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A Call Center Is The New Touch Point With Customers
Contact centers, commonly known as call centers have become the touch point for customers and business. These contact centers have grown from simple telephone sales to full customer service organizations. From billing issues and quote requests to full sales teams, the call center has delivered on the promise of lower overall costs to many businesses.
Call Centers, from a practical standpoint are actually a technology center that can be used for many things. These include:
Direct telephone answering. Customers call into the center with specific issues or problems.
Support Calls. Any technological product that needs technical support are now using call centers.
Outbound Calling: Calls to existing customers can be placed throughout the world from a centralized contact center.
Outbound Pre-Sales: Prospect calling to develop potential sales opportunities
Quotes: Customers can call in for rate quotes on products
Sales: Handling sales generated from a direct mailing, television or other advertising program
Email: Many call centers now offer direct email processing. Customers can email for specific problems or questions and have them answered usually within 24 hours.
IVR: Interactive Voice Response. Customer interaction with a computer system to obtain information or route the call to the correct department.
The opportunities for a business to benefit from a call center operation are only limited by their imagination. Contact centers are constantly being upgraded with the latest in technology. A good example is the recent growth in the use of voice over Internet protocol or VOIP. This is telephone service over the web.
One of the biggest technological features of many call centers is the predictive dialer. The technology behind a dialer is used for outbound calls like cold calling or pre-sales offerings. Instead of having individual employee-agents dialing numbers, the predictive dialer can manage the number of calls being made at any given point in time and adjust based on the number of available people to accept the call.
This tool is a call management system that is based on logic rules to deliver maximum efficiency.
A Predictive Dialer Can:
Can make and manage hundreds of calls at a time.
Has the ability to monitor the number of agents available to take a call
Can detect call status and route the call based on that status. Busy signals get called again, bad numbers are flagged or removed, a live person is auto routed to an agent, etc.
Auto adjusts the number of calls being dialed based on when an agent is expected to be free to accept the call. The predictive dialer is programmed with basic rules that determine the number of calls being made at any one time. The idea is to have everyone on the phone all the time but also have the process appear seamless to any potential customer. More agents available = more calls. Fewer agents available = less calls.
To much time between calls and the call center cost per call go up, increasing the operating expenses. To little time and the potential customer is held up and is likely to end the call without hearing the offer. Many of the newer predictive dialers actually can learn and adjust the original rules based on how the specific call center is operating. Overall, the call center has made customer support and customer relationship management easier, cheaper and faster.
About the Author: Abigail Franks writes on a variety of subjects which include family, travel, and Home. For more information on predictive dialers and call centers visit the site at http://www.predictive-dialer.rsaweb.org