a more personal approach when it comes to selling or generating more contacts and leads for your business. However, not only these two types of call centre services exist. There are still many types and categories under those two. For example, an inbound call centre is where agents answer calls from customers and potential customers. Now, there are many reasons why customers would call a company. One reason is that they want to know how to install a product they bought. Other reasons can be because they want to inquire about a certain product or service they want.
Examples of types of inbound calls:
* Customer service
* Technical troubleshooting
* Help desk
* Inbound sales
* Telephone answering
* Appointment management
* Building maintenance
* Direct response
* Disaster response
* Order processing
These types of calls in a call centre can be used by different businesses. For example, order processing is great for clothing brands or online stores like BrandAlley and Amazon. Hospitals, hotels, and restaurants also outsource inbound call centre services. The medical answering service, for instance, is made for health care services and appointment management and the virtual receptionist would be great for the service industry, especially if the business is a big one. On the other hand, an outbound call centre is where agents make the call to customers and possible clients. There are different reasons as to why agents make calls; one reason is for lead generation. Another reason is for sales or for conducting surveys.
Examples of types of outbound calls:
* Appointment setting
* Collection reminders
* Lead generation
* Market research
* Insurance sales
* Payment protection
* Event registration
* Customer retention
* Loyalty programmes
Just as with inbound call centres, outbound call centres are used and outsourced by different businesses. One example is that collection reminder services are mostly outsourced by finance companies or banks. The service is available to cater to that specific business. However, it can also be outsourced by the government for student loans.
Another example is telesales and telemarketing. These two are often interchanged but they are different. Telesales is the act of calling to offer sales to customers. The agents will make calls to offer a client and customer a product or service. Meanwhile, telemarketing only generates interests and provides information about the certain company or brand. These types for outbound calls are mostly outsourced by e-commerce businesses. They are also outsourced by most brands that sell anything.
Most of the time, these companies are internet providers who sell internet and data plans. Just like with telesales, there is another category of outbound call that deals with selling, the insurance sales. With insurance sales, agents make cold calls and offer people on their list insurance of any kind — life insurance, educational plan, and health insurance In relation to sales, there is also upselling and cross-selling strategies used in outbound calls. This is where agents would try to sell more products and services that are related to the ones that the customer already purchase in the call. These types of services can be availed by any company that is selling products and services. It can also be outsourced at the same time with telesales.
Call Centres In This Digital World
Though digital is the trend, as most people have computers and smartphones, a phone call is still extremely effective. According to industry reports there was a 113-percent increase in average phone call time from January 2016 (119 seconds) to 2017 (254 seconds). Call centres are aware that artificial intelligence is also on the rise as more businesses prefer it to be that way. But a personalised service cannot be beaten by emotionless computers.
Live chat and email omni-channel services are also becoming increasingly popular when it comes to customer service and BPO solutions. However, most people still prefer a personal phone call and to hear a voice from a real person rather than just chat and email their request or buying experience.
Moreover, industry research indicates that 75% of customers still think the phone call is still the quickest way to get a response from a business. Plus, those people who go on mobile search still make phone calls. The same reports also suggest that conversion rates are higher if it is made through phone call rather than just clicking on emails. This is why outsourcing call centre services, whether inbound or outbound is still the perfect way to provide support to your clients. That being said, every business has different needs and for your business to fully maximize the services being offered to you by call centre outsourcing companies, it is best if you research into the assessment of your business so as to make your call centre outsourcing partnership successful. Keep in mind that it is suggested for your company to not only take into account the cheap costs an outsourcing company is offering you, but their reputation as well. A good contact centre solutions provider will enable you to maximize your current budget and offer you the type of call centre service that is right for your business.
GFM is an award-winning, industry-leading, specialist customer experience agency that has been delivering flexible, end-to-end outsourced call centre services and marketing solutions for almost 30 years on behalf of some of the country’s most loved brands from its head offices in Colchester, Essex. If you think you are interested in the benefits of outsourcing your call centre operations please do get in touch.