Is Outsourcing To A Contact Center Right For My Business?

Long gone are the days of old and outdated call centers, where customer service came last and calls per hour was the most important performance metric. We are now in the era of the modern contact center, where customer service is the number one priority. Modern contact centers have emerged as the new way to approach customer service and offer large and small businesses a number of benefits. We have come up with a list of 6 reasons why you should outsource your customer service to an experienced contact center.

 

Tools

Modern contact centers use several formats to reach your customers. Experienced centers leverage social media, email, live chats and mail in addition to traditional phone calls. Having the ability to communicate with your customers in the method they prefer will improve their experience as a whole.

 

Cost Savings

Perhaps the biggest benefit of using a contact center to manage your customer service, is the cost savings. Contact centers spread the equipment, facility, training, and other costs among their clients, which can save large and small business in overhead costs. In addition, contact centers are adept at planning for the peaks and valleys of customer inquiries and can schedule staff accordingly – another cost-savings. In addition, clients also have the ability to pool their resources with other clients and effectively share agents, therefore reducing costs as well. High-quality contact centers have the skills, equipment, and staff needed to deliver top-notch customer service at a price you can afford.

 

Quality Control

Contact centers thrive when their clients and customers are happy. All excellent contact centers have rigorous quality control processes in place to make sure you and your customers receive top-notch service.

 

Latest Technology and Systems

Reputable contact centers ensure that their employees, and in return their clients, have access to the latest technology and systems used to reach customers. It is in your contact center’s best interest to keep up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies to ensure they remain competitive.

 

Availability

When you outsource your customer service to a contact center, you can choose your availability based on your customer’s needs. Whether you need to handle customer questions 24/7 or for a few hours each day, a dedicated contact center can help you meet these needs.

 

Language Skills

Many experienced contact centers employ associates that speak more than one language, like English and French. By outsourcing your customer service to a bilingual contact center, you can ensure that you meet even more of your customers’ needs.

 

No matter if you are a Fortune 500 company or a small business, hiring an experienced contact center to manage your customer service is great for business. Whether you are interested in saving money, need to provide customer service for extended hours, need bilingual staff, or are looking for new and creative ways to communicate with your customers, look into utilizing a modern contact center for all your customer service needs.

 

What Are Appointment Setting Services?

In the competitive modern marketplace, staying connected with clients and customers is more vital than ever before to the growth of a business. With the rise of the internet and the online world, consumers now have more choices available to them than at any previous point in history – literally at their fingertips. As with any relationship, steadfast communication is the key to fostering a positive and long-lasting bond with customers and clients. One method of keeping in touch with clientele is through Appointment Setting Services such as those offered by KPI Connect.

 

What Are Appointment Setting Services?

 

For businesses everywhere, scheduling, confirming, and rescheduling appointments are essential daily tasks that can eat up a significant chunk of time. From multinational corporations to local start-ups, sales offices, and medical clinics, countless hours of productivity are lost each week due to this monotonous process. Traditionally, these duties have been handled in-house by existing staff members whose time could be better spent elsewhere or by the hiring and training of additional staff. Rather than dealing with the hassle themselves, many companies have chosen to outsource this basic business need to a reputable contact center experienced in providing a range of appointment setting services.

 

A Friendly Voice

 

When you use professional appointment setting services, you can rest assured that customers and potential customers alike will be pleasantly greeted by a friendly and helpful voice who will be able to fulfill whatever needs and also answer any questions they may have. As an extension of your office, appointment setting specialists undergo extensive training in order to accurately represent your business using customized scripts and services tailored to suit your requirements. In addition to setting up, confirming, and rescheduling appointments with existing clients, specialists can help to generate sales leads through cold calling, resolve customer service problems, issue automated reminders, and provide information about the products and services your company offers.

 

Experience the Freedom

 

By outsourcing your appointment setting services, your talented in-house staff can focus their efforts on more crucial aspects of the daily operation of your business. Without the added responsibilities of scheduling appointments, your office can run more efficiently on a day-to-day basis. Thanks to the extended hours offered by KPI Connect, customers can enjoy the freedom of communicating with a representative of your company outside of traditional office hours when it is most convenient for them.

