You will probably be looking for an inbound call center to handle your help desk, which can assist customers with their current accounts, offer technical support and take orders or messages. Some of these services can be performed over the phone, whereas others can utilize alternative forms of technology such as email and live chat. Companies that ship goods regularly might also employ an inbound call center to run their dispatch services by telephone or sending email or text alerts to hand-held mobile devices.
How the calls are tracked and measured is extremely important to both the client and the inbound call center. Contact center metrics such as the Average Handle Time (AHT), Average Talk Time (ATT) and First Contact Resolution (FCR) are critical numbers to gage customer satisfaction and customer retention costs. In addition, ongoing efforts should be made to keep the Hold Time and Transfer Rate as low as possible. Some call centres will also measure the After Contact Work (ACW) involved because this can also have a huge impact on efficiency levels.
Many inbound calls are recorded for quality assurance and fraud protection, and a pre-recorded message can be played at the beginning of the call to inform the caller that the call is being recorded or monitored. Call recordings are also useful for training purposes when new staff are brought on board the call centre. Studies have shown that the quality of the agent is one of the main determining call success factors, so proper training and development should be a key element in any call centre.
You'll need to decide whether or not you'll have an automated greeting at the beginning of each customer's call. By allowing technology to guide the call, you can save agent's time and therefore save money. However, some customers are immediately put off by automated greetings and then you risk having an abundance of abandoned calls or starting off on the wrong foot with a customer. New innovations such as speech recognition and speech synthesis software have certain benefits and drawbacks which you'll need to weigh out when deciding if they are right for your company.
When working with an inbound call center, be sure to use a good CRM system so that callers don't need to give the same information over and over again if their call is transferred to different people. A large call center should be using advanced software to enable smooth customer care throughout each interaction with the customer. Automatic call selection can also be employed to steer the calls in the direction of the most appropriate agent through filters such as language, skill set and level of experience or expertise.
Try to schedule a visit to the inbound call center you'd like to hire. By seeing the facilities, staff, and general working environment, you'll have a better understanding of their corporate culture, values and routines.