Call Center and Customer Service Outsourcing tips in 5 minutes
What you need to know to get your customer experience to the next level
In this digital age, companies have to do more to keep their customers happy. As a business owner, VP, or Director of Customer Service/Support, nothing is more important than the customer experience. Fortunately, there are world class Call Centers that can support your customer experience vision and support you with other pain points.
Before you dive into Call Center Services or outsourcing your customer service, it is best to do your own research and get familiar with the foundations of Call Centers. Below we have prepared a simple guide of what you need to know before taking the dive to scaling your business to the next level.
What is a Call Center?
A Call Center is a physical place where customer and other telephone calls are handled by an organization, usually with some amount of computer automation. Typically, a call center has the ability to handle a considerable volume of calls at the same time, to screen calls and forward them to someone qualified to handle them, and to log calls. Call Centers are used by mail-order catalog organizations, telemarketing companies, computer product help desks, and any large organization that uses the telephone to sell or service products and services. Two related terms are virtual call center and contact center.
Call Center Services
Call Center services can include inbound call center services, outbound call center services, and blended call center services.
Inbound Call Center Services support organizations by providing their customers support via a incoming call. Generally, customers will call into these call centers when they need assistance, have questions, and concerns.
Outbound Call Center Services support organizations by providing outgoing calls for either lead generation, cold calling, telemarketing. Generally, these agents are targeting customers to make a targeted sale.
Call Center Solutions
Call Center Solutions typically are contracted out to a provider or in other instances operated in-house.
In house Call Centers are generally used when organizations are looking to take full control of their brand, insights to customer conversations, and full integration of in-house resources.
Outsourced Call Centers are generally used when an organization wants to contract out their product support and customer service to a third party vendor. In this approach organizations usually consider the following:
- Cost & Time savings in hiring and training staff.
- No need to invest in high end infrastructure and technology.
- The provider has trained its workforce to handle all experiences.
Call Center Metrics and KPIs
Now that you have a grasp on the basics, let us get into the measurements, goal setting, and data side of call centers. In order to improve customer service satisfaction, we must set up processes, standards, and benchmarks to improve on them. Below you will find a few items you should wrap our head around as well as the importance.
Quality Scores:They provide the ability to look at the overall caller experience and also look at the conversations that agents are using on their phone calls. These scores can track how well the call center is doing and they can also be taken down to agent level. Scores are typically measured over between 5 and 10 calls per agent per month.
First Call Resolution (FCR):Also known as ‘Best Contact Resolution’. This metric looks at how many times a customer needs to call a company to get a problem resolved. This is a very good way of measuring a problem from the customer’s perspective.
Customer Satisfaction:This measurement takes into account percentage of customers that are happy. This is simple and easy to operate. It can be carried out through a wide range of methods, the most common being a post-call IVR survey, or a follow-up email survey.
Service Level:Looks at the percentage of calls that are answered within a given time. This KPI is typically displayed in real-time for agents and managers to make data-driven decisions.
Average Handling Time:Looks at the total amount of time that it takes to handle a call. This is a simple measure of efficiency. This measurement includes talk time, on-hold time as well as wrap-up time.
Right Party Connects (RPC):It is an outbound metric that looks at the ability to get through to the right person. Voicemail, answering machines, and the contact not being available can make this metric difficult to increase.
Net Promoter:Looks at the number of people who would recommend the product or service to.
Utilization:Is the percentage of time call center agents are on calls or in after-call work, divided by the time they are logged in. It can include ready time, talk time and wrap-up time. It can be measured either as a percentage or as the total number of hours per day.
Percentage of Calls Blocked:This is the percentage of inbound callers that received the busy tone when they call.
Average Time in Queue:Time callers wait in call queues divided by the total number of calls answered by agents.
Average Abandonment Rate:Call abandonment, or the percentage of callers who hang up before reaching an agent. This metric can impact your customer retention.
Average Speed of Answer:Is the average time it takes for calls to be answered in the call center during a specific time frame. This includes time spent waiting in a queue and while the agent’s phone rings however does not include the time it takes to navigate through the IVR. It is a call center KPI typically referenced by managers when assessing their team’s efficiency and degree of accessibility to their callers.
Average After Call Work Time:The amount of time an agent spends working on a customer after the call updating databases, sending emails and informing teammates about the call.
Agent Absenteeism:Agent absenteeism, or the number of days lost per year due to agents being absent as a percentage of the total number of contracted days, can have a major impact on call center scheduling and staffing as well as their bottom line.
Agent Turnover Rate:This is the percentage of agents who leave the call center to work elsewhere. Agent turnover rate significantly impacts customer satisfaction, call center scheduling and team morale.
More Metrics and KPIs
- Calls per hour
- Conversion Rates
- Employee Engagement
- Promise to Pay (typically used in debt collection)
- Abandon Rates
- Speed of Answer
- Customer Effort Score
- Non-value-add Calls (where customer could have self-served)
Now that you know more about Call Center Services and Call Center Solutions, let’s round up the key points. Outsourcing your customer service to the best call center companies can support your growth strategy. Before opting in for a provider, consider the type of services and support you will be needing. Think about time, location, and cost but do not let it be the deciding factor. Drill down on measuring call center KPIs associated with customer satisfaction, agent effectiveness and call center efficiency. Satisfaction guarantees are great on paper but try to keep a data driven mindset. Remember, these are your extended teams and represent your brand so ask to test drive the product or meet the team. Hope you enjoyed this one and got some good value.
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