The call center industry is rising at a phenomenal rate. It is so because the call center functions are needed by almost every business to keep the customers happy. They are being used by the companies to reduce customer churn, increase sales, make calls and attend the ones coming in.
However, the term call center is often confused with terms like contact center and even BPO. So, before getting into the basics of BPO, let’s first be clear about what a call center is.
A call center is basically a facility that handles voice processes, i.e. incoming calls and outgoing calls. They also have IVRs installed for better customer experience. The numbers you press after hearing the automated voices is this only.
Moreover, the inside salesperson deals with outgoing calls, and customer support professionals look after the incoming calls.
Inside sales, customer care professionals, call center agents and contact center team leaders, sales managers and individuals looking for a call center job should now what is a call center, what are the operations in it and also know some of the best practices related to it.
Now, let’s have a look at the types of call centers.
The call center service providers are majorly of three types-
- Inbound call center- This call center deals with inbound calls. Such calls are the calls that are made mostly by the customers and potential customers in search of a solution to their issue or answer to their query. The agents in this call center need to be very empathetic, polite and helping in nature.
- Outbound call center- The outbound call center service providers are the ones that require their agents to make calls on their own to potential customers or the leads that they have. The traits necessary for being an efficient agent in such a call center are persuasion skills, great communication, and observation skills as well.
- Blended call center- Blended call center service providers are the ones that provide both the facility- inbound and outbound.
All the three call centers train the agents at the time of hiring and also provide scripts.
Fundamentals of a call center call
Call center calls can basically be divided into three parts. Let us see what they are as the call center service agents are trained on the basis of that only.
- Opening the call: Whether the agent is dialing the number or is picking the call, there is a way to greet the customers and the potential customers. Depending on which call center function the agent will be handling, he is trained. The way to train differs.
- The call body: If the call is inbound, the agent has to listen carefully, rephrase that the customer has said and then offer a solution. On the other hand, the agent has to be very active and speak confidently if he is making an outbound call. It is only after the agent pitches the customer that the customer has some queries.
- Closing the call: Prior to closing the call, remember you need to thank the person on the line whether it’s an incoming call or an outgoing call. Also, if the problem has not been solved or the customer requires some more time to think about buying the product ask for follow up as well.
Call Center Structure and Team Functions
The functions of a call center are divided amongst various team members. Here is a list of the same.
- Call Center Agents – They are responsible for answering the calls of the customers or to make outbound calls.
- Call Center Team Leader – He handles the calls that the agents are facing some issues in handling.
- Workforce Management (WFM) Lead – the person responsible to plan the schedules, leave management and holidays.
- Quality Management Team – This team hears the call recordings to keep a check on the performance of the agents. It monitors the conversations, recommends the training and actions which need improvement.
- Management Information Systems (MIS) Team – Prepares reports, dashboards on the monthly, weekly, daily and yearly basis. It also makes the call volume report.
- Contact Center Manager – Supervises and manages his team.
Words & Phrases to use for better customer experience
Every call center service agent should be confident of whatever he says. To reflect the same in their words and phrases they should use words like unfortunate, definitely, I cannot believe it. I am so sorry to hear that, I can understand. All these will help you in winning the trust of the customer.
For an angry customer, you should stick to listening, empathizing, being humble, and not countering back what they say.