How to Hire an Inbound Call Center Company
If your business handles a large volume of inbound calls on a regular basis or you need to make hundreds of outbound calls daily, you may benefit from learning how to hire an inbound call center company. It can help streamline business operations and ensure that you are delivering a high level of customer service.
What services does an inbound call center provide?
The right firm can provide services that include telemarketing, appointment setting, and general courtesy calls, depending on your exact needs. These companies will train their associates according to your specifications and will usually run test calls with you listening in until they have the right scripts.
A call center company will typically work with a call center manager and customer service agents who undergo several weeks of training; most will monitor the calls for quality-control purposes.
Here's what to look at when looking at an inbound call center for your organization:
- Decide if you need a company to handle core or non-core business processes. Core business operations may include handling calls such as billing issues or customer service complaints.. Non-core business operations include sales, advertising, scheduling appointments, telemarketing, and replying to inquiries.
- Determine if you need a company that can provide 24/7 service. A call center company that has offices or affiliates overseas may be able to initiate or take calls around the clock. If you want to offer your customers and clients 24/7 service, be sure to find a call center company that can meet your scheduling requirements.
- Evaluate the center's ability to handle e-mail and messaging services. If your customers send inquiries via e-mail or by using an instant messaging service, you'll need to make sure the agents are comfortable responding to inquiries through these different mediums. Find out if there is an additional fee for this type of service.
- Find out what level of interaction the agents are willing to offer. If you are hiring a call center company for telemarketing services, find out if the company's agents will be able to up- or cross-sell for certain campaigns, process payments or conduct research surveys. When hiring a call center company to act as an answering service for inbound call center services, determine if the agents will be able to complete claims, process forms, provide technical support or complete sales orders.
What KPI's does the call center measure
No matter what service your business is looking to hire or invest in it's important that you measure the effectiveness. Be sure that your call center can report to you on the following metrics.
Indicators of general stats: It's helpful to know the general statistics of calls coming into your business. From calls made to the average wait time before reaching an agent, you'll understand the nature of your customer service operation and see how to improve it.
Occupancy: Occupancy represents the percentage of time your agent is on the phone speaking to a customer, as opposed to waiting for transfers. Higher percentages tend to be a good thing, but businesses with simple inquiries should try to keep this number low.
First call resolution (FCR): Do you have a high FCR rate among callers? If so, you can be certain your call center team is doing an excellent job. When customers only need one call to settle issues, it speaks to effectiveness and soundness of your overall strategy.
Conversion rate: What percentage of callers end up purchasing products or making appointments? Once you establish a clear goal for every call, you can see which agents are performing at top levels and figure out how to get other employees moving in that direction.
Average call length: In businesses that sell complicated services (stocks and bonds, or securities), longer call lengths may be a sign that things are going well (check conversion rates). However, if inquiries should be resolved quickly, longer call lengths are a sign the operator is not moving things along. Keep an eye on these key performance indicators to know how well agents are working.
Frequency of calling from the same customer: If the conversion rate is high and calls keep coming in, it might be a sign of repeat business - a very positive indicator. However, if multiple calls are coming in because a customer's issues were not initially resolved by operators, you have a problem to address. Whether it is in the ability of your customer service team or something wrong with the company itself, look into the matter immediately.
For a more detailed look at call center services and options for handling a large volume of calls, read our Call Center Service Buyer's Guide. Or if you're ready to start comparing price quotes, let BuyerZone connect you with qualified call center service providers.Ready to Compare Call Center Services Price Quotes?