Missing Customer Calls? Time for Call Center Outsourcing
Missing customer calls is one of the most frustrating experiences for businesses and customers alike, yet many businesses still struggle with it. Sometimes it’s because the company’s customer service team is too small, sometimes it’s because the company doesn’t have a dedicated customer service team in the first place, and sometimes it’s because the company’s operations and tools for handling customer calls are simply too inefficient.
Whatever the reason, missing a lot of customer calls can lead to consistently bad experiences and a negative perception of the business overall. There are many customers who will never call back after an initial missed call, and they can even be frustrated enough to end their relationships with the business entirely.
If you find that your business is missing calls too often, you may want to consider changing or adding a different type of call center to your arsenal, namely an outsourced one.
Never Miss Another Call With Call Center Outsourcing
With an outsourced call center, you can be sure that someone will always be there to serve your customers, even when you can’t. Just about any kind of inbound call can be outsourced to a call center, but customer service calls and other support functions are the most common.
Some of the most common and significant customer services-related challenges that an outsourced call center can help you avoid include the following:
- Missed customer calls
- Slow response times
- Inefficient call routing and transfers to multiple departments
- Inabilities to resolve customer issues in the first call
- Long hold times
Any one of these frustrations can cause a customer to leave for good, so the addition of an outsourced call center can have a ton of upsides. For example, if it helps you provide better services that facilitate better customer experiences, it’ll also help you build better relationships with your customers—which can also lead to increased sales and growth.
How to Outsource to a Call Center That Offers 24/7 Support
If you really want to ensure that you never miss a call, you’ll want to opt for an outsourced call center that can provide round-the-clock support. Naturally, this can be more expensive than other types of call center services, but if you’ve got the demand, the expected improvements to your customer service quality, reputation, and sales are generally worth the premium.
To make a successful transition to outsourcing, you should start by reviewing your call logs. If you’re missing enough calls to leave a considerable dent, try to determine how negatively that affects your business.
Remember, it might not be a 1:1 relationship, but if you find that your customer satisfaction rates and conversions are both low—and you’re missing a lot of calls on top of that—then it shouldn’t be too difficult to guess what’s going on. At this point, you should also start to review your budget for potentially switching to outsourcing and weigh it against the costs you’re currently incurring for missing calls.
Once you’ve decided to outsource, you’ll need to define the information that you will share with the call center. Since those representatives will be taking customer calls on your behalf, you want them to be as prepared as possible. Consider the following questions:
- How do you want the agents to answer customer calls?
- How do you want agents to assist customers in different scenarios?
- What information will you require the call center to report back to you?
- How do you want the relationship and communications between your company and the call center to be?
Next, decide whether you want to work with a domestic or international call center. There are pros and cons to both, but the best fit for you is going to depend on your specific kind of business and customer needs.
Once you’ve got your list of call centers, go through their pricing structures and examine the available features—keeping an eye on whether or not they offer 24/7 support. Remember, if you’re outsourcing as a way to reduce missed calls, a call center that isn’t 24/7 can leave you with the same issues you had before.
After you finalize your list, request a proposal from the call centers you’re considering, and be sure to speak with a representative about your needs. This is where your list of information to share with the call center representatives will come in handy. The clearer and more precise you can be about your needs and expectations, the better your chances of finding the perfect call center for you.
Lastly, as you’re going through this process, try to see if it would be possible to have an on-site visit at the call center, as this can help you gauge its workplace culture and day-to-day operations.
Best Call Center Outsourcing Service For 24/7 Support: Signius
After a thorough review of the best call center services, Signius comes out on top as the best for 24/7 support.
Signius is based in the U.S. and has agents who are specifically trained to provide live support 24/7/365. It has an extensive team spread across 12 operating centers, offers support in multiple languages, and operates on a promise to never put a caller on hold or send them to voicemail.
Perhaps best of all, its plans are also customizable. You can work with Signius to make something work for your business’s current needs and budget. For instance, you could decide that you only want your calls to be outsourced on the holidays, or when your calendar shows that you’re busy with clients. Alternatively, you can also bring in Signius as a full replacement so that you never have to answer the phone in your business again.
Pricing for Signius starts at $45 per month for up to 50 minutes, plus $1 per additional minute. It also operates on a pay-as-you-go basis, which is usually easier for a business’s cash flow. If you ultimately find that you need an advanced plan—or you experience particularly high call volumes—Signius offers custom plans as well.
Establish Support Expectations With Your Call Center
Once you’ve established a relationship with your new call center, there are a couple of things you’ll need to do to make sure everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, you can’t always be completely hands-off.
For the call center to provide the 24/7 support that you envision for your customers, you’ll need to communicate clear expectations. Despite how your call center is staffed by professionals, they’re not mind-readers.
Common expectations businesses have when working with call centers include:
- A bi-weekly meeting with the call center manager to discuss how working together is going. While it may be possible to start reducing these meetings the longer you work with the call center, you’ll need to be fairly high-touch at the beginning to make sure your customers are getting the support they need and expect.
- Agents must take detailed notes about each customer call and submit them daily. Even if you outsource your calls, you still need to know what’s going on. You don’t want valuable customer data to get lost, so be sure to require that the agents take notes about the information that is most useful for your business—and create a standard procedure to follow for data sharing between your two businesses.
- Notify the business owner whenever there’s a call with a highly-frustrated customer. Getting a heads-up when a customer calls in angrily is important because it gives you a chance to intervene and turn the situation around. Even if you’re not able to salvage that particular situation, you can take the information from that call and use it to make changes to your products, services, or processes in hopes of avoiding similar occurrences in the future.
- The ultimate goal is to resolve as many customer issues in one call as possible. First-call resolution is a common call center metric, and it’s one that you should make sure your call center is prioritizing. The more you can resolve people’s issues on the first call, the happier they’ll be—and the more likely they’ll be to tell other people positive things about your business.
Finally, make sure that you are clear with your call center about how and why good customer support is critical for your business and its relationships with your customers. For instance, if you’re outsourcing your call center to deal with incoming sales queries, that’s a completely different ballgame than if you’re outsourcing to field customer service calls from frustrated customers.
Therefore, it’s essential to let your outsourced provider know what to expect so that the representatives can succeed. The more they understand about your company and its goals, the better results you’ll get.