Are you struggling to manage your inbound call center? Considering whether outsourced services could be a benefit to your team?
Inbound call center services can provide massive support for internal teams by:
- freeing up internal teams for mission-critical projects
- providing enhanced support to your customers and improving customer satisfaction
- implementing best-in-class technology and software
- better monitoring of metrics, KPIs and performance benchmarks
But outsourcing your inbound call center services isn’t the right choice for everyone. And even if it is, outsourcing to the wrong partner can have disastrous consequences for your customer service. So how do you know when it’s time to bring in an inbound call center service provider—and how do you choose the right one? We’ll walk you through it in this article.
First things first: here are five major signs that inbound call center services could help your business:
- you’re experiencing higher call volumes than you can manage in reasonable time frames
- you don’t have the resources or infrastructure for handling calls
- you can’t provide 24/7 or on-demand customer support
- you’re struggling to find effective call handling processes
- you don’t have time to monitor or analyze customer feedback
If any of these problems feel familiar, read on to see how the right inbound call center services can help. Not the issues you’re struggling with? You may need an outbound call center service instead.
Experiencing High Call Volumes and Long Wait Times
If your business is currently seeing high call volumes and long wait times on your inbound customer service lines, it may be a bigger problem than you currently see. The data on long wait times and customer service is pretty clear:
- 57% of customers said long wait times are “the most annoying part of dealing with customer service.”
- 92% of consumers will switch brands after just a few bad customer experiences.
- The majority of consumers will wait on hold for just five minutes before customer satisfaction declines or they abandon the call altogether.
As the data demonstrates, customers expect near-instant help and service when they have a question or a need, and businesses need to be prepared to meet these expectations if you want to develop customer loyalty and increase satisfaction. In today’s marketplace, if customers don’t find their expectations met in your business, they’ll find someone else who can.
Measuring KPIs around call volume and handling time can help your business understand if this is an area you need to improve. Metrics you should be tracking include:
- Time in queue: the average time in queue for high-performing call centers is under 20 seconds.
- Abandonment rate: an average abandonment rate is under 10%.
- Call volume: of course, there is no “average” call volume, but understanding the trends of your call volume can give you an idea into if volume is increasing significantly.
Inbound call center services can provide significant additional support in this area. For example, many inbound call center providers, like ROI CX Solutions, provide services such as:
- call answering
- technical support
- appointment setting
- general customer service / care
- order taking
- 24/7 support
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In addition, the right inbound call center services can help you track KPIs, create benchmarks, and improve your performance.
Lacking Necessary Resources and Infrastructure for Handling Calls
As your business grows, your call volume will necessarily grow along with it. While this can ultimately be good for your business, without the appropriate resources or infrastructure to handle an increased call volume, your service—and customer experiences—will suffer.
Using advanced IVR and call routing systems is one such technological resource necessary for businesses with growing call volumes. Not only do advanced IVR systems improve productivity and efficiency, they also improve customer service and satisfaction.
As customer expectations shift, making use of advanced and efficient call routing is more important than ever. A massive 98% of customers try to skip through IVR systems to speak to an agent, yet 68% of customers are annoyed when their call is transferred between departments. As a result, the onus is on companies to get it right, the first time, with effortless (to the customer) and automated call routing that easily connects customers with the right agent.
Similarly, omnichannel support is becoming increasingly expected by customers, yet 78% of customers say “omnichannel support is rare or never happens.” The seamless journey offered to customers through an omnichannel strategy majorly improves customer experiences, yet the resources, software and internal infrastructure necessary to pull it off is often difficult to achieve.
This is another way that inbound call center services can provide support for growing businesses—from call answering to multi-channel support to providing the software and data analytics necessary to keep everything streamlined for the customer, a good inbound call center enables you to keep the customer experience consistent and seamless.
Unable to Provide 24/7 Customer Support
As our world becomes increasingly globalized and on-demand—with shopping, streaming, ordering food, working and traveling taking place at any time of the day or night—offering 24/7 customer support likewise becomes increasingly expected.
While 24/7 support can come in the form of chatbots, self-service options or other automated responses, 24/7 support can also be a basic call line. This is especially important if you serve customers in multiple time zones, or if you have especially urgent customer needs—for example, if your business offers banking, transportation, medical or insurance services. After all, patients get sick and flights get delayed at any time, not just during business hours—your team needs to have support to match.
