Although many different types of businesses can benefit from using inbound call centers, I was very surprised when I came across an article on the El Paso Times website. According to the article, even McDonald’s is using call centers…and not for what you might think! In order to improve order accuracy, 31 out of 50 McDonald’s in Hawaii use a call center to take drive through orders. One of the most difficult parts for the call center is understanding native Hawaians’ pidgin language. This just goes to show that the role of call centers is ever-evolving!
Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category
Having trouble staffing your call center? It may be adventageous to your answering service to hire operators who work from home. Not only can you find more people willing to do the job (many people would love to work from home), but also you will be able to cut down on absences. During busy times, a shift manager can call a remote operator and ask if they can go into rotation and take calls.
Afraid that operators who work from home will not do their job properly because they’re unsupervised? Don’t worry. Virtual supervision is available. With call recording technology, every call an operator takes can be recorded and heard by call center management.
If you’re in need of a new shift manager but are not sure whether an operator is cut out for the job, try promoting a senior operator to “second in command” says Donna Fluss of DMG consulting. How do you know whether an operator is ready to take on such responsibilities? Look for a senior operator who:
- has good knowledge of your call center’s procedures
- is responsible and punctual
- is self-motivated worker with good habits
- has excellent customer service skills and the ability to deal with angry or upset callers
The “second in command” position is a good way to test whether these skills are present in your senior operator before you take the big plunge!
Small business owners are often multitaskers. In addition to doing what they’re good at (let’s say…repairing air conditioners and furnaces or painting houses), they have to deal with other matters such as book keeping and office cleaning as well as customer service! If you’re a small business owner, one way to increase productivity and reduce the stress of screening and answering calls is to hire an inbound call center (aka answering service).
At American Inbound, we are here 24 hours a day 7 days a week and trained in customer service. Some types of calls we receive (in addition to the types of calls you would expect) are hangups, telemarketers and recordings, or people just asking for an office address or fax number. Rather than answering all of these calls yourself or hiring a full time secretary or two, consider hiring an answering service to screen your calls and take messages from your customers. With an answering service, you’ll never miss a call from a customers. It will save you money, set you free do what you’re good at, and grow your business!
For more information on increasing small business productivity CLICK HERE:
A recent article at callcentrehelper.com cites a study conducted by Dimension Data. The recent study has found that customers calling an agent now wait on hold longer than they did ten years ago. The reason according to the article: human operators are being replaced by machines or the internet for simpler tasks. On the other hand, companies who have more complex customer service needs elect to use live, human operators. These more complex customer service calls take longer on average.
The study revealed that the average hold time is 39 seconds. After 45 seconds of holding, people normally end their call. That’s why its important to choose a call center that has a low hold time.
Do you find that your telephone voice is not understood? I stumbled upon a linguistic student’s observations about this problem. She explains that the first two syllables in a telephone conversation are never registered, at least until the listener is aided by context. She then explains that just by saying “Hello” your voice will be recognized more easily and understood better.
Here is a link to her interesting discussion.
Verizon is being charged $6.5 million dollars for bad telephone service. Florida’s top law enforcement official states this is due to “willful” and “repeated” lapses in service.
These lapses have left many customers without phone service for up to a week. Currently, the issue is in the hands of the Florida Public Service Commission, who regulates many aspects of telephone service.
The CRM Buyer has come through with another great article. They have interviewed several prominent executives in contact center solutions and service provider companies. The issue is that during an economic slump service-oriented businesses must concentrate on two things: lowering costs, and keeping customers.
If you’re interested in how the experts are dealing the slump, check out the posts here:
If anyone has looked at American Inbound’s main site, you can see that we are currently hiring for remote agents in the Bloomington, Indiana area. Well, I put up a job application online and we have been swamped with submissions. Honestly, our HR department has so much on their hands, they’ve asked for help from some of our other employees.
I run across all kinds of operator hiring guides online, so I wanted to post up listings I found for a few of them. Hopefully, it helps them out!
1. How To Hire Better Call Center Agents - Every Time!
2. The Science of Agent Selection: Assessment Tools Help Centers Find the Right Fit
3. New Call Center Hiring Tips from FurstPerson
4. Hiring Customer Service Oriented Employees
Customer service reps like to throw around the word “sorry.” But is it overused? Derek Stockley believes so.
He explains that “I’m sorry” often comes across as insincere. This is true if the phrase is overused. However, I believe an agent would have a difficult time if it was banned completely.