Learn To Laugh Call center agents will tell you, they talk to all kinds of people. Depending on the type of call center; you can be talking to a person in the same town or someone from the other side of the world. If you are answering the phone for a service, you may get questions from a novice to the items you are providing, and will have to answer questions to things you assumed everyone knew. Never assume anything in a call center. Learning to laugh off the silly calls is good medicine. You can use the funny and interesting stories to keep you going in the field. Yes it’s true, you will get the irate customers who can be down right mean and nasty, however, you can also get that customer who really makes your day. An interesting perk with this job is in knowing that you can talk to people from literally all walks of life. Sometimes the calls may seem repetitive, sometimes they are completely "odd", and knowing that this is part of the job helps you to prepare you for it. Those who like their call center jobs talk of the unique calls they’ve received. There are those calls that leave you shaking your head and wondering ‘why?’ Learning to laugh in a call center lightens the burden of stress that can sometimes be associated with call center jobs. Your co-workers will share their stories and you with them, together you can share a laugh and remember that this can be more than a job, it can really be a fun and fascinating career.
The Basic Knowledge About Call Centers Call centers are centralized offices used for the purpose of receiving and transmitting a large volume of requests by telephone. They can provide services that can increase the productivity of several businesses. But for small businesses, call centers can provide the advantage of increasing their bottom lines. Business services call centers provide normally include order collection, customer care, telemessaging, customer service options and a lot more. These services are also offered with multi-lingual options. May it be French, Spanish, Chinese or English, several capable representatives can easily handle clientele from all across the globe, thus increasing the businesses. Usually, call centers are operated by companies aimed in administering incoming product support or information from consumers. There are open workspaces for agents, which include computers, telephone set or headset connected to a telecom switch and one or more stations for supervisors. Technologies Used By Call Centers In order to improve the company’s operations and reduce the costs, while providing standardized, uniform and streamlined services to customers, the centralization of call management is used. Apart from that, call centers utilize a wide variety of different technologies allowing them to manage large volumes of work. Such technologies facilitate processing and queuing of calls, maintaining consistency of the work flow for agents and creating cost savings for other businesses. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is one of the technologies call centers use. This kind of technology is a protocol optimized for the transmission of voice through the Internet or other packet switched network. Outsourcing is another technology used by call centers, which is actually the subcontracting of a process including the manufacturing or designing of products to a third-party company. There are others who theorized that with the advancement of the society, future call centers would include technologies, like speech recognition and speech synthesis. These kinds of software are now in development and allow computers to handle first level of customer support, natural language processing and text mining to further improve customer handling, agent training, productivity and customer satisfaction. The Dynamics of Call Centers To provide a number of services to business consumers, there are categories of calls often separated into outbound and inbound. Outbound calls happen when agents place calls to potential customers mostly with intentions of providing service to the individual or selling. These calls are substantially different from inbound calls, where consumers call the call center in order to acquire information, ask for assistance, or report possible malfunction. Furthermore, the staffs working at call centers are organized into a multi-tier support system to handle calls efficiently. In such models, the first tier normally consists of operators that direct inquiries to the appropriate department and give general directory information. The second tier is forwarded with calls and handles consumers in need of further assistance. If the second tier of support cannot resolve the issue, the call is then forwarded to the next tier. There are cases, where the existence of three or more tiers is required to resolve issues. Usually, the third tier of support includes highly skilled support staffs, product engineers, or product developers. Due to the highly technological nature of the operations of call centers, close monitoring of the activities of the staff is widespread and easy. This can be quite beneficial and enable the company to better plan the time and workload of its employees.
