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  THE ULTIMATE CALL CENTRE GUIDE FOR BUSINESSES

Want to learn about call centres and how you could use them to benefit your business? Our team of experts has put together the ultimate call centre guide to provide you with all the information you need. If you have more questions or would like to enquire about our services, please get in touch here.

What is a call centre?

Simply put, a call centre is a workspace that consists of people answering and making calls. They often handle a high volume of calls throughout the day, which is why many companies outsource this service to a specialised company. Call centres perform various operations, such as:
 
  • Customer Care - helping customers with issues they may have with their products or services, taking down their complaints, and offering corrections.
  • Customer Support - supporting customers with queries, directing them to the correct department.
  • Technical Support - helping customers with technical issues with their product or service, for example, advising on how to fix a bug with an electronic device.
  • Telemarketing - marketing and selling products or services over the phone. The operatives will call potential customers and market to them to make a sale.
  • Market Research - finding out what type of people are interested in buying a product or service to drive marketing intel.

Inbound vs Outbound Calling

There are two main types of call centres, 'inbound' and 'outbound'. Many modern call centres combine the two into a blended (or 'hybrid') call centre, having different departments to handle each.
 
  • Inbound Call Centre - an inbound call centre handles incoming calls from customers. It usually has a more customer-support-based approach and will consist of answering customer queries, providing technical support and giving advice.

  • Outbound Call Centre - an outbound call centre makes calls to prospective customers. They are more sales-oriented, and agents may make calls for sales, market research, surveys, or if they're responding to a callback request from a customer.
Both of these types of call centres are important for maintaining a happy customer base. You may find that your business is in need of one or the other, or a combination of both types of services, depending on your needs.

What Happens When You Phone A Call Centre?

You've probably called many centres before without realising that you've done it! Whenever you have an issue with a product or service, your call will most likely be directed through a call centre.

A call centre agent will pick up and ask you what your call is in reference to. They will usually take basic information on what you need, answer your query, or refer you to the correct department.

Generally, they log information about the call in the company's CRM (Customer Relation Management) system, which deals exclusively with customer relations. This Data Management System helps if you need to call back, as the agent can check the CRM for details of the previous call.

What Happens When You Phone A Call Centre?

The most common reason a call centre might phone you is to conduct market research. If you've recently purchased a product and given your phone number and permission during the checkout, an agent may phone you to get your opinion on the product and conduct a survey.

Call centres can help a business learn more about who is interested in their product or service and what they can do to improve it. Customer reviews are very important for businesses that want to grow, so call centres offer an easy line of contact to discuss opinions and gather advice on product improvement.

In some cases, you may be phoned as part of a political campaign, as this offers the candidates team an opportunity to tell you about their policies and values so you can decide if you'd like to vote for them in an upcoming election.

Another reason a company may phone you is for debt consolidation or payment. It can be the easiest way to contact somebody about their debt and discuss their options for repayment.

Why Are Call Centres Still Valuable?

There are many reasons why call centres are still valuable business assets. Although the world is becoming increasingly digital, we all know how frustrating it is when you call a company, and all you get is a robotic voice saying nobody is available.

Call centres offer your customers important human contact – on an emotional level, they humanise your business and show them that you care about and value their business.

As the capitalist world is growing rapidly, call centres also offer businesses the support they need to manage the influx of customers. Many businesses outsource their calls to a call centre as they grow, so fewer customers are left waiting for the queries to be answered, and they can keep high-quality customer service.

Market research conducted over the phone can also yield very effective results. When you send people an email asking them to review a product or service, it will most likely end up in a junk mailbox or deleted as spam, but if you call them, they may be more likely to respond and talk to you about the product, helping you collect data about your customer base.
 

What Is Call Centre Outsourcing?

Call centre outsourcing is when a company 'outsources' their calls to a third-party call centre. This means that they give control of their phone calls to an external call centre. Call centre outsourcing usually occurs when a company has grown to a point where it can't handle the number of calls they're getting – hiring a call centre can help them manage call volume much more effectively.

