Why Call Center remains the enormous value in the company’s business in 2020
A call center definition
A call center is a department or an office in which incoming and outgoing telephone calls from both new and existing customers are handled by a team of advisors, otherwise known as agents.
It is traditional for companies of a larger size to have call centres for the purposes of:
- Offering customer support
- Handling their queries
- Carrying out telemarketing
- Conducting market research
However, each of these functions has developed greatly in the past few years, which has led to the emergence of the contact center.
What Technologies Do Call Centres Use?
Traditionally, call centers use a few technologies which are fundamental to their function. These include an ACD system, an IVR, and headsets.
However, as customer service has grown to be a competitive differentiator between different organizations, more innovative technologies have begun to emerge.
Many of these technologies are designed on the premise of better supporting advisors to improve customer service. These include the knowledge base, smart desktops, and screen pops.
Then there are technologies designed to reduce contact volumes to improve efficiency, these include workforce management (WFM) systems, chatbots, and process automation.
But that’s not all. With the call center’s role in the overall customer experience becoming ever greater, there are also technologies like speech analytics, customer feedback solutions, and proactive messaging making their way into the industry.
What’s the Difference Between Call Centre and Contact Centre?
A call center differs from a contact center in that it traditionally only deals with voice calls. As soon as your call center handles queries from another channel of contact – whether that’s email, live chat, messaging, etc. – it becomes the contact center.
However, while this is technically the case and almost all organizations now handle customer queries over email as well as the phone, the industry is yet to shrug off the call center label. So the terms “call center” and “contact center” are often used interchangeably.
It is not only a choice between call center and contact center either, with some organizations using other terms too. These can include the Customer Experience Hub, Customer Care and Global Support.
What Are Virtual Call Centres?
While it’s traditional to think of advisors as working in busy, crowded environments, call centers have become more flexible over time, not just in size but in set-up too.
Virtual contact centers consist of individual advisors working from home or smaller groups of advisors working in quieter branch offices. For example, for customers using AWS Cloud infrastructure, you can deploy Amazon Connect for your employees to connect and start making calls.
This trend has led to the emergence of virtual call centers, which consist of individual advisors working from home or smaller groups of advisors working in quieter branch offices.
All of the homeworkers/branch officers use the same cloud technology, so they function as one big contact center, but from multiple different locations.
Homeworking especially is becoming more popular throughout the industry, with benefits that include attracting a new demographic of advisors, providing a better work-life balance, and increased productivity.
Why Are Call Centers Still So Valuable?
One of the new rules of customer service is that the best service is no service, and when you look at Amazon’s proposition, this idea gains momentum. So why do so many brands keep investing in the contact center?
Fundamentally, call centers are valuable to companies because they provide a platform to customers where the company has the opportunity to enhance their image, resolve problems, and to create a stronger customer base.
Call centers are valuable to companies because they provide a platform to customers where the company has the opportunity to enhance their image, resolve problems, and to create a stronger customer base.
In addition to this, the data that call centers store is becoming increasingly valuable. Organizations are using this to personalize service and track each customer’s journey in order to be proactive and provide the best possible experience.
How Do Contact Centres Measure Performance?
There are certain metrics that can be used to measure the quality of your call center function and level of customer service.
Call center metrics are often broken down into three categories:
Historical – These give an indication of the historical demand of the call center, which helps the team to better forecast, schedule, and plans for the future.
e.g. Number of Calls Handled, Forecast Accuracy and Average Handling Time
Real-time – These give an insight into the current demand of the call center, which enables better intraday management to cope with demand.
e.g. Service Level, Wait Time and Advisor Availability
Customer-focused – These give an idea of the effectiveness of the customer–advisor interactions within the call center, particularly in terms of quality.
e.g. Customer Satisfaction, Quality Scores and First Contact Resolution
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