What You Need To Know About Inbound Call Centers Call centers provide phone-based services to clients or customers either in the private or public sector. Call centers have become an important communication channel to acquire new customers as well as to support existing ones. During the past few years, the number of call centers and the number of employees or agents has been growing rapidly demonstrating the increasing importance of call centers. The direction in which the contact between the customer and the agent is distinguished through inbound and outbound call centers. In inbound call centers, the agents receive calls from outside customers, and therefore these call centers are driven by random customer call arrivals. In order to achieve customer satisfaction, short expected waiting times are important. The performance can also be measured by waiting times, availability of service, or customer abandonment. How Inbound Call Centers Work Inbound call centers are there to receive calls from existing or potential clients. Normally, the quality of communication in these kinds of call centers, is perhaps more important than that of outbound call centers, wherein the agents initiate contact with potential clients. In case the client is the one to contact the call center, one thing can be certain: the client requires aid or information that the agent must be able to supply. Typically, the client’s query can be answered by the first agent who takes the call. In that process, there is no waiting or lag time, and the client is assured that the company has the answers he or she needs. However, it is impossible to have an expert answer every single call due to the utter volume of inbound calls that a usual call center receives. For this reason, most inbound call centers rely on a tier system in order to deal with several incoming calls. Also called the multi-tier support, the tier system is a foundation of call centers handling inbound calls. In this instance, the client who has a specific question or complaint about a product he or she has purchased from the company, the first tier employee can transfer the call to a technical support specialist. However, most inbound call centers that use the multi-tier support system have a total of three tiers with the third tier consisting of developers or engineers of the technology or the product. Through this, the majority of customer requests and questions can be dealt with effectively and quickly. Basically, if the client is satisfied with the responses and if there are no waiting time, the call center is doing a good job. The importance of satisfactory communication should not be underestimated. The Role of Technology in Inbound Call Centers Aside from the multi-tier support, technology also has a role to play in facilitating the company’s method in dealing with inbound calls. The data received from inbound calls are normally recorder and reported making the call center effectively predict the type of information and the number of agents in each tier that will be needed in the future. Through this, the time at which the calls are transmitted between agents continues to develop and calls can be answered faster. The technology that minimizes the waiting time and answers and transfers calls quickly often leads directly to increased customer satisfaction. However, the use of technology will always be a support instead of a substitute for human interaction. The agents or the employees remain the backbone of inbound call centers and the only means of ensuring customer satisfaction and preservation is through the quality of communication.
Improve Sales by Outsourcing Call Centers Outsourcing call centers are excellent methods of generating sales and help current customers with technical support and customer support issues for several small, medium and large businesses. Some larger companies have the time, resources and money to put in place their own call centers but most smaller and medium-sized businesses opt for a streamline approach to call centers and choose to outsource the needs of their call centers. Helpful Tips on Outsourcing Call Centers First off, if you are searching on ways to outsource a call center, the business have to first decide on what they are trying to achieve in the course of action. Most businesses are looking for low cost methods to either sell goods or provide support for customers. The reason why most businesses choose to outsource call centers is generally due to the low cost. On the business side, outsourcing call centers takes careful decision making and analysis, as well as discussion and result on the outsourcing side. For example, even before a business makes a decision to deal with a call center with an outsourcing firm, it must first see its business needs and comprehend how the new service will either generate sales or enhance customer satisfaction, thus developing customer retention and limiting customer churn. In case the business realizes what kinds of services it requires, the business normally bids from call center outsource services. The bidding process removes several of the contractors that cannot meet the qualifications, labor and technological requirements of the business. Once a call center is contracted for services with a business, a deeper consultation takes place wherein the business and the outsource work together in order to create a solution that can either generate sales for services or products or provide customers with support for technical or billing products. There are several call center outsourcing companies available and as a business seeking solutions, it is your job to contract with one of them and choose the one that can deliver results you desire. Since each outsource call center company offer a different product, the best option is to analyze the specific needs and perform plenty of researches to locate a match with a company that can fulfill the business’s needs. How to Reduce Turnovers and Retain Manpower A turnover or churn normally reflects the percentage of customer service representatives that leave a call center in a specified period. This is the most common problem of call centers. Additionally, this factor plays a role in reducing the quality, increasing recruitment and training costs, and reducing the marketability of a call center operation. In order to reduce turnovers, appropriate planning and tracking and figuring out the main cause of the event is necessary. You can start by hiring the right people. This can be done by developing a profile of the team members that have been with the company for some time and are happy and productive. Always look for characteristics that can match that profile whenever assessing new applicants. Improving the line managers is also a good help. Train line managers on how to supervise his or her team members for attaining superior productivity. Teach them that they can manage without being controlling or critical. Honing their soft skills, monitoring performance and rewarding them for enhanced productivity can usually diminish high turnover rates.
