The owners of small and medium-sized businesses these days need to keep a sharp eye on expenses, but also need to take steps to make their operations grow. For many, investing in a call center service to handle all kinds of telephone matters could end up achieving both goals – saving money on direct employee costs and bringing in new sales and new clients.
As far as bringing down the expense side of the ledger, hiring a call center can save the expense of a full-time employee, which might save a great deal of money on salary and benefits. This is particularly true for small businesses, which often operate on a shoestring with the owner getting little or nothing during intervals when business is lean. Depending on what kind of business you own, it might behoove you to check into call center to see if their virtual receptionist help would help you cut overhead.
What’s more, most good-quality call center offer service all the time – seven days a week, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It’s nearly impossible for truly small businesses to operate that way without having to resort to voicemail, which can discourage customers and send them off to a competitor.
Some call centers are based on the rather old-fashioned – but still useful – answering service model. These companies take and relay a message, which frees your employees to do the work they need to do.
While answering services have a place in the business world, other firms might need something more advanced and would benefit from a call center that does more with inbound calls. These centers offer customer assistance on various levels, process purchases and credit card offers, do follow-up checking and even offer dispatch services for urgent customer needs such as a burst water pipe.
Then there are centers that provide outbound calls as well. These call center employees do such things as check with customers to see if they are satisfied with a product or service, handle surveys, make cold calls for sales and conduct outreach to try to line up new clients.
Then there are the intangible but very real benefits of using a call center. These can put a pleasant human voice to your brand, and for many companies this lends an important familiar touch that can strongly reinforce a particular image. If you are running Nana Isabella’s Italian Home Bakery, it’s better to have a person answering the phone than a computer. No one will believe that Nana herself is on the line, but the human touch is always welcome and enhances the down-home feel of a business trying to project that kind of persona.
In fact, just about everyone would prefer a real, live person answering a call than having to wade through a phone tree.
How many times have you impatiently listened and obediently tapped your phone repeatedly as you endured a mechanical voice instructing you to “Press 1” for one service and “Press 2” for another? No doubt, there have been times when you might have wanted this option: “If you feel like shouting in frustration, Press 8.”
If you think your business might gain new customers, making existing clients happier and generally benefit your overall operation, you might consider a brief contract with a call center. If you get the right fit, it could be the boost that moves your business into higher profits, lower costs and happier customers – who are loyal because they get the service they need.