7 Signs You Need a Call Center

If you’re a small business owner, you understand how vital customer service is to your success. So, the idea of using a call center to offer live help to your customers (and prospects) 24 hours a day is certainly something you should consider. However, if the idea of transferring your calls blindly to a group of strangers sounds like a big leap, it’s not.

How do you know if a call center is going to work for your business? Will it be a worthwhile investment or just plain not worth the headache? As one of the top US based call center service providers, we hear from a ton of small businesses every day about the communication challenges they face. Following are some of the more popular challenges we hear and how a call center is able to meet the challenge and help businesses grow easier.

How call centers can help you succeed

But before we get into it, let’s look at how even a basic call center setup can help your small business. Finding the right call center service provider is the automobile equivalent of dropping a super charged engine in your car. By offering live customer service as delivered through an affordable 3rd party provider, you can keep more customers happy, faster, at a much lower price than trying to juggle everything in-house. From the front end, call centers can boost your conversions by live transferring prospects to your own professional closers 24/7. They can help your growth on the backend as well by turning paying clients into your evangelists with the around the clock support you offer.

The right call center service company does that all for your small business at a much lower cost than you attempting to setup your own in-house team. A call center keeps you connected to your customers and keeps them connected to you – setting you up on the path to explosive growth. When it comes to customer service, nothing is better than outsourcing to a call center.

#1. Sales prospects are waiting until the next day for answers

In the world of sales, every second counts. That is, every second you’re not answering calls or speaking with potential customers, you’re running the risk of missing out. When a potential customer calls your business, they’re in immediate need of a product or service, and would happily look elsewhere if you can’t provide it to them when they call. For example, if someone’s roof is caving in, they’re not going to wait until tomorrow for answers. They’re calling because they need help now, and if you can’t help, they’ll call another business that can.

If you’re unable to handle calls all day and night, then outsourcing to a call center can help you capture and convert leads you would have otherwise lost to your competitor. If potential prospects are simply calling with questions on your pricing or services, call centers can access and utilize FAQs you’ve previously set up to answer questions, which may help drive a sale or at least entice a customer to consider your business as an option.

#2. Current customers are leaving messages on your voicemail for support and are 10x more frustrated when you contact them the next day

While capturing new leads is important for any business, keeping current customers happy is the key to keeping your company afloat. Without happy customers, you have no business. When your customers reach out to you it’s because they have an urgent question or problem that needs fixing. And, often times they’re already quite frustrated when they call.  No one likes having to take time out of their day to call customer service for an issue, especially if it’s causing them to lose money. To put it simply, making your customers leave voicemails every time they call instead of reaching a live voice is a recipe for disaster, and their frustration is sure to grow the longer they have to wait for a return call.

Call centers employ hundred of customer service representatives, which means none of your customers have to leave a voicemail or wait long for assistance. Even if the call center rep cannot help them immediately or solve their problem while on the phone, they at least know that someone is working on resolving the issue instead of wondering if their message was even heard.

#3. You offer 24 hour support, but you are spending too much money in-house and unable to justify or quantify the expense

Sometimes you just can’t do it all on your own, and it’s okay to ask for help. For businesses that need to be available around the clock for their customers or patients in the event of an emergency, but can’t quite afford to staff the office 24 hours a day, call centers are a great way to get the job done and alleviate wallet strain at the same time.

Your in-house staff can be responsible for handling any calls that hit during regular business hours, and then once your employees leave for the day, you can roll your phone lines over to your call center, who will handle any after hours calls that may trickle through. Anything that is not urgent can wait until the following business day to be addressed, and any issue that requires immediate attention can be dispatched through to your rotating on-call staff. Voila! It turns out you can have your cake and eat it too!

#4. Your in-house call center solution is experiencing uncomfortable hold times and inflating your abandonment rate

To avoid outsourcing calls to a third party service provider, many companies opt to create an in-house call center so they can keep everything consolidated under one roof. While that method may work for some companies, it may not always be the best solution.

In order to run a successful call center, you have to know the call center industry. You have to use the most up to date call center technology and constantly monitor previous trends to make sure you are always staffed up accordingly in order to increase your chances of success.  For business owners that already have a lot to manage, their in-house call center can often times suffer, leading to upset customers and upset employees. Relinquishing some responsibilities to a knowledgeable and successful call center provider can help lift some of the weight off of your shoulders and give your customers a much needed sigh of relief.

#5. After hours calls are going to your customer service on-call and 90% of the requests are not urgent

Often times when someone is dealing with an issue, they want help right away. However, it may not always require immediate assistance, especially if it’s after hours. For example, a landlord may receive maintenance requests at all hours of the night, but usually only a small percentage of them would require immediate assistance, like if the caller’s apartment was flooding or they had no heat in the dead of winter.

Outsourcing after hours calls to a call center and setting up a specific workflow will help the call center agents to sift through requests and determine what is an emergency and what is not. By having your call center screen calls before sending them to the appropriate person, your customer service on-call team or staff member won’t be bogged down with unnecessary tickets, and can focus on the issues that require immediate attention.

#6. You’re unsure how you can grow without spending an arm and a leg on more customer service representatives

All businesses, no matter the size, have one thing in common; the need for growth. If your business remains stagnant, you’ll have no way to replace customer churn with new clients. If you’re looking to grow but can’t find space in your budget for more in-house employees, outsourcing to a call center can help your business without breaking the bank.

Call center service providers offer a variation of pricing plans that can usually fit into any sized budget. For example, SAS offers pricing plans for small businesses that may only get a few calls a month, for businesses that get hundreds of calls a month, and everything in between.

#7. You’ve outsourced before and other providers can’t access your CRM or helpdesk software

So you’ve tried to outsource before but didn’t have the best experience. It happens to the best of us! But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a service provider out there that will work for you.

While some call centers have antiquated systems which prohibit them from integrating with various applications or accessing web based software, there are many that can. As technology continues to evolve, the call center industry is evolving with it, and thus many call centers are becoming more equipped to work with various different systems and platforms.

What to do next?

If any of the above points are hitting close to home, it’s about time to start looking for a call center for the first time, or researching a new call center for your business. The ideal call center is more like a business partner than a service provider and will help you strengthen sales, trigger growth, and take some of the burden off your own employees and in-house business processes.

Get started with SAS. Free 14-day call center trial.

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