Whether or not you like how the modern world works, as a small business owner, you have surely seen by now that customers appreciate and even expect fast response and turnaround times. However, you may not have the time yourself nor the manpower to provide this level of customer service from your main location. It can be just as frustrating for the customer as it is for you. You begin to feel that your time is being sucked into meaningless tasks, yet without a high level of customer service, your customers may begin drifting away to your competitors. Depending on your needs and on your offered services, the solution for you may be a call center.
Call centers are not just for the major corporations anymore. Instead, many small businesses are hiring outsourced call centers that can handle all of your business’s calls, from questions and complaints to purchases and returns. Before you immediately write off the possibility of a centralized call center as being too expensive for your business, consider these five ways that a call center can actually help your small business succeed.
They Save You Time
When you outsource your calls to a centralized location, you no longer have to be responsible for picking up the telephone every time it rings. Instead, depending on the software that you have set up, the call center employees can place orders for you or can gather order and service information and give it to you a couple times per day. When your employees answer the telephone when they are doing something else, they engage in task switching. Research shows that it can take more than 23 minutes to get back to an original task after task switching occurs. A call center can eliminate this source of interruption for both you and your employees.
They Save You Money
Before you start getting concerned about how much money a call center will cost you, consider what they will help you save. You will not have to pay a full-time employee to answer calls all day, you will experience savings as your employees can do their main tasks rather than switched tasks and you will not have to purchase your own servers, software and phone service that you would need to manage your own call center. Rather than being at the whim of variable costs, you can choose a monthly fixed cost with a call center.
They Improve Customer Satisfaction
Customers expect immediate satisfaction these days. Call center employees can immediately be available to answer questions, place orders and generally meet customers’ needs. With an outsourced call center, your customers will not be waiting as long on the telephone as they would be if you were answering calls at your own business. When customers experience high levels of service mixed with short telephone wait times, they are more likely to become your loyal repeat customers. Call center employees can also deal with unruly, abrasive customers. The customer is not always right, and a call center solutions employee will have the skills it takes to determine when it is best to cut a particular customer. Remember that happy customers will spend 140% more money at your business than unhappy customers would.
They Provide Full-Time Support
Additionally, customers expect help at all hours of the day and night rather than only during business hours. For only a tiny amount of the money you would have to spend to man your telephones at all hours of a day, a call center can give 24/7 service even on holidays. This will keep your customers happy and will give your employees a chance to take time off without feeling guilty.
They Can Be Customized
Be sure to choose a call center that meets your business’s needs. Consider how many calls you normally get each day, how long each call lasts and what the purpose of the calls is, such as custom orders, simple service requests or bill payments. You can set up technology to give call center employees access to your schedules, catalogs and software to allow them to help customers thoroughly rather than only passing messages on to you. By ensuring that the best system is in place, your life will be made easier, and your customers will be satisfied by your level of professional service.
A call center can become your centralized contact point for all of your customers. The right call center will handle all questions and orders and will communicate with you or your employees sufficiently to allow you to make necessary changes and to fulfill orders and service requests. Be sure to investigate a call center before hiring it on because some centers have specialties that may not apply to your business needs. Moreover, be sure that you choose a center that will reflect positively on your own business because it will be the main point of contact for the majority of your customers.