The French Connection: Call Centers of France Generally, the main functions of call centers are telemarketing or marketing, information and client support services that give assistance in the resolution of technical problems. From the Collective Agreement for Service Providers of France, call centers are made up of agents who are organized by type of services and grouped in teams at centralized offices. Additionally, call centers manage client relations and prospecting exclusively by telephone, using IT technology or telecommunications, for either incoming or outgoing communications. For the past years, the word contact center or centre de contacts has changed call center or centre d’appels in order to cover the several means of communication that have been integrated. In France, contact centers have become an essential part of client relations. France’s Position in the Call Center Business United States is the world leader in call centers with more than 3.8 million jobs and 60,000 call centers. Canada and Brazil also have significant presence in the Americas, as well as South Korea and India within Asia. However, France is relatively well situated, with identical amount of call centers as in the United Kingdom. Although the sector in France has attained a certain level of maturity, the margin for progress in such sector remains significant. For the next few years, the key factor for growth will be the evolution from the existing trend of general sub-contracting, to specific sub-contracting. There are several major generalist service suppliers that have surfaced in France. On the other hand, there are still a large number of smaller actors located in geographical markets, niche functions and sectors that will continue to manage. The following is a list of the 4 major sub-contracting groups in France. 1. The Generalists, which combine industrial scope with a wide range of services; 2. Groups offering a wide range of services but not limited to specific markets because of their size; 3. Groups with large-scale service providers, limited to a specific sector client or position; 4. The Specialists, which include a wide range of actors whose services, are aimed at specific market segments. There are also function specialists that operate in assistance, telephone debt recovery or telesales, and local centers that can benefit from geographical immediacy to a precise local economy. France is ranked 4th in the world for setting up administration services and call centers in terms of global set-up costs. There are three sectors in France with probably the most call centers and they include Telesales, ICT and Outsourcing and Banking. By incorporating the needs and constraints of call center projects within contractual and structured policies, the French local authorities combined with the AFRC or Association Franзaise de la Relation Client have been able to build up high-tech facilities for the call center sector. The Workforce in France The call center human resources account for about 60 to 80 percent of total working costs for client services making them an important consideration. In general, call centers apply fairly low-wage guidelines. There are 75 percent of client relations agents in France who earn less than 31,150 net per month. Additionally, 70% of employees in France are working full-time and contrary to common mistaken beliefs, call centers mainly employ long-term employees with CDI contracts. After India, France is also the country that employs the most qualified staffs. There are over 60% of centers in France that employ people with at least two years of higher education.
Dealing With A Bad Call Those who work in a call center will tell you of those customers that are just plain mean. Some in fact will attack YOU personally. Why they do isn’t necessarily what you need to be concerned about, there are people who are just prone to being mean. What you need to know is how to deal with the cruel comments and difficult situations. An example of a bad call would be: You answer the call to answer a billing question for your local cable company. The customer immediately says "what the *BLANK* do you people do all day? You are all incompetent idiots...." Then before they conclude their yelling, the customer calls you something horrible. What you do may depend on your personality type, but, recognize you are still required to remain professional. Depending on the policies in your call center, it may be necessary to hand the call off to a supervisor. Some companies allow you to hang up when an abusive caller calls, some companies do not. If you’ve been attacked personally, DON’T take it personally. Keep in mind, this customer doesn’t know you at all. For whatever reason, you have become the recipient for their unhappy day. Do not take their words to heart. It may be that you will need to take five minutes to shake off their comments, but, realize it’s not you, it’s them. If you are feeling really bad about the call, it may be necessary to sit with your supervisor and or CCM to let them know how you feel. Most calls to call centers are recorded, it may be that your CCM and supervisor will listen to the call to get a full picture of what happened. Just remember though, it wasn’t your fault they were rude. It’s your responsibility to answer their questions and do your job. You are responsible for your reactions to their call too. Never let a bad call ware you down. Most customers are good to work with and will thank-you for your help; focus on that instead.
Call Center Supervisors A supervisor in a call center has the special task of motivating staff and encouraging performance of the staff. Supervisors have the drive to make a team want to perform their duties and do them well. A good supervisor leads by example as much as by verbal direction. There are supervisors who take their jobs seriously and some like to have lots of fun. There is of course a need for balance with this role. Determining what that balance is, is mostly dependent on the needs and requirements of the call center. A call center that deals mainly in sales requires a supervisor with an aptitude for working well with people. A good and positive demeanor goes a long way in this role. The task of being a supervisor can be both demanding and challenging. Stress may be one of the elements that drive the supervisor which is alright if it’s being used productively. If however the supervisors stress level is harming his/her performance as a supervisor and is affecting the performance of the telephone representatives, then it may not be the task for them. Choosing a supervisor should be based on a number of criterions. Must have strong people and communication skills Must have an aptitude to handle stress Must be able to act as a liason between the CCM (Call Center Manager) and the Service Representative Must be flexible, open minded, and unbiased The skills related to the job of the Service Representative should be proven from your track record A good attitude is crucial for maintaining a motivated team Being a supervisor can be a fun and rewarding position. Although it may be stressful and demanding, a supervisor with the right rapport can produce excellent call center representatives.