 

Who Uses Appointment Setting Services?

 

While the short answer is that virtually any business could stand to benefit from appointment setting services, they are particularly valuable to smaller companies and independent start-ups that have neither the budget nor the physical space to devote to an in-house department. Because the services offered are so versatile and adaptable, almost any industry can make use of them, including financial firms, health care clinics, real estate agents, and any others who rely on appointment setting as a core element of their business model. Regardless of industry, clients appreciate the ease and convenience afforded by these services, ensuring complete satisfaction and long-term customer retention.

 

 

Should You Have a Bilingual Customer Service Department?

If you do not have bilingual customer service agents working in your customer service department, your customers are definitely missing out. By having agents who can speak two languages, they can speak to a larger number of customers, which could mean improved sales and profit for your company. Without them, any customer that calls in and does not speak English is going to be frustrated by the language barrier. Here are some things you need to know about having a bilingual customer service department in Canada:

 

Why French?

 

According to the 2016 census, 7.2 million people speak French in Canada. Most of these French-speaking citizens live in Quebec, where 95% of people are francophone. Because of this, the federal government passed the Official Languages Act in 1969. This means that both French and English are the official languages of Canada, and they’re both in equal standing with each other. So, if your calls come from Canada, it is very likely that you may get a customer is going to speak only French.

 

The immersion of the French language in culture is not unique to Canada, either. French is one of the most widely used languages in the world, with 225 million francophones worldwide. It is becoming more and more popular, and that number is expected to jump to 700 million worldwide by 2050. It is the official language of 29 countries. In Europe, where the majority of francophone population live, the only language that currently surpasses French is German. However, more and more people are speaking French, and French is expected to be spoken by more people than German by the year 2025. The language is spoken on every continent, and it is somewhere between the 6th and the 8th most used language on the internet. So, bilingual customer service agents who can speak French are a great idea to increase the ability of your business to handle people of this tongue.

 

Bilingual Customer Service Agents

 

With industry and technology advancing so rapidly, it is becoming more important to utilize bilingual customer service agents in your customer service department. As your company’s client base grows, so will the variety in your customers. With bilingual customer service agents, your company will not only be better able to service your Canadian customer base, you will have access to an international market.

 

Language barriers between your customer service agents and your customers can be incredibly frustrating for everyone involved. Your CSAs will not be able to understand your customers, and your customers will likely become frustrated when their questions and concerns can’t be attended to because of the barrier. It is easy to see how this can make your customer satisfaction rating go down.

 

Outsourcing Customer Service

 

In order to hire bilingual customer service agents, you would likely have to pay them more per hour than standard agents. You would also have to verify their fluency in the language to make sure they can actually speak French well enough to assist your customers. However, if you outsource your customer service calls, you will have access to bilingual customer service agents that the call center has already hired. This is less expensive to your company, it saves you time, and your customer service department will be better equipped to handle your customers’ questions.

 

All these reasons, and many more, are why you should have a bilingual customer service department or outsource your calls to a customer service call center that features bilingual services. The repeat business from happy non-English-speaking customers will most likely offer big returns, making it worth the effort.

 

Improve The Efficiency Of Your Customer Service Department

It does not really matter how great your product or service is, customers tend to remember their interaction with your company more. It is for this reason that a good customer service team and fast responses can improve the overall image of your company.

If your customers are experiencing long hold times, they will hang up, and every lost call is a potential customer lost. However, there are ways to improve the efficiency of your customer service department and ensure that your customers have a good experience with your company with every contact.

 

Service Level and Occupancy Rate

 

There are two important measurements used in call centers to determine their efficiency: Service Level and Occupancy Rate.