Of course, 24/7 support is incredibly difficult to pull off in-house. An outsourced inbound call center can more effectively help you provide 24/7 support. Not only does outsourcing give you access to more affordable talent, but it can also make use of varied agent or call center time zones to more easily provide 24/7 support to your audience.
Lack of Effective Call Handling and Issue Resolution Processes
Increased wait times can be due to increased call volume, but they can also be the result of ineffective call handling or issue resolution processes. As such, understanding why your call center is feeling overloaded or experiencing more delays is key to fixing the problem. There are a number of KPIs you can measure and track to understand the effectiveness of your call handling processes, such as:
- Average Handle Time (AHT): a good AHT is less than six minutes. If your call center is seeing AHTs much higher than this, it typically signals a need for more effective handling processes or increased agent training.
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): taking a quick CSAT survey post-call gives you a big-picture overview of how customers are experiencing your service
- First Call Resolution (FCR): an FCR between 70% and 80% is generally considered “good.” If you’re seeing the majority of customers need to call back again for the same issues, that points to ineffective issue resolution processes.
When customers contact your business, you should be able to provide consistent quality your customers can trust, positioning you as the trustworthy experts available to help meet your customer’s needs. If you can’t, customers will turn to another brand who can.
However, inbound call centers can take care of all of this for your business, from training your agents to implementing effective call handling processes and improving issue resolution techniques and more. A great inbound call center partner likely has significant customer service experience as well, and so can provide industry best practices for call scripts, call handling workflows and more.
Inability to Monitor and Analyze Customer Interactions and Feedback
Finally, if you’re finding you don’t have the time or resources to effectively monitor and analyze customer interactions and feedback, partnering with an inbound call center can either free up time for your team to focus on this, or your provider can include this in your service package.
This is an essential, but often overlooked, step in the customer service process. Finding ways to continuously improve and grow requires consistent monitoring and analysis of customer interactions. A solid quality assurance (QA) process is one of the best ways to do this. If you don’t currently have a QA process implemented at your call center, an inbound call center provider can help implement this for you while improving your KPI tracking, call handling consistency and overall call center performance.
In addition, implementing customer feedback is also a benefit for customer affinity and brand perception. According to a report from Microsoft, 77% of consumers “view brands more favorably” when the brand regularly solicits and implements customer feedback.
Inbound call centers can help you measure and manage customer feedback, whether that’s running surveys, monitoring CSAT results, analyzing customer data or managing QA processes for your calls. Whatever the solution, it’s essential to create consistent steps in your process for ongoing analysis of customer interactions and implementation of customer feedback.
How to Find the Right Inbound Call Center Partner
Ready to partner with an inbound call center? Doing so can provide your business with improved customer service and stronger customer satisfaction. However, finding the right inbound call center partner can be difficult.
When looking for a call center partner, ensure that you look for at least the basics in terms of services, such as call answering, customer support, dedicated agents and extended hours services, as well as any other services you may need, such as multilingual agent support, order taking, cross-selling and upselling or omnichannel support.
In addition, as you look at providers who offer the services you need, be sure to examine the following areas:
- expertise: does your potential provider have experience and expertise with your audience, industry, and with customer experience in general? The best provider has all three.
- reliable results: can your potential provider demonstrate reliable results they’ve delivered for other companies, especially other businesses in your industry? Look for client reviews, testimonials or case studies that demonstrate proven ability to drive the results you need.
- innovation and technology: is your potential provider making use of new technology and innovating to drive results? A provider who is using outdated technology and software is typically a sign of bigger problems.
- communication and culture: how well does your potential provider communicate? If the communication and working relationship during the researching phase is difficult, it’s likely not going to improve once the contract is signed. Finding a partner who is a good culture fit and a good communicator can make or break your experience, so don’t discount this.
With ROI CX Solutions, our teams have decades of experience working across industries to provide excellent customer service that creates loyal customers and improves service metrics for our clients. We’ve helped our clients achieve best-in-class service, resulting in:
Ready to boost your customer satisfaction and service levels? Connect with an inbound call services expert from ROI CX Solutions today.