Quality Service Through Customer Satisfaction Customer satisfaction plays an important role in determining the success of call centers. This factor is closely related to profitability. Through the use of consumer surveys, marketers are informed about consumer satisfaction regarding the products. Several surveys helps in predicting consumer behavior, determine how well the product will do in the marketplace and assess the customers’ opinions. While there are entire organizations devoted to market research, there are individual companies that can perform their own market research as well. The Usual Results of a Consumer Survey Long reports usually come back to the company that requested the information. These reports can be very detailed and provide conglomerated answers as well as individual responses to questions. As a simpler alternative, short surveys provide a graphical representation of the data. Through such kinds of surveys, it is easier to comprehend and grasp the required information. There are several reasons why companies conduct consumer surveys though one thing remains the same: the data is of no use unless the company uses it. Some companies analyze their data and do not like the answers, thus neglecting the survey and choose not to do any actions about it. However, there are still others who believe in the consumers’ opinions and use the data to make modifications that will be well-received among customers. Answers from surveys can reflect the company’s actions - positive answers are equal to the company doing well, therefore enabling the company to continue its practices. Consumer surveys provide wonderful insight regarding consumer opinion. The only thing they cannot do is to provide qualitative data. If the company is looking for more in-depth answers, there is a need to conduct focus groups or personal interviews with customers. Sampling a Consumer Survey For the consumer survey to be truly precise, the samples of people asked should be large and random enough. For instance, a readership survey is not truly random since individuals would have to be a reader of a magazine in order to participate in a survey. However, such a survey would have to be accurate enough to measure the opinions of a closed group of reader. As such, the accuracy of the information is relative to the reason meant for it. Designing a Customer Satisfaction Survey It is unnecessary to act on hunches about how the customer feels. Elimination of guesswork and following of simple recommended principles can help the company know where it stands with them. The following is a list of how to design a Customer Satisfaction Survey. * Use the 5-point satisfaction scale. The use of question scales must include descriptive labels in relation with numbers. Additionally, the top end of the scale should mean that the customers are truly impressed with the service. * Inquire on overall satisfaction at the beginning of the survey. Through the use of this method, the company will be able to gauge the customers’ impressions of the product or service even before they begin judging the specific facets of those relationships. * Be consistent with the wording of the questions. It is critical to provide consistency in researches regarding customer satisfaction. * Maintain focus and shortness in the survey. Always focus on the achieving a read on the customers’ relationship with the company. It is important to avoid the temptation of asking everything that the company wants to know. Remember, the more ground the company tries to cover; the more likely it is for the respondents to abandon the survey.
Call Center Careers Call Centers have become one of the largest sources for customer and/or marketing services. Virtually all of the biggest companies and corporations have some form of a call center in place. There are call centers that are hired by outside sources for specified campaigns and others have their own call centers. The hours of operation vary depending on customer demand and the company’s or organizations availability to meet it. Those offering customer service may offer a 24 hour service, either by telephone, email, or chat, while some have set hours of operation. Most telemarketing call centers work afternoons with goals to target the busiest "at home" time for potential sales. Call Centers have become a multi-international medium. Call centers offer customer service inquiries and while other call centers work primarily with sales. Some do even do both. For the individual who considers working in a call center it is good to know just how variable call center services can be. Some work with a minimal wage, offering bonuses and incentives, some have a base pay that is higher with various promotional incentives, and yet others work more on a commission basis with great commissions. In either case, for the right individual, one can make good money within a call center. Some of the difficulties are the endless hours of talking. It can be long hours at a desk, with call after call of people complaining, calling you names, and being down right rude. Some of the better points however, is you get to speak to people from all over. You can make good money and there’s often room for growth and change. In fact, change is one of the things Call Centers are well known for. Whether in sales or offering customer service, for the right person, working in a Call Center can be a fun and well paying career opportunity.
Philippine Call Centers: Reinventing E-commerce If India is moving up in the outsourcing market, the Philippines is gaining a fair share in the customer-contact call center business. It might be low-margin and low-end but it is still considered as an employment boom for the Philippines. For the last five years, the call center business in Makati City, Philippines has grown 100-fold with as much as 200,000 workers; even BPO companies are looking for ways to double their work force. In previous studies, India was still that best choice for American companies seeking outsourcing services. However, those who are seeking cheaper options for more basic services have discovered the Philippines. With the long history of contact with the United States, the Philippines are far more attuned to Western culture than most Asian countries. Employees at call centers not only find it easy to relate to Westerners but are also quick in adapting a variety of accents. Additionally, most call center agents are intensively trained to achieve the accent of the country they will be calling. Philippines have the lowest unit costs, highest quality and lowest attrition rates of any call centers in the world. The country is very well placed not only to compete but possibly to dominate in the sector. The Training and Responsibilities Although call centers in the Philippines began with simply providing e-mail responses and handling services, these aspects have developed to almost all types of customer interactions, including travel services, technical support, financial services, customer care, online business and business support. Like most call centers, the calls handled by call center agents in the Philippines are categorized into outbound and inbound calls. Outbound services available include telemarketing, advisories, reactivation of accounts, loyalty program benefits, sales verification and more. On the other hand, inbound services cover a broad range of services from all types of technical help, transcription, inquiries, complaints and billing. Philippine call center agents adhere to a strict performance metrics and are typically assigned in graveyard shifts. They usually interact with customers from all around the globe mostly from the United States. In addition, call center agents from the country have undergone training processes, which normally entail phone screening, initial interview, examination and a final interview. Top Call Centers in the Philippines In recent news, a major United States newspaper has outsourced customer care to the Philippines. MediaNews Group, one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States, has chosen the APAC Customer Services Inc. for the outsourcing of their customer care. The call center employs about 4,000 college-educated, English-speaking Filipinos in many contact centers. The services will include subscriber retention, delivery, billing inquiries and fielding inbound customer calls. Aside from the APAC Customer Services Inc., there are also other call centers in the Philippines that have gained global appeal. The LogicaCMG is one and is also a major international force in the business and IT services. The company focuses on enabling the customers to build and maintain leadership positions through the use of deep industry knowledge. Call center operations in the Philippines have been credited by several Global BPO providers based on the United States mainly due to its world-class productivity and the ample supply of highly cost-effective human resources. It is also projected that Philippine call centers will have over 300,000 seats, fully employ up to 500,000 Filipinos, and yield as much as $7.3 billion in annual revenues by 2010.
