A call center can provide your business with a wide range of services, from inbound customer service to outbound telemarketing. But what exactly is a call center, and what services do they offer?
In this comprehensive guide, we will break down everything you need to know about call center services. We’ll start by discussing the different types of call centers (inbound, outbound, or automated), then move on to the advantages and disadvantages of using a call center. Finally, we’ll give you an overview of call center pricing and agreements, as well as some tips for small businesses who are considering using a call center.
Types of call center services
The call center industry is a 45 billion dollar per year business, with call centers in nearly every country.
The call center industry has grown exponentially since the days when call centers were only used by large businesses and government agencies to handle customer service issues. Today, call centers are available for small businesses and offer many different types of services including inbound, outbound, and automated.
Inbound call center services
Inbound call centers provide customer service to your customers. They can answer questions, take orders, and resolve complaints. Inbound call centers typically have a team of customer service representatives who are ready to help your customers.
Here are some examples of the types of calls you may outsource to inbound call center services:
- Answering customer questions
- Taking customer orders
- Resolving customer complaints
Outbound call center services
Outbound call centers make calls to your customers on your behalf. They can make sales calls, follow-up calls, and appointment reminder calls. Outbound call centers typically have a team of sales representatives who are ready to make calls on your behalf.
Here are some examples of the types of calls you may outsource to outbound call center services:
- Sales calls
- Follow-up calls
- Appointment reminder calls
Automated call center services
Automated services are a type of call center service that uses technology to automate call handling. Automated services can answer calls, take messages, and provide information to your customers. Call centers typically have a team of customer service representatives who are available to help your customers.
Here are some examples of the types of calls you may outsource to automated call center services:
- Routine reminders (appointments, bill due dates, etc.)
- Password reset or account verification
- Customer satisfaction surveys
- Billing inquiries
- Technical support callbacks
- Appointment scheduling
- Product or service information and orders
Advantages and disadvantages of call center services
When considering call center services, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of service. They can be a cost-effective solution for your business, but it is important to consider the limitations of this type of service.
The table below will help your business decide which services are best for you.
|Call Center Service||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|Inbound||24/7 coverageImproves customer satisfaction Expert customer service Save money Consolidates multiple phone lines||Can be costly depending on call volume Limited control over representatives Longer wait times depending on call volume|
|Outbound||More calls in less timeMore time to focus on other aspects of the businessExpert representatives Reaches a wide variety of leads and prospects||May not reach your target marketLimited control over representatives Can be costly depending on call volume|
|Automated||Reduces costsMore calls in less timeImproved customer satisfaction Consistency of customer interactions||Lack of personalization Inflexibility Limited control of customer interactions Consolidates multiple phone lines|
Call center services pricing
Call centers typically charge per call, per minute, or per hour. It is important to understand the pricing structure before signing a call center services agreement. Pricing generally ranges from $0.88 to $1.19 per call but may be up to $1.75 depending on the company and your call script. Some call centers will charge a higher rate for automated call center services.
Consolidated call center services, which include both inbound and outbound services, are typically priced at a lower rate than if the services were purchased separately. This is because call centers can realize efficiencies when they consolidate services. For example, one call center representative can handle both inbound and outbound calls.
Call center services agreement
When signing a call center services agreement, it is important to understand the terms and conditions of the agreement. The agreement generally includes at least the following:
- The services that will be provided
- The pricing structure
- The payment terms
- How long the agreement will be in effect
- The termination clause
- The warranty clause
It is important that you consult a legal expert to ensure that the agreement is fair and protects your interests.
Tips for small businesses on call center services
Small businesses have unique needs. They may have more limited resources than a larger corporation, especially when it comes to manpower. A call center can be a great way to provide 24/7 support without 24/7 on-staff employees.
When choosing a call center, it is important to select one that specializes in small businesses. The call center should have a good understanding of your business and your customers. They should also be able to provide a customized solution that meets the unique needs of your small business.
Here are some tips for choosing the right call center for your small business:
Get referrals from other small businesses.
Talk to businesses in your industry and see which call center they use.
Read online reviews.
This can be a great way to get an unbiased opinion of a call center.
Ask for a free trial.
Most call centers will offer a free trial so that you can test out their services. This is a great way to see if the call center is a good fit for your business.
As with any service, you’ll want to compare pricing before making a decision. Be sure to compare similar services, though. Some call centers may charge a lower rate but have inferior service.
Ask about call center services agreements.
Once you’ve found a call center that you’re happy with, be sure to ask about their call center services agreement. This is a contract that outlines the terms of service and can help prevent any surprises down the road.
Call centers are a great way for businesses to provide exceptional customer service without having employees on call 24/7. These services can cover a variety of possible calling needs, so choosing the right types of services is important.If you are interested in training your call center employees or opening a call center, check out our Call Center Training program. At CustomersFirst Academy, you are our customer and we put you first!