Whether you are a plumber who spends most of your days on work sites or you own and operate an online retailer, you might not always be able to answer the phone. For some small and mid-sized businesses, an inbound call center is the best way to help customers, process orders and set appointments. The best answering services free employees and business owners from the phone line and give them the opportunity to work on what they love to do.
Call center services can do much more than just answer your calls, though. If you want to find new customers or survey recent calls, you want a call center that specializes in outbound solutions. These services hire professional and mature agents, and the best call centers will train the representatives to understand your service or product. These agents represent your company as though they were working in your building.
Whether you're looking for an inbound or outbound call center or some combination of both, call center solutions help you build a customer service department at an affordable price. For examples of the very best call centers, read our reviews on OnBrand24, Go Answer and Xact TeleSolutions. We also have several articles about call center services for further learning.
Simply put, you should look for a call center that meets your unique needs. These companies offer a wide range of services and features to help you serve your customers and meet sales goals. These are the criteria we used to rank the best call centers:
Call center services offer a wide range of inbound solutions, from simple phone answering and message taking to order processing and emergency dispatch. You should look for a service that will take post-call surveys to get customer feedback, since it shows you what your customers want and helps the agents improve their approach. The best services allow you to choose between a toll-free and local number: toll-free numbers are great for online retailers and give a national presence, and local numbers enforce the idea that your company is part of your customers' community.
This feature might not appeal to many small businesses, but outbound call centers are important for entrepreneurs eager to see growth and who want to augment or improve their sales and marketing teams. Some call centers will contact customers for feedback on your company or to measure interest in your service or product. Finally, some services will cold call potential customers to sell your service or product.
As a business owner, you have a choice of features with many answering services. Many will schedule appointments for your business, also covering your automated needs such as voice mail and phone trees. One key complaint voiced in the United States about call centers is that sometimes agents have 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, some call centers utilize interpretation services for customers who speak additional languages.
Help and support 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, all call centers offer phone support, but not all are available 24/7. If a company offers live chat and email support, you want to know that they will actually answer your questions.
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 your appointments and so much more to enhance your customer service and grow your business.