Keeping Fit With A Call Center Job Many agents who work in call center find they end up feeling tired, out of shape, and some even put on weight. The affects of this can be detrimental to you and may cost the company money later if you aren’t able to keep yourself healthy. There are a few suggestions for ensuring good health and fitness if you are at your desk all day; 1. If you are at a desk for more than 4 hours, you need to at least get up and stretch your legs. Even in between your breaks, you can stand at your station and stretch your stiff muscles. Keeping the muscles strong will help in keeping your posture good at the station also. 2. Some call centers offer a fitness center or a membership discount to a local fitness club. If they don’t it may be something you could suggest. While they consider this though, finding an activity that keeps you active minimum of 30 minutes, 3-5 times a week. 3. Eat and drink well. Sitting at your station and drinking soda all the time isn’t a good health choice. If your call center allows snacking, keep your snacks healthy; don’t eat the junk in the candy machines. Make sure you are packing healthy break and lunch foods too. 4. Drink your water! It may make you need to potty more, but, keeping your body well hydrated with water, not coffee or soda, will clean out the toxins your body wouldn’t other be able to get rid of. Ensure you see your medical professionals regularly. Don’t leave anything to chance. You can tell if you aren’t feeling "well" or not. If you have a job where you sit all day, it’s up to you to ensure you balance that with the right activity and nutrition.
There’s No Place like Home: The Home Call Center Many call centers hire remote agents - individuals who work at home. Normally, phone calls are directed to the remote agents, who answer them as if they were working physically in a call center. Nowadays, remote agents are expected to handle more than just phone calls but e-mail or instant message inquiries as well. However, the work mainly depends on the company the remote agent is working for. Most call centers do not directly employ their staffs; instead, they rely on other companies for the recruitment, training and management of those people answering phone calls. The Equipments for a Work-At-Home Call Center Agent In order to become a remote agent or a work-at-home call center agent, there is a variety of equipments required. First on the list of equipments is the computer. It may be advisable to have a computer running on Windows operating system with at least 300 MHz processor. Additionally, there might be a need for an additional 600MB of free space on the hard drive and at least a RAM of 256 MB. These are just the basic overview of the specifications since the specific requirements regarding the speed and memory of the computer may vary from employer to employer. Next is Internet access. Most of the communication that will happen, as well as the actual call center work will be done on the computer and it is necessary to have an email address. Additionally, it is advisable to download a VoIP application or any instant messenger depending on the company’s preference. In order to assist customers in an efficient and timely manner, it is a requirement to have a high speed Internet access via DSL or cable modem of at least 128K. Telephone, especially the traditional corded phone is necessary. VoIP or cellular phones are usually not acceptable, as well as cordless telephones. In addition, it may be required to have the call waiting feature from the phone disconnected since many employers may require an agent who can solely take work-related phone calls. This can also minimize the chance of receiving calls that are not work-related during the shift. The Do’s Of Telephone Etiquette for a Remote Agent It is necessary to have excellent phone skills when working as a remote agent. Take time to listen and understand what the customers are saying. By doing this, the customers would feel respected and important, which can increase satisfaction and retention. Additionally, always be aware of the tone of your voice - be upbeat and enthusiastic. Usually, negative response from a caller results from the agent’s tone of voice. It is important to sound happy and inviting to achieve positive reactions from the customers. Asking questions can prevent dead air when you are looking for or typing information for the customer. This skill normally takes time to develop but you can start by asking simple questions about the caller’s needs and show that you care about his or her queries. Through practice and diligence, anyone can be a successful remote agent. However, it is important to undergo training and collect knowledge, which are useful in handling phone calls successfully. Remember, training materials should always be kept on your workstation to help you refresh your memory and ensure that you are not only following the policies set by the company but also be able to handle any calls that come you way.
