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.