We’ve all probably encountered a call centre more than once. They’re used by a range of big organisations and businesses to help manage the customer service journey.
Sometimes these call centre experiences are largely positive – with quick, helpful responses from the other side, helping you figure out your issue within a few minutes. Other times, you might find yourself on hold for hours, wondering, ‘what’s going on over there?’.
In this blog, we’ll explore how call centres work, what types of call centres there are, and what exactly happens when you phone a business that employs one.
Let’s dive into it!
Do All Companies Have Call Centres?
The easy answer is no; not all companies have call centres. For smaller businesses, a call centre can be expensive to an enterprise that four or five people can handle.
For bigger companies call centres are a common addition as they help them to save time and money by employing call centre operatives to handle customer service.
Some companies will have in-house call centres, while others will use call centre outsourcing to employ a team to work for them.
Outsourcing is a great way for businesses to save money and time, as it doesn’t require setting up a physical call centre and training operatives. Instead, they give the operative at the outsourced call centre instructions on handling complaints and queries and passing them on to the relevant customer service departments.
What Can a Call Centre Do?
A call centre can do more than handle customer complaints. There are a variety of tasks that a business may employ a call centre to handle for them. Some of these include things such as:
- Customer Care – Customer service and care is the most basic thing a call centre is responsible for. Operatives will help customers with issues they might be having with a product or service, taking note of their complaints for the business and offering corrections.
- Technical Support– As most companies have some form of online presence or portal, for example, online banking, call centres can offer technical support for those who can’t get into their accounts.
- Telemarketing – Telemarketing is a type of marketing that takes place over the phone. Instead of the user calling the company, the company will call potential customers and market a product to them with the hopes of making a sale. This can be a good way to engage customers who might not be interested in reading a long email and prefer the personal experience of speaking to someone on the phone.
- Market Research – Similar to telemarketing, for market research, a call centre operative may call you to find out if you are interested in a certain product and find out why it appeals to you or why it does not. Market research is not to make a sale but to understand how you could appeal a product to a specific audience.
- Political Campaigning – politics is another big reason people may outsource a call centre. Campaigners can call people in their area and try to appeal for them to vote for their candidate in an upcoming election. Like telemarketing, this can feel like a positive, personal way to start a political conversation.
Are There Different Types of Call Centres?
There are two main types of call centres, and these are ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’. Both of these serve important purposes in running a business, especially if it’s a larger business with a large volume of calls.
- An inbound call centre is a call centre that handles incoming calls from customers. Usually, these call centres are customer support based and focus mostly on answering customer queries to build good relationships with customers and also offering support when needed.
- Outbound call centres are more suited for telemarketing and campaigning. They may make sales calls, conduct market research, ask customers to complete surveys, or respond to a call-back request.
Many modern businesses use a hybrid approach, with people calling customer executives and operatives calling out to people. This hybrid or ‘blended’ approach offers a great balance of marketing and customer support.
How Does a Call Centre Get My Phone Number?
Call centres can’t just phone anyone they want – even though it may seem like it sometimes. If an outbound call centre phones you, it’s likely that you agreed to allow calls from the company and provided your phone number when signing up to a website online (this is often hidden in the terms and conditions), or you may have given your phone number to an operative.
We hope this blog has given insight into how do call centres work and why they’re still a relevant and important part of the customer service journey.
Customer service is one of the most important parts of running a successful business. When done correctly, call centres can be a great way to enhance this area of your organisation.