The New Way of Helping Consumers: Customer Service Call Center Call centers have been the human crossing point for years in several areas including order-taking, catalog sales, post-sale service, and telephone solicitation. With the booming of e-commerce, call centers are becoming more important since they play roles in organizations without the need for other physical presence or human contact. Nowadays, customer services have taken many forms. Consumers expect that they will be able to obtain the same quality of services and answers through whatever medium convenient for them; e-mail sending, filling out forms, telephone calls or even through online services. So, what are the requirements of establishing a customer service call center? To answer that question, exploring the elements, connections, and overall skills involved is necessary. The Elements of a Customer Service Call Center Having a good customer service and knowing the elements are not that difficult to determine. In some way, it can also be helpful if one places himself or herself on the consumer standpoint. Elements of a good customer service normally include the requirements for the agent. It does not necessary end with good communication skills but a complete understanding about the product or the service as well. Aside from those qualities, someone who is able to listen to the consumer’s situation and needs is also necessary. Additionally, the agent should also be empowered and intelligent enough to resolve the situation effectively. But most importantly, the element of a good customer service is someone who can treat a consumer with respect. The Methods of Connecting With the Consumer The methods of communication with the consumer can help determine the issue of staffing levels and technology. However, besides the volume of requests for information or calls, it is important to also consider other issues. Such issues may include the difference in time zones between you and the customer, consumers who are using the company’s services or products at some time other than business hours and the total variation in the volume of calls. Nowadays, customers may also require the staff to be available in a number of ways, such as: on the phone, by fax, by e-mail, by VRU or Voice Response Unit, by interactive ways on the Internet, or even in person. Taking into account all these factors can help in determining the staffing levels and the technology going to be used as a method of customer communication. The Overall Agent Skills Basically, agents are required to achieve some sort of exemplary caliber regarding communication skills. Although, agents must also be screened for their writing abilities since there are customer services requiring e-mail responses. Agents should also be proficient in utilizing the equipments. By orienting them about the proper use of several tools in the office, bungling transfers, sending e-mails to wrong addresses and other fumbles can be easily avoided, thus maintaining the company’s credibility. Most importantly, the agents should have the knowledge about the company’s products and services. It may be helpful to provide them with materials that can help them answer the questions from the customers. Listening and judgment skills are also important. Customer satisfaction is easily the most important goal of any call center. It is critical to train agents who are deeply enthusiastic about their job and are able to provide terrific services. Customer service is probably the hardest and most challenging aspect of any businesses. By developing the proper system for handling customer service, fortunately, can help the company establish its name on the market.
Being A Successful Call Center Agent SALES: Telemarketing is not as easy as it looks. Telemarketing involves talking on the phone to someone you do not know and trying to convince them to buy a product, use a service, or sign up for a special offer. Here are some things you can do to be successful. 1. Be motivated. The overall motivation will determine how they speak to people. So, successful telemarketers are very motivated to do the job. 2. Product knowledge. In order to successfully speak about a product or a service, the telemarketer must know about the product or the service. Call Centers who train their employees effectively have greater sales volumes. 3. Good Attitude. Attitude is evident on the phone. People can tell how you feel by the way you speak. When someone is happy and excited, those emotions will palatable, even on the phone. Angry, upset, or frustrated telemarketers are usually not successful. 4. Personalize your rapport. A good telemarketer will know the customer or at least build a good rapport. Know when it is a good time to call. Calling during dinner, early in the morning, or late at night will not be successful. 5. Listen. Listening to what the customer has to say creates a mutual respect between you and the customer. Their comments and input can help you guide the direction of your call. 6. Set goals. If you are able to visualize your success you will want to work as hard and professionally as possible to ensure your sales are the best.. Many telemarketers receive bonuses or rewards for a job well done. 7. Embrace success. Be happy with your success. Make note of what’s worked for you, and what has not. Seeing your growth and potential for further growth will continue to empower you and your telemarketing skills. Remember; Telemarketing is not an easy job, but it can be a very successful and rewarding job by following these simple steps.
