All you need to know about call centers

What is a call center?

Call centers have since their inception grown to become an integral part of many large businesses. Before we go further into the discussion about them, let’s get an accurate definition of what a call center is.

A call center is a section of the larger business setup that is responsible for handling incoming and outgoing calls from both already existent clients as well as new ones. It’s important to have this definition in mind as a lot of people have them confused with contact centers which although are quite similar, are another different thing all in all.

Types of Call Centers

Here we take a brief look at some of the common types of call centers operational globally based on the job descriptions of the active personnel:

A.    International

An international call center, as the name implies, deals with calls for clients based in another country other than where it is located. Some degree of training and cultural awareness is made by employers to the employees in this type of call center so that they can effectively handle the calls.

B.    Domestic

This class of call centers is responsible for dealing with clients or customers located within the same region or country as the call center.

C.    Outbound

An outbound call center has personnel tasked with making calls to a specified target client list. This may due to a number of reasons which may be:
-    To rectify a sales issue reported by a client.
-    To address issues registered by the clients in question.
-    For marketing purposes.
-    To alert new customers of what the company is offering.
-    To update existing clients on what new stuff is available.

D.    Inbound

This is the type most people are used to. Personnel here receive calls from clients and respond to them based on the nature of the call be it for product inquiries or other kinds of queries.

Types of Call Center Software

Ultimately to have a proper and well working call center, you need the right kind of tools and investment. Here we take gloss over 4 types of available call center software to help you Choose the right system for your business.

I.    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

In its essence, this type of software’s functionality has two primary points to it; to act as a database for various information and data as well as an element to enhance productivity by automating some processes off of the data stored in the database.

II.    Help-desk Software

This category of software came about due to the necessity to have a tool to monitor all avenues of communication within a call center so as to ensure no issues are missed. This kind of software can help out both clients and personnel within the company who might have queries.

III.    VoIP

At its core, employing VoIP is a means towards cutting down expenditure in the call center and enhancing efficiency. This is because unlike traditional land lines, they are flexible and don’t require the need of just one dedicated phone line. They also provide a host of other functionalities.

IV.    Gamification

Gamification is essentially still a new concept in the field of IT. It is the process whereby game concepts are applied to other areas of activity. In the context of call centers, it can be used to boost agent performance as well as aiding in personnel management.

Qualities of a good Call-Center System

The overall integrated systems in a call center should have the following qualities:

Efficient call handling capabilities.

Avail a platform to view, monitor and track statistics and data pertaining to the call center.

The ability to accommodate expansion as well as integration of other call centers or data from other call centers or even home workers.

Qualities needed of a Call Center Agent

As a call center agent, it means you will have to deal with different people from different backgrounds and values. As such it is important that you:

- Be patient and accommodating to the clients.
- Never raise your voice to a client.
- Answer queries appropriately without complicating your answer.
- Keep up with your company’s information and catalogue so you can quickly and effectively answer questions posed by a client.

All in all, your Telephone manner needs to be in check or otherwise it could lead to dissatisfied customers which could ultimately end up costing you your job. In addition, you can also cause the company to lose one of its customers which can have grave consequences for the company as well as the call center.

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