Call Centre Outsourcing Advantages & Challenges

There are lots of positives to deciding to outsource your calls to a call centre, for example:

  • Customer Service - outsourcing your calls can help maintain high-quality customer service. As your in-house staff may have too much on their plates to accurately handle customer queries and process complaints, hiring a dedicated outsourced team who can handle the extensive volume of calls quickly and efficiently will help keep customers satisfied and create a positive impression of your business.

  • Expert Staff - call centre agents go through multiple training stages to qualify them for the roles. By the time they are on the phones, they should be confident speaking and able to process the information the customer gives them.

  • Dedicated CRMs - having dedicated customer relationship management systems can help you to see what your customers are calling about. This can flag posts if there are any specific issues with your product or service which keep coming up.

  • Out Of Hours Contact - a call centre offers your customers support when your business is out-of-hours. They can remain active during weekends and holidays when no in-house staff are available so that you can extend your customer service hours.

  • Cost Efficiency - it can be cheaper to outsource a call centre instead of re-training all of your existing staff to be able to manage the phones too, or hiring an entirely new team and having to train them.

  • Market Research - having a team of call centre professionals on your side can be incredibly useful for market research. While many in-house teams can only focus on inbound calls, you can have a team of outbound callers at your call centre conducting market research for your company.
There are also, of course, a couple of challenges that you may experience when choosing to outsource your call centre - for example:

  • Communication - one of the most common issues you may encounter when outsourcing is communication problems. This can take a couple of different forms – sometimes between the company and the call centre, leading to mistakes in processing calls. It can also take place when you outsource internationally, as language barriers can form a block between the customer and the agent. It would be best to outsource a trusted, well-reviewed agency/centre to handle your business calls so this does not become an issue.

  • Control - when you give control to a call centre, you lose some of your agency, especially if you're used to making the calls in-house. The best way to handle this is to set up a strong line of communication between your business and the call centre so you remain as involved as possible with the customers and the market research the operators may collect.

Call Centre In House Vs Outsourcing

As detailed above, there are numerous reasons why it could be time, quality and cost-effective to outsource to a call centre. Usually, it is medium to larger-sized businesses that choose to outsource, as it saves them more money than it would cost to update their in-house technology and re-train their staff. It may be easier for start-ups and small businesses to maintain in-house calls, as the volume of calls will most likely be low enough to handle.

International Call Centre Outsourcing

A lot of the time, companies will outsource internationally to save money. Indonesia, for example, has one of the world's highest numbers of call centres. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to outsourcing internationally:

  • Cost can be a big advantage to hiring internationally, as a lot of the time, the cost is much lower than hiring a UK-based company. However, if the cost seems too good to be true, it sometimes is. From a UK perspective, it is easy to forget that people in economically developing companies will not be paid an adequate amount for all the work they do for you. Consider the ethics of the working conditions and employee pay before outsourcing internationally. Look for a call centre offering a minimum of the country's living wage to its workers.

  • Language can be both a pro and a con for international outsourcing. If you deal mostly with English-speaking customers, it can cause a language barrier if the outsourced agents don't have much experience speaking English. However, suppose a large portion of your customers are based in another country; for example, if you sell many products in Indonesia, it could be incredibly useful to have multilingual call centre staff that can conduct market research and answer queries in English and Indonesian.

Call Centre Outsourcing Costs

Call centre outsourcing costs will vary depending on the size of the call centre you need and the work you need to do. For example, hiring a hybrid call centre that will handle both inbound and outbound calls, or if you want to put a heavier emphasis on detailed market research, those options may incur higher costs.

For these reasons, most of the time, call centre outsourcing will be priced on a case-by-case basis. However, in most cases, call centre outsourcing costs much less than re-train staff to handle calls and investing in new updated technology.

Outsourcing call centres overseas can also help you cut costs; however, if you're a UK business that needs a focus on market research, it may be better to outsource a UK-based contact centre with reliable marketing experience.
 


Call Centre Technology

Just like most jobs, call centres have adapted to the times with new technologies. Interactive Voice Response (IVR) can be useful as it will help your customer quickly move to the correct person to answer their call.

IVR uses technology to ask the customer a question: what is your call in reference to? The customer can respond, and then the call can be processed to the correct handler.
 