Tips For Call Center Reps If you are stuck at a desk all day you may find you are more prone to getting tired, having stiff achy muscles and many complain of sore backs, hips, shoulders and so forth. Knowing what you can do to help yourself is helpful. Here are some tips sitting properly at your desk; 1. Both feet should be flat on the floor. This prevents the front of the seat pressing into the backs of the thighs and impeding the circulation to the feet. In this position, the body weight is evenly distributed over the thighs and the buttocks. 2. Correct seat depth. There is room for a clenched fist between the back of the knee and the edge of the seat, and the back is against the backrest. 3. The backrest provides lumbar support, (lower back.) When a person is sitting on a horizontal seat, the lumbar region tends to adopt a rounded curve, imposing a twisted or uneven load on discs. A correctly adjusted lumbar support will maintain the natural curvature of the back. 4. The armrests should be adjusted to provide support that relieves unnecessary tension in the neck and shoulders. The arms may be supported by the armrests, the desk top or both. 5. Adjust the height of the desk so that the forearms/wrists can rest on the desk top. Knowing that you can prevent much of your discomfort it beneficial; if your workplace does not have proper chairs, you may need to address it to the health and safety committee. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure you are comfortable at your desk.
Call Center Managers Being the CCM (Call Center Manager) is a huge responsibility. Your job is to keep your supervisors on track, ensure your representatives are happy, and ensure that the sales/services being offered are meeting and/or excelling company requirements. There’s more to being a CCM than just being a boss. You are the head of a team. This team of individuals will be watching your actions as much as they will hear what you say. Being able to "speak" what is expected will only go so far; in order to keep your representatives working well, you need to lead by example. The call centers that are doing well can link their successes in great part to the activities of the CCM. A call center that has a poor success rate, again, can link the problem most often, to the CCM. The job of the CCM isn’t just keeping books, keeping tabs on people, and making demands, he/she must make every effort to keep the staff feeling like they are critically important. The representatives that are happy with their CCM will work hard to ensure they meet the company’s requirements. The representative who feels like a mere number will act as such. Your representatives are the key link between the company and the customer. An unhappy representative can be heard by the customer, and this may and often does, greatly impact the feelings the customer has of the company. As a CCM be willing to listen, be willing to be a part of a team, not just the manager, and be willing to care. Your job is dependent on your representatives doing well, remembering that will greatly ensure a great representative team.
The Call Center Job There are some skills and attributes that make a good call center representative. Here are the general requirements for this job; Main duties The following is a summary of main duties for some occupations in this unit group: * Direct distributors, contact potential customers by phone or through personal contacts, demonstrate and sell products directly to individual customers or at sales parties and deliver purchased goods to customers. * Door-to-door salespersons solicit sales and sell merchandise to residents of private homes. * Street vendors set up and display merchandise on sidewalks or at public events to sell to the public. * Telephone solicitors and telemarketers contact businesses or private individuals, by telephone, to solicit sales for goods or services or conduct market surveys * Demonstrators arrange sales demonstration appointments, and show, describe and sell goods or services at wholesale, retail and industrial establishments, and at exhibitions, trade shows and private homes. Employment requirements * Some secondary school education is usually required. High school graduation may be required by some employers. * Self-employed street vendors and door-to-door salespersons may require a municipal merchant's permit. Additional information * Progression to related supervisory positions is possible with additional training or experience. Where applicable, call centers set up training and resources to gain and keep the skills of their works up to date and competitive.
Quality and Quantity: The Call Centers of India India has always been the preferred outsourcing location for most global organizations. This is because call centers in India offers a wide variety of advantages that other countries normally do not offer. Currently, having call centers in India has become the norm for several global companies. India has been able to effectively meet the growing international demand for call center outsourcing services by giving cost-effective services and consumer-oriented call centers. There are several international organizations that are also setting up call centers in India due to the large number or qualified workforce and cost-effective call center outsourcing services. The Workforce and Specialized Outsourcing Services Probably one of the reasons why many organizations choose India as an outsourcing location is the workforce. The call centers in India contain a large number of competent, trained, IT literate, experienced and skilled professionals. Additionally, India also has the largest English-speaking population after the United States. The large and well-educated workforce in India has also been one of the main advantages India has over other countries. The increasing number of college graduates and successful training industries help India in continuing with the production of well-educated and tech-savvy workforce. All these factors ensure that India’s resources will keep on increasing year after year. The large manpower India has is also willing to work for a lesser price. Normally in a call center operation, the manpower accounts for 55 to 60 percent of the total cost. However in India, the manpower is available at a fraction of the cost overseas. The initial investment in training and infrastructure is expensive making a person believe that the promise of reducing the cost is false. However, the fact that several global giants still set up call centers in India is proof enough. Aside from the workforce, current call centers in India also have experience in offering a variety of call center outsourcing services, including outbound telemarketing services, CATI services, inbound call center services, technical helpdesk services, email support services, chat support services and disaster recovery services amongst others. They can also provide a host of IT-enabled services, such as: helpdesk services, transaction processing services, accounting services, remote network management and end-to-end processing. Expert product solutions, like risk modeling, actuarial services, underwriting variation analysis, and data mining are also available. It is evident that call centers in India have state-of-the-art technology, people, resources, operational expertise and processes all utilized to provide specialized outsourcing services. Time Zone Advantages and Cost-effective Call Center Services Another reason why several global organizations outsource call centers to India is because of its time zone advantages. The twelve hour time difference in India enables organizations worldwide to provide customers with 24/7/365 days services. By taking advantage of the time difference in India, companies in the United States are able to ensure that their customers receive round-the-clock customer support. An important factor in outsourcing call centers is the cost-effectiveness. Call centers in India offer cost-effect services for customer support without compromising the quality. With the low cost of manpower available, call centers in the country have been able to provide high-quality services at a cost which is more than 50% less if performed in the United Kingdom or United States. These reasons have encouraged several companies around the globe to outsource call centers in India since they can access quality services at reasonable prices.
