A Small Business Call Center

- - Business

Being in business today requires owners to contend with multiple facets of their business. From their core competencies which may include their product or services to often-times aspects outside of their expertise. One issue that most small business owners face is dealing with customer service in a growing fragmented communication world. Customers can now contact you through email, telephone, direct mail, social media platforms like Facebook or Google+, live chat and in person. Competing directly against large corporations with 24 hour operations can become difficult as a small business. Providing the same employee-based resources is simply not cost-effective. An alternative option should include an outsourced answering service or call center. call center services 300x107 A Small Business Call CenterWhy do I need a call center?

According to the latest Forrester statistics, voice communication, Skype, mobile and traditional landlines still comprise the majority (50%) of communication for consumers and business. As a small or medium-sized business providing an in-house call center is too prohibitive in both equipment start-up costs and employee salary and training costs. Especially as most small businesses sometimes prefer an answer a center or call center to take over during their after hours periods. Consumers are becoming more demanding, requiring instant information gratification. If you are a small business that is open Monday thru Friday 9-5, you could potentially be missing out on 128 hours of customer communication time. By outsourcing a call center for this extra time it could potentially increase your business fourfold. Even by being available for customer service and sales queries customers will come to rely on great service.

What are call center services?

Traditional call center services only included simple message taking and relaying basic corporate information. Yet more and more third party call center service companies are offering a wide array of customer engagement services. These new services include:

  • Order taking
  • help desk
  • literature request line
  • seminar or event registration
  • dealer locate
  • appointment setting
  • lead generation
  • data management
  • virtual office
  • insurance claims
  • absentee reporting
  • email read and respond
  • inbound telemarketing
  • light fulfillment
  • web sight order support

One aspect of customer service that most companies are getting away from is automated service menus; consumers are demanding a higher level of customer service and information availability. By providing all of your services as well as sales at any time you will be able to focus on your most important duties which are running your business. Companies are starting to outsource all of their customer service and sales functions to third-party professional call centers for cost efficiency and consistent service.

Managing your customer service

Maintaining customer service quality should be your number one priority even when outsourcing to a third-party solution. One of the ways to ensure your third party call center is properly managing your business, products and services is by providing complete product or service profiles, FAQs, literature support, and ensuring the call center can provide additional services. These additional services should include personalized customer history interactions, providing an additional level of customer care. Another call center option should include outbound marketing calls to follow up on leads and provide additional service such as delivery confirmation, product surveys and satisfaction surveys. Lastly any third party call center option should include full analytics and reporting weekly, monthly or on demand. By empowering your third party call center with additional customer service options and proper information you are ensuring the viability of your own business.

Small businesses tend to focus on specialties or areas of expertise based on the owner’s personal experience. By focusing their efforts on expanding products and services, personnel management for delivering these products or services the business’s productivity level will increase thereby increasing overall revenue and profit margins. By outsourcing activities that are a major drain because they take extraneous amounts of time due to inexperience, having to redo the project or rehire new suppliers only further cements the use of third-party solutions, such as call centers.

Russel Zaman

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