If you own a small or medium-sized business, there might come a time when you decide it would be practical and financially wiser to get someone else to handle the phones.
That could mean contracting with a call center to do such things as answer calls from clients, offer customer assistance, make outgoing calls to round up new clients, get customer feedback or conduct surveys. One benefit of a call center is that it can serve as a virtual receptionist – which is a great way for a small or startup business to appear bigger than it is and give a more polished and professional impression to customers.
There is a wide variety of call center types, ranging from those that provide basic answering service to others with more sophisticated outreach options. Clearly, a giant center that caters to enormous corporations might not be a particularly good fit, especially when there are centers operating now that specifically address the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Our side-by-side comparisons and reviews can offer useful information to help you find a call center that is a good fit for your business.
We have found three excellent products that might suit your unique business needs nicely: XACT TeleSolutions, OnBrand24 and Go Answer. You also can learn more from our articles on call center services.
These offerings can involve a range of assistance, from simple phone answering/message taking help to rather intricate technical help with a product or processing an order to buy something. Good call centers also will check back with customers to see if they are satisfied, even going so far as to schedule a call-back time. They also will tell customers how long they must wait if there are numerous calls going on at the same time and also provide a toll-free number and a local number.
This feature might not figure quite so prominently in a smaller business environment. However, it could be important for entrepreneurs eager to see growth and who want to augment what their sales and marketing teams are doing. Some call centers will check customer feedback, while others go further by conducting surveys, helping with lead generation and even making cold calls for sales.
As a business owner, you have a choice of features with many call-answering centers. Many will schedule appointments for businesses that are service providers, like those in healthcare. Virtually all the good ones have some type of automated services such as voicemail for those who prefer it. One key complaint voiced in the United States about call centers is that individuals sometimes get customer service representatives with a shaky command of English. The best call centers have U.S.-based offices and employees who speak with neutral American accents. In addition, it is almost essential to have Spanish-speaking representatives in today's market. For an even greater breadth of help for customers, the outstanding centers offer interpretation services for customers who speak additional languages.
These can make a big difference in the overall quality of the service you receive as a business owner and the impression a center is making on your behalf. Naturally, call centers have phone numbers to call for support. Some offer live chat, email contact and even fax support for those who want that. Nowadays, people tend to want service 24/7 and every day of the year, and in order to stay competitive, it's important to offer that option. Some business owners, however, may opt to have an eight-hour weekday schedule, depending on their particular line of work.
With the right call center and properly trained employees who truly represent your company, you can be assured that someone will walk your customers through a technical problem, check on a shipping order, arrange for delivery of a genuinely vegan wedding cake, schedule appointments and so much more to enhance and grow your business.
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