Call Center Challenges Being in a call center day after day can pose its own challenges. Depending on the call center, you may have a room full of people sitting in close quarters to each other divided simply by a wall. These stations are called "cubicles". In close quarters they are required to answer or make call after call, after call. Many representatives find they get very thirsty when they are talking all the time. Call centers generally do allow the agent to have a drink at their cubicle, but, often the demand of the calls hinders the representatives ability to use the restroom (washroom) when need be. Most call centers have a strict policy on how many breaks are permitted. They do this in order to keep up with the demand. The down side to these policies is that it can become a health issue. Women or men prone to urinary tract infections will need to use the washroom more frequently. Keeping in mind that pregnant women too, require many trips to the washroom. Another challenge in call centers is that in these close quarters, colds and the flu can spread quickly. Being on the phone a lot, it’s difficult to do you job with a sore throat or stuffy nose. Although call centers generally impose a "hands washing" policy, not all persons follow this to the letter. Sanitary cleansers are readily available in many centers to further acts as an aid to minimize these viral agents from spreading. Knowing that you can’t always take a day off, it’s helpful when working in a call center to remember to keep your station and your self as sanitary as possible. Remember if you have the flu or a cold take care not to spread it. You can do this by simply following the policy of hand washing your company should already have in place.
What You Need To Know About Virtual Call Centers By definition, virtual call centers are call centers wherein the organization’s representatives are dispersed geographically, rather than being located at work stations in a building operated by the organization. Employees of virtual call centers can be situated in groups in a number of smaller centers though most often they work from their own homes. Virtual call centers are effective arrangements for several employees. From the organization’s standpoint, it can also be beneficial in terms of cutting the costs of housing and equipment, thus normally leading to lower employee turnover rates. Benefits of the Virtual Call Centers For starters, the virtual call center can provide the benefit of extended service hours. There are companies who are searching for 24-hour communications with the customer. With a virtual call center, it is easy to manage workers based on their time zones and work time preferences. Additionally, for some employees, this can include the offset hours of the day. The benefit of recognizing productivity improvements is also existent. For several individuals, working from home is more comfortable and more productive than being in a sometimes noisy office environment. The virtual call center can provide a place of employment that both the employee and the employer can benefit from. Nowadays, the latest trend in employment seems to be working from home. It is appealing for a number of workers and through virtual call centers, it is even possible. Virtual call centers remove the barrier of staying home to work allowing several employees from all over the globe to be utilized. Additionally, through the use of IP-based services, virtual call centers can be based anywhere in the world providing no geographical limitations. Advantages of Virtual Call Centers The final question would be, why should a company even consider setting up a virtual call center? There are several advantages to this kind of setup that uses the concept of telecommuting and combines it with top-notch networking technology. Company would be glad to know that operating a virtual call center is less expensive and more cost-effective compared to running a center that is centrally-located. This can be for that reason that once the system is in place, the administration and coordination associated with running a large office is eliminated. Employees can obtain the right to work, meetings can get started in no time, and the overall energy can be devoted to the task at hand, thus providing excellent customer service. Empowering call center agents through a virtual call center to work remotely from a location near their home lessens the time and energy agents use each day not working. This only means that agents can be more efficient and provide the company, they work for, more value. Additionally, virtual call centers allow companies efficiently stagger agents in diverse time zones to react to variations of call volume without having to synchronize several centers around the country. To improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, it is important to know what the customers need. Normally, customers want to talk to call center agents who are helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. They also desire to have their questions addressed in a timely way, if possible through first call resolution. By helping ensure that the best agent to answer a given question is available, the company can guarantee that customer satisfaction will improve. Setting up a virtual call center provide companies a new level of flexibility to hire the best agents; those who have specialized knowledge or possible live in advantageous time zones.