A call center provides customer service and support via telephone. There are different types of call centers. Therefore, each one runs a little differently from the other. Nonetheless, each must obtain contracts, fulfill them, and collect payment.
This article digs into how call centers work, the different types of businesses, and essential contracts to build.
How Call Center Works – Inbound Call Centers vs. Outbound Call Centers
The two primary business models for call centers are inbound and outbound.
Inbound Call Centers
In inbound call centers, customers call the company for assistance. The most common type of inbound call center is customer service. When customers have a question about a product or service, they contact the company through the customer service line. The goal of customer service is to answer the customer’s questions and solve any problems they have.
Other types of inbound call centers include tech support and sales.
Outbound Call Centers
Outbound call centers make calls to customers instead of the other way around. The most common type of outbound call center is telemarketing. In this case, call center agents make sales calls to potential customers. Then, they try to sell them a product or service.
Other types of outbound call centers include appointment setting and lead generation.
Additional Call Center Types
Other call center types are:
- Virtual Call Centers: These call centers don’t have a physical location. Instead, the agents work from home.
- Automated Call Centers: These call centers use an automated system to place or answer calls.
- Multilingual Call Centers: These call centers provide service in more than one language.
Typical Call Center Services
The three main types of call center services are customer care, technical support, and market research.
Customer Care and Technical Support
Customer care and technical support are very similar. The main difference is that customer care handles questions about products or services, while technical support deals with questions about how to use a product or service.
Both types of call centers strive to provide excellent customer service. They want to answer the customer’s questions and solve any problems they have.
Market research call centers conduct surveys over the phone. For example, they collect data about customer preferences and how they feel about a product or service. This information is then used to help companies make decisions about their products and services.
What Do Call Centers Offer?
The types of services offered by call centers vary. However, there are some common services that most call centers provide.
Answer Customer Queries
The most common type of call center service is answering customer questions. Call center agents are trained to handle customer queries. They know how to defuse angry customers and upsell products or services.
Obtain Customer Feedback
Another standard call center service is obtaining customer feedback. Call center agents contact customers after they have used a product or service. They ask them how they liked it and if they have any suggestions for improvement.
Make Sales Calls
Many call centers also make sales calls. In this case, the call center agent contacts potential customers and tries to sell them a product or service.
Another common service offered by call centers is scheduling appointments. In this case, the call center agent calls customers and sets up appointments for salespeople or other company representatives to meet with them.
Some call centers also collect payments from customers. In this case, the call center agent contacts the customer and collects payment for a product or service.
The services offered by call centers vary depending on the type of call center it is. For example, inbound call centers usually offer customer service, while outbound call centers make sales calls.
Obtain Business Contracts
Call centers require customers, and to obtain customers, they must obtain business contracts. It’s easier to find contracts when you have established the type of call center you want to open and the services it will provide.
Consider the following strategies to obtain contracts as a call center.
Attend industry events and meet with potential clients.
Using a Call Center Broker
A call center broker is a person who matches call centers with businesses that need their services.
Write proposals outlining the services your call center can provide and send them to potential clients.
Asking for Referrals
Ask satisfied customers to refer other businesses to your call center.
Creating a Project Management Plan
Once you have obtained a business contract, you need to create a project management plan. This plan will outline how the call center will complete the project.
The project management plan should include:
- A schedule of when the project will be completed
- Tasks that need to be completed
- Who will be responsible for each task
- The resources that will be used
- The budget
Payment Arrangements for the Contract
Once the project management plan is in place, you need to make payment arrangements. First, you will need to agree on a price with the client and decide how and when you will be paid.
There are several options for payment, including:
- Hourly rate
- Per-call rate
- Monthly fee
Choose the option that is best for your call center and the project you are working on.
If you are thinking of starting a call center, you must understand how they work and what services they offer. Use this information to help you get started in the call center business.