IVR Advantages And Disadvantages

There are a couple of huge advantages to using technology like IVR; it can be a cost-effective way to manage your company call time. Some of the main advantages include:
 
  • Cost – you don't have to pay for an automated voice to work, so you can save significant money having an automated system handle this first part of the call.

  • Customer Journey – IVRs can save you time when all of your operatives are busy. They can make customers feel as though someone is handling their call instead of keeping them on hold with nobody to speak to, improving the journey of their call.

  • Improve Morale – having an automated voice handle the first part of the call can improve staff morale. It saves them from repeatedly reading the same script and allows them to focus on answering the customer query.
The main drawback to using an IVR is that sometimes people don't like the fact that it isn't a real person on the other end of the phone. If the time the customer spends with the IVR is short, it usually improves the customer experience by streamlining it. However, if the customer has to spend a long time listening to an overly-complicated menu from a robotic voice, it can put them off calling you when they need help.

The key to using an IVR is outsourcing to a company that understands the importance of improving the customer experience and won't leave your customers unattended for long periods without human contact.
 

Call Centre Technology And Covid

If you're worried about the potential of your call centre shutting down if there is another pandemic, don't be! During the pandemic, thousands of call centres worldwide had to adapt to working from home.

One of the best things about being a technologically driven industry is that businesses that used call centres could keep operating remotely – allowing customer service to continue and staff to continue earning a living from the safety of their homes.
 

CX Services Call Centre Outsourcing

One of the services we offer is call centre outsourcing. Our reliable customer service teams can handle your calls no matter the size of your business. We are adaptable and can scale the call centre to fit the size of your business and the volume of calls you need to process daily. We offer both:
 
  • Inbound Call Centre Outsourcing – put your customers first by outsourcing your call centre. All of our staff at CX Services are trained customer service professionals; we will always work to deliver your customers the best service possible and never leave a call unresolved or unanswered.

  • Outbound Call Centre Outsourcing – even for small companies, outbound calls can be extremely time-consuming. Allow our highly trained and experienced outbound call centre team to handle your outbound communications and save valuable time. You can eliminate the need to hire a training manager or re-train your staff by outsourcing to the professional team at CX Services. We have years of experience in telemarketing and can help you tap into customer bases that may typically remain out of your usual marketing reach.

 

Who Are CX Services?

CX Services is a direct marketing company with over 30 years' worth of experience in the industry. We are dedicated to exceeding customer expectations, and our skilled team always goes above and beyond to deliver fantastic results for our clients.

We offer various important marketing services to help you grow your business, including direct mailing and data management resources. We also offer a call centre outsourcing service to help you streamline your customer service and conduct important market research.

 

Why Choose CX Services

CX services offer a trusted and adaptable outsourcing service. We go above and beyond to ensure your customers get the best service possible. Some of the fantastic features we can offer you include:
 
  • Flexible and Scalable – we can mould our services to fit your needs, offering inbound and outbound calling and increasing or decreasing the amount of staff depending on the volume of calls.

  • Anytime Response – we provide services available to your customers at any time of the day, including holidays and weekends.

  • Experienced staff – our staff are experienced customer service representatives, meaning they won't fall short when it comes to getting your customers the advice they need.

  • Multi-channel Monitoring – we can monitor and operate several channels, including inbound and outbound calls, emails, live chat, and social media interactions.

  • Telemarketing – we're experienced telemarketers and can confidently handle B2B and B2C calls for you. We can also process orders and sales that are placed via the phone.

  • Cost – we offer competitive rates for our services and work individually, so you know that you're only ever paying for our service (there are no hidden extras!). You can also save significant money by outsourcing to us as you won't have to buy any new technology or re-train your staff – we'll handle it all here!

Contact Us

If you're excited to take your next step towards growing your business, you can contact us today and begin your journey to optimal customer service. We work case-by-case to ensure you get the right treatment for your business. You can find our phone number, email and contact form by clicking here or using the contact form below.

 

Contact CX Services Today

If this sounds like something your growing business needs, let us know.
 

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Telephone: 0141 413 1800

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