Call centers are a keystone of business operations for companies across a wide range of industries. Whether you’re in need of outbound telemarketing, inbound telemarketing, customer support, appointment setting, or sales, a call center can help you run your business more efficiently and affordably.
But if you’ve never worked with a call center or want to improve your current system, you may not be sure where to get started. How does a call center operate? And what is the true purpose of a call center?
We’ve created a guide to help you learn the basics of call center operations. Check out our FAQs to get a better understanding of what it takes to manage a call center.
What Is the Purpose of a Call Center?
Companies use call centers for many different purposes, but the general goal usually remains the same: The call center is used to better manage a high volume of phone calls. Some call centers might only handle one type of phone call (like inbound sales), while others might offer a hybrid of two or more types of phone calls (like customer service, sales, and appointment setting).
Call centers provide customers and clients with an open communication channel to learn more about a product or service, or for a company to learn more about their target audience. In addition to inbound and outbound phone calls, many of today’s call centers also handle email, live chat, social media, and video communications.
What Types of Employees Work at a Call Center?
It takes a diverse team of employees to successfully operate a call center. Here are a few of the key positions you’ll find.
Agents are the heart of the call center—the people who answer inbound calls, set appointments, collect survey data, and more. The best call center agents are excellent problem-solvers and multi-taskers who know how to read customer emotions and respond appropriately.
Managers oversee the tasks of call center agents. They’re in charge of hiring new agents, training employees, creating incentive programs, and building a strong company culture.
Quality assurance specialists are in charge of making sure the call center is measuring up to its goals and upholding the brand image. A QA specialist might spend their day monitoring calls, reviewing email responses, creating reports, and developing new training programs.
What Technology Is Used at Call Centers?
Today’s call centers are much more than a bunch of agents and phones. Instead, most call centers use highly advanced technology to increase efficiency and boost customer satisfaction. Here are a few types of technology you’ll find at a modern call center:
- Interactive voice response (IVR) for answering phone calls
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software
- Remote desktops
- Live video chat
- Omnichannel communication platforms
- Quality assurance software
- Digital scorecards to measure agent performance
- Cloud-based data management
What Is Working in a Call Center Like?
Call center jobs offer a dynamic work atmosphere that involves plenty of customer interaction, goal-setting, and problem-solving. Those interested in working in a call center should enjoy multitasking and creating an enjoyable customer experience. Agents should also be self-motivated and find satisfaction in working toward KPIs.
What Types of Phone Calls Do Call Centers Handle?
Most call centers handle many different types of phone calls, covering everything from customer service to outbound sales. Here are a few examples.
Inbound calls are always initiated by the customer (or another business, in the case of a B2B call center). The customer might be calling to place an order, ask a question about a product, or respond to an ad they received in the mail.
Outbound calls are initiated by the call center agent. They might be tasked with calling customers to educate them about the product, sell a product or service, or conduct a survey.
Customer service phone calls are usually a mix of inbound and outbound communications. The agents are responsible for resolving problems, answering questions, and boosting customer satisfaction with warm and friendly customer service.
A sales call center operates with the sole purpose of selling a good or service to other businesses or customers. Team members use the sales pipeline to walk potential customers through the sales journey, from their first introduction to the product to the sale (or loss of sale).
Gyms, healthcare clinics, salons, and other businesses all rely on appointment setting to make a profit. A call center can help with this task by calling customers to remind them about appointments, rescheduling, and booking new appointments. Sales teams also use appointment setting to schedule demos or presentations with potential clients.
Outsource Your Call Center Services
So how does a call center operate? Managing call center operations certainly requires a great deal of time, effort, and resources. But fortunately, companies like ROI Call Center Solutions can simplify the process with call center outsourcing.
If you’re ready to save time and money with your call center, contact ROI Solutions today for a free quote.