When a business is started, an entrepreneur tries his best to make all the right moves. But as it grows, its complexity increases, and the person in charge does not get enough time to focus on all of its aspects. And when it comes to client- and customer-facing operations like outbound andinbound call center services the level of abstraction grows manifolds. Therefore, a business owner is unable to view the communication of these services in their totality, and that’s when mistakes start to creep into the process.
Understanding Call Center Operations
On the surface, a call center seems like an easy department to run. But once you comprehend its many aspects, then you realize how complex it can be. Some of the many functions that make running a successful call center difficult are listed below:
- Hiring – Hiring accomplished call center agents can take a toll on even the most resourceful business owners. Especially for new companies for which call center is just aside operation, it is hard to convince the best agents about a promising career.
- Training – A call center department cannot be run without a separate training department. Cost of trainers need to be incurred by the company, which can be anirritating overhead. Also, good trainers are hard to find, especially those who are experienced in the industry.
- Softwareprocurement– There are many tools and software solutions, without which it is hard to envision a successful call center operation. Funding the purchase of such software solutions can be major pain for any business owner.
- Management – Probably the biggest challenge in an inbound and outbound call center services comes in the form of good management. Call center operations require your agents to be motivated, which is difficult in odd hour shifts that stretch deep into the night. Finding good motivators that understand all essential call center KPIs and are available at cost-effective salary packages can be a nightmare.
Agents – Last but not the least, the agents who are actually facing the customers need to have the right attitude for dealing with customers. Politeness and assertiveness are two essential traits of an agent. However, it is very difficult to screen such agents.
Common Mistakes Made Due to Ignorance in Call Center Operations
Even when you manage to overcome all the aforementioned challenges and start a call center operation, there are many mistakes that can still be made due to lack of supervision. These mistakes may look small on the surface but can have major repercussions for your business. Have a look at some of these mistakes:
- Putting call on hold or mute for an unjustifiable amount of time –It is seen that when supervision is not constant (from the top management), agents and TLs start relaxing and indulge in malpractices like putting call on hold or mute for an injudicious interval of time. This cuts off the flow of communication and customers feel humiliated and unimportant. Definitely bad for your business!
- KPIs gone for a toss – It is a well-known fact that call centers KPIs can be fudged to look good when they are actually not. So, when there is no real direction coming from the top-end (as CEOs and senior managers are too busy or do not have the understanding of key parameters), it is hard to keep an eye on the integrity of these essential parameters. Hence, the KPIs go for a toss and so does the process, without anyone having any knowledge about it. Such ignorance, if allowed to fester, can shut your in-house call center in a few months.
- Lack of analytics and power tools that can make a difference – Today’s CRM solutions are empowered with AI that lets you learn a lot about your customers. From their previous discourse, to the time when they called up the last time and their purchasing preferences, you gain a lot of insights that can be used for making customers’ experience better. But for an unaware CFO, the importance of CRM is completely lost. More so, when there is a critical core process that needs a makeover or a new deal to finalize; the likelihood of an expensive purchase in the form of an analytics-driven CRM is wishful thinking. Therefore, such crucial purchases are never made and due to ignorance the whole process suffers.
The ignorant mistakes made by top management in presiding over call center operations are rampant in most in-house call center services. The only way to solve these errors in operation is by devoting extra time to non-core inbound and outbound call center services. But this can take your focus away from your main process, which is equally bad, if not worse. The best way to approach this situation is by fixing the problem at its source i.e. not to run an in-house call center at all.
In this era of globalization, outsourcing is the perfect solution to nip this problem of ignorance in the bud. However, you should pay special attention before outsourcing and only choose those outbound or inbound call center services providers that have significant experience in the field and care about each and every aspect of their operation. This search is a lot easier than searching for every resource that goes into the making of a successful call center.