There are two different parameters of measurement to determine what the “Service Level” is:

 

  1. Whether the agents at the call center are able to answer the calls
  2. The quickness of the agent’s ability is to help customers and resolve queries or concerns

 

Occupancy Rate refers to the total call handling time and total after call work time and subtracts agents’ idle time. High occupancy rates indicate low agent availability and long hold times, which can lead to call drops and low service levels.

 

If your call volume exceeds the number of customer service agents you have, you are going to have a high occupancy rate. This is very stressful for customer service agents, because they are over-worked. This causes them to be stressed out and can lead to high turnover rates. You may have customer service agents who are well-trained and possess all of the skills and qualities needed to provide good customer service, but if they are over-worked and feeling stressed, they will not be able to empathize as efficiently with customers in order to provide good customer service.

 

One of the best solutions to this problem is to outsource your customer service calls to a call center. This eases the workload of your employees, so they will be better able to do their jobs.

Contrary to popular belief, it does not take jobs away from your employees, but rather makes their jobs easier and leaves them happier. There are also many other benefits to outsourcing, as well.

 

Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Customer Service Department

 

Answer more calls

During peak call times, it can be very difficult for a handful of in-house employees to answer all of the calls. They may not have the experience needed to get through the calls quickly enough and then answer the next call before the customer hangs up. Also, whenever your office closes, there is no one there to answer calls after-hours.

A call center solves all of these problems. Their customer service agents are trained to handle calls quickly and efficiently. Fewer calls will be dropped due to long hold times because they hire ample agents that are very well trained. Some call centers, like KPI Connect, even offer after-hours operations, answering calls after you have gone home.

 

Customer Satisfaction

It does not matter why your customers call, they expect someone to answer when they call. If their calls are not answered, or if the hold times are too long, it leads to low customer satisfaction levels. However, with outsourcing, none of these problems are present. Not only are the agents trained to portray your company’s image and make your customers happy, they are trained to do it quickly, as well.

 

Increased Sales and Profits

You might be thinking that outsourcing is going to cost more money than it is worth. However, it can actually increase your profits. Simply by answering all of the calls, your profits will grow. Happy customers are likely to buy more, meaning there is potential for even more growth.

 

Outsourcing is not a decision you should make without some consideration. Lots of people have reservations about it but, consider the amount of benefits that outweigh the drawbacks and the potential to make your employees and customers happier. It is a great idea to at least consider outsourcing your customer service calls. It would most likely increase the efficiency of your customer service department and increase your profits, which is a good enough perk that most businesses would not pass up on.

The Drawbacks of an In-House Call Center

Regardless of what kind of business you are running, having a prompt and efficient customer service department is imperative. There is no better way to foster strong customer relations, boost your retention rates, and increase loyalty to your brand than through solid customer service. However, as your business expands you will likely come across the expected growing pains, such as more questions and feedback from your consumer base. If your customer service department is not fully prepared to deal with these demands, it can seriously damage your company’s image and reputation.

 

An in-house call center can work in certain situations, but when a business experiences growth, the shortcomings of keeping it in-house quickly become apparent. Before getting to that point, it is a better idea to examine all the potential drawbacks of maintaining a call center in-house.

 

Time Requirements

 

Time is a resource that is crucial in all aspects of business, and doubly so when it comes to customer service. Running a call center in-house will require considerable amounts of time from your employees. Every call from a customer must be received, every question answered, and all feedback heard. With an in-house call center, this means that you employees are tied to the phones, which doesn’t leave them with much time to attend to any other important or day-to-day duties that they may have.

 

A simple solution to this problem is outsourcing the call center duties. Once you do so, your in-house staff can return their attention to the tasks that are vital to keeping your company running in top form. What is more, when you outsource, all your call center duties will be handled by trained professionals whose primary focus is dealing with everything that customer service entails.

 

Hiring Call Center Exclusive Staff

 

Some businesses can’t afford to assign their existing employees to call center duties. If that is the case, the next step is to hire and train staff exclusive to the call center. You will also require IT experts and HR agents in order to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Unfortunately, the choice to hire staff to handle all aspects of the in-house call center is something that comes with a hefty price tag attached, particularly if extensive training is needed.

