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.