No doubt you’ve heard the phrase “Call Center” (or Call Centre for you UK people), but do you understand what a call center is? Do you know what they do, how they’re paid, how much they cost? If you can’t answer those questions, this page is perfect for you.
What is a Call Center?
A call center is exactly what it sounds like. A place where calls are entertained by phone operators with the aid of actual phones or broadband supported telecoms line. It is a large room or offices that include at least a phone and a person. Inside that cubicle or office, that person answers the phone for at least one company whom he does not work directly for. He is hired by the call center to work on at least one company account, answering the phone for that company.
For example, John is hired by ABC Call Centers to work in Bangladesh. ABC Call Centers signs a contract with Big Widget Manufacturing in Florida. John will begin with customer service for Big Widget Manufacturing and answers the phone as if he is sitting at an office at Big Widget Manufacturing in Florida. John is given information and trained in the steps that Big Widget Manufacturing wants him to take with each customer who calls him in Bangladesh, India. John is still working for ABC Call Centers, but his client is Big Widget Manufacturing. His paycheck comes from ABC Call Centers and his immediate supervisor works with him at ABC Call Centers in India.
Who Uses a Call Center
You would be surprised at how many companies have a call center located away from their main office. Next time you need customer service for any Fortune 500 company, listen to the accent of the person you call on the phone, if they don’t sound how you expected them to sound, they probably work at a call center. Last time I called Cingular I talked to a man named Rakeem who said he was in Banglore. Apple Inc. is one of the few companies that I call regularly and talk to someone who sounds like a native English speaker.
Should you use a Call Center?
Each company should look at two things before deciding on whether they should outsource their receiving and making call operation.
If you currently employ a single person who answers 10 calls per day, your operation is probably still to small to justify the cost of a call center. If you employ a full time person answering 50 calls per day, then a call center might be a justified cost. The beauty of a call center is in the costs you’ll be paying.
Money isn’t the only cost you’ll be paying. If your customers are primarily based in the U.S. and you hire a call center in a foreign country, you’ll not only surprise them, but you might lose some customers due to language barriers. If you are able to keep your level of customer service as high as possible you should be able to keep a great majority of your current clients.
If you’ll be saving $100 per month by outsourcing to a call center, it probably isn’t worth the time you’ll need to spend setting it up and making sure everything is running smoothly. If however the cost savings will be $10,000 per month because you won’t be employing two current employees, then you might want to start looking into call centers.
When speaking of savings, remember that someone sitting in the office next to you is easier to train, easier to hire, easier to fire, and it is easier to make sure they’re doing the job to your standards. If your call center is 5,000 miles away you’ll have to relinquish that control.
Hiring a call center shouldn’t be something that is decided in a single day. Give yourself time to research the different companies that provide the service, check costs, get recommendations and find out if this is really what you want.
Types of Call Centers
There are many different types of call centers, each catering to a different client.
OUTBOUND CALL CENTER
INBOUND CALL CENTER