 

Rather than going through the entire recruitment, hiring, and training process, outsourcing your call center can actually cost you less in the long run. You will get access to agents that are already trained in customer service and call center technology, saving you the cost of training and IT and HR requirements.

 

The Cost of Call-Center Infrastructure

 

Incorporating call center infrastructure into your existing business is going to be a large expense, and not one that should be taken lightly. Consider everything that is required for essential call center operations: adequate office space, agent workstations, and all relevant technology and hardware. These costs can be an incredible drain on your resources and what is more, those costs will likely increase over the years due to upgrade necessity and maintenance requirements.

 

Outsourcing your call center needs can spare you these costs and in addition, be a far more affordable solution in the years to come. All maintenance and upgrades will be dealt with by the outsourcing company, removing that particular problem from your yearly to-do list.

 

Outsourcing is the Solution

 

Dealing with customer service in-house is no small task and will require serious commitment, funding, and time that you, your employees, and your business may not be able to spare. An argument in favor of in-house call centers is the aspect of control, but if you choose to partner with a reliable, trusted outsourcing company, like KPI Connect, that will not be an issue. Instead, the company will work together with you in order to ensure that all call center operations are handled exactly the way you want. Call KPI Connect to find out how we can help you.

Professional Call Center Etiquette

So much of modern communication takes place on a screen – text messages, email correspondence, online chat, social media – that proper telephone etiquette often falls by the wayside. Since voice contact still accounts for a large daily part of a business, professional call centers value a respectful and responsible approach when dealing with customers over the phone. Successful call centers are built from the way they conduct themselves on the phone, which requires a unique set of skills and adherence to guidelines that are to be followed.

 

First Impressions Count

 

With every call taken, call center agents are not only ensuring that all calls are answered promptly, but also serving as first contact between the brand they represent and the customer. As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so it is vital to put your best foot forward as soon as the phone rings. Since a majority of people hang up if their call is not answered within five or six rings, always answer the phone as quickly as possible to avoid losing potential customers and giving the indication that the company is slow or indifferent.

 

Polite and Friendly

 

Throughout the call, keep in mind that the customer’s experience with you will help to form their initial opinion of the company you are representing. Adopt a polite and informative disposition and pair it with a personable, helpful, and confident tone. Conversing on the phone is much different than communicating online or talking face-to-face because there is no visible body language or facial expressions that one can use to help decipher meaning, and minimal time to formulate a response. Professional phone conversations hinge on the manner in which you conduct yourself and your tone of voice – remember, what you say is as important as how you say it.

 

Know Your Stuff

 

Before and during each call, make sure you know what you are going to say before you say it. You may find it useful to take the guesswork out of the equation by answering the phone each time with a standardized greeting that makes the customer feel welcomed, appreciated, and reassured. From there, pay close attention to the customer’s words and provide assistance where you can. If they need to be transferred to another department, be certain that you make the right connection and introduce the customer by explaining their concerns so that they do not have to repeat their story to the next person.

 

Permission to Hold

 

We have all been there – your call finally gets picked up, only to immediately be banished to “hold purgatory” with nary a word. It is disappointing, confusing, and aggravating. If you answer the phone under less-than-ideal circumstances and absolutely need to put the caller on hold right away, always ask first. As long as you answer politely, thank them for calling, and ask respectfully if they would not mind holding, most people are willing to wait a few extra moments to receive your undivided attention. They will not wait forever though, so try not to leave them on hold for longer than 45 seconds.

 

The Right Ending

 

When the call is coming to an end, remain warm and patient and refrain from rushing the customer off the line. Once you have asked if you can provide any further assistance, thank the customer for their call and use their name to firmly establish a personal connection as you wish them all the best for the rest of their day. Finally, do not terminate the call until the customer hangs up. By practicing proper phone etiquette, you can help to create a long-lasting relationship between company and customer.

 

At KPI Connect we have trained all our staff in proper phone etiquette to be sure that they are representing your brand with the out-most respect to your customers.