From offering customers support, to telemarketing or gathering market research for the company, call centers handle thousands of “calls” from customers in a day. Here are 10 interesting facts about call centers.
1. Go Virtual
Not all contact centers are a series of cubicles, filled with agents and reps sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. Virtual contact centers obliterate this popular public perception, which has small groups of advisors who work in a not-so-polluted environment. Some call center services such as Map Communications even hire agents to work from their home to make a customised ideal call center.
2. Contact Center
The phrase “call center” is as old as dirt, and more outdated than ‘50s stereotypes. Most people in the industry prefer the modern term “contact center.” This new phase marks the turning age of our time, which is represented by the mobile devices and tech that people use to contact centers for their concerns.
3. War Zone
I don’t mean to insult anyone, but call centers are no place for cry babies. They are an incredibly fast-paced environment, not to mention the inherent abuse by some frustrated customers. It takes a strong determination to handle angry customers on a daily basis for a long amount of time. Not to mention that advisors are often rushed, using tools and tech that are constantly evolving.
4. Waiting Times
Do you think waiting 10 minutes or more is too long? Sometimes, 45 minutes of being on hold can make anyone’s blood boil. Imagine waiting for fifteen hours and 40 minutes. Why? Because, according to the airline who had him on hold for so long, there was a code error. This error, according to ABC News, led him “to be placed in the hold loop for all that time.”
A lot of businesses are outsourcing their call center positions to people who work from home. In my hometown, a certain company posted a job listing for a home-based customer service rep. You don’t necessarily need to visit a physical office and sit in a cubicle.
On average, 8-10AM are the least busy times in the morning for contact centers, as people will take care of their personal responsibilities before contacting a contact center. 11PM-2AM are the least busy times at night, as most people are sleeping. This means that you can usually expect an almost-immediate response if you contact any center during these hours.
As workers in call centers, we deal with angry people who may not know how to hold their temper. These people will often “blow up”, causing even longer holding times for other people who are still waiting to talk to someone. Even if call center services use trained professionals who routes calls and tech messages, as well as troubleshooting tech issues, emotional people may take a long time to deal with.
8. Tech Evolves
According to ZenDesk, customers are more satisfied when they talk to agents using a live chat feature. This is my personal go-to method for resolving an issue, as a consumer, because it cuts down on waiting time. Most businesses have a live chat feature – use them.
9. Advisors Are Key
Advisors deal directly with customers. They communicate and interact with customers in a day more times than CEOs and managers do in a month. Advisors are a “secret weapon” when it comes to optimising the ways things in the organisation are done.
10. Deciding Factor
When you have a problem with a company’s services or products, you call their customer service support to find a solution for your problem. If the agent/advisor you’re talking to is encouraging, supportive, empathetic and does their best to placate your emotions, will you continue doing business with that company? You most likely will, because your issue was solved.
These are just a few interesting facts about call centers. Ask anyone who has “worked the front lines”, and they will tell you a lot more. Before doing business with a company, find out what their contact/call centers are like. Make sure the customer service support teams treat customers like they’re one of their own.