Outbound Calls Centre
Premiercallcentre.co.uk provides a professional Outbound Calls Centre, we are an expert in call handling services and we are on hand to answer your calls. We have proven track record in delivering a whole range of Outbound Calls handling.
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What is an Outbound Calls Centre?
The key to making effective outbound calls is structure. The most effective telephone sales person will have a set process for contacting customers and will stick to it, no matter what the temptation to alter their methods. Most outbound call agents will use a ‘working list’ to contact customers, it is important that you approach this list methodically and the following approach will help you to remain effective.
Define your ideal customer – The best way to predict who your future customers will be is to understand who your past customers have been. For instance, if by looking at your past client base you realize that the majority of your orders have come from the 18 – 30 year old bracket, then this would likely be the best people to focus your attention on. Of course age isn’t the only consideration to make. You may also want to look at geography, past buying patterns, interests etc.
Develop a good ‘script’ – A good script or series of specific questions is the most important thing you can do to improve your effectiveness when selling on the telephone. This becomes even more important when you are making outbound calls.
Some people resist the idea of using a script. They argue that it is better to sound natural and this will help build the relationship with the customer. The trick is to use the script as a series of prompts or reminder of what to say rather than reading it verbatim. This way you can concentrate on how you say things as opposed to what you are saying. More importantly, it allows you to focus on what the customer is saying and helps you tailor your conversation to suit.
Outbound Business Scenario
Outbound Call Centres hold an important place in the present business scenario. Though some Call Centres work only on an inbound operation, most work on both. These are usually the bigger call Centres that have separate groups of trained agents specializing in inbound and outbound calls.
However, smaller Call Centres can’t afford to have entirely different sets of agents specializing in incoming and outgoing calls; they usually rotate their agents from time to time between inbound and outbound operations. For these Call Centres, the biggest question that bugs management is how to manage a balance between inbound and outbound operations, so that there are enough agents to handle calls when the call volume rises and the productivity doesn’t fall down when the call volume falls.
Call blending plays its role. Simply defined, call blending means using outbound agents to receive inbound calls, or using inbound agents to make outbound calls. For example, if the agents receiving calls remain idle for a particular amount of time, they can be used for outbound operations. Similarly, in a process handling collections, receiving calls is as important as placing calls, so the agents can be used for both. Thus, by integrating inbound and outbound services, call blending allows any call centre to maximize its agent’s skills as well as time.
Most call Centres have more or less fixed daily patterns of call volume. The mornings are usually high time for incoming calls, and blending will allow agents handling outbound calls to share the load. And the period when the call volume is low, even the agents handling inbound calls can be used for outbound calls. These calling patterns can be fed into the contact Centre’s predictive dialer program. Most of the dialers use complex pacing algorithms that enable constant modification by monitoring the queue of unanswered calls and the system parameters of the agents.
For example, a company is introducing a new product, and wants to take up a telemarketing campaign to introduce it. Hiring temporary agents may raise quality issues, but utilizing the existing agents will hamper other operations. Call blending is the best option in such a scenario.
An important factor of call blending is that it can even have an adverse effect on your business, if applied blindly. To avoid this, the call centre managers need to learn the proper ways blending. They will have to know the proper application of blending so that the fluctuations in call volumes are leveled, agent productivity is maximized, and agent staffing level is streamlined. Research has revealed that lack of proper planning in implementation of call blending can reduce customer satisfaction by 10 to 15 percent, and employee satisfaction by 20 to 30 percent. Both these figures are cause for concern as customer satisfaction is paramount in the present times, and soaring attrition rates give sleepless nights to the management.
Therefore, it is very important for the managers and the supervisors to know when to switch an agent from inbound to outbound mode, and how to do it effectively. This requires a perfect combination of data, knowledge, and technology. Even while hiring, managers should be clear about the required agent groups, their skills, and conduct cross-training for agents marked for blending. Studies show that only 10 to 15 percent agents have the ability to work effectively in inbound as well as outbound mode. Thus, it may be necessary to provide scripts to inbound agents, when they are taking up outbound calls.
It is, therefore, best to divide the agents of any call centre into three specific groups, one each for inbound, outbound, and blended. If the blended agents are handling inbound and outbound calls in a shift, then it is very important that calls should be of a similar nature. Another important point to be followed is the pattern of the blended calls. This means that if there is a constant switchover from one mode to the other, the agent may lose his concentration and the productivity may go down. Thus, proper transition rules should be formulated and applied wherein an agent is switched over to outbound mode only after a certain time period with no inbound calls. Even when switching over to outbound mode, some of the agents should be kept in reserve for inbound calls as a precautionary step.
Last but not least, there should be proper indication systems to let the agents know when they are changing mode. This would rule out scope for any confusion among the agents, and ensure the quality of service provided, as well as the productivity.
Call blending is, therefore, a cost-effective way to wipe out abandoned calls, lower queue time, and increase agent productivity. And with agents having the ability to perform inbound and outbound operations with equal expertise, the future for integrated call Centres seems bright.
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