Many people tend to think of a call centre as people neatly organized into rows, sitting beside their phones, answering customer calls. So what is a Contact Centre?
Contact Centres are more than headset-wearing switch-board operators. The modern contact centre handles phone calls, email, and online communication – including instant messaging.
Traditionally, contact centres have been called call centres. The newer name – contact centre – reflects the fact that more than just phone calls are being handled. Many call centres have evolved over the years to do much more than just answer phones.
Some companies choose to separate the handling of customer contacts by medium. For instance, a company may establish a department for inbound calls, one for outbound calls, and a group for email. Some companies, especially smaller ones, opt to create “universal agents” who handle all contact types. Companies create universal contact agents for reasons of efficiency and service, and often because they find it easier to train agents in multiple communication methods than to train multiple agents in product or service information.
Bottom line, it’s up to the customer to decide how they want to communicate with your company, and it’s up to your company to respond appropriately through its contact centre.
Self Service Contact Centres
A new breed of inbound centres is starting to emerge – self-service centres. In tradition contact centres, all interaction between the customer and the centre is done with human agents. However, in self-service centres a good portion of the load is being shifted toward non-human systems, such as automated response or even speech-enabled. This shift provides significant cost savings and faster response times to customer inquiries.
Automated response systems enable the customer to use the keypad on their phone to answer questions by pushing buttons. Each button push brings them closer to the information they want. Automated response systems have been around for years, giving the customer access to simple (and common) information such as addresses, account balances, procedural instructions. These systems can also be used to route calls to the most appropriate agent able to answer the call.
Change the Way You Interact with Customers by Using a Contact Centre
Technological advances are pushing the boundaries of the traditional call centre into the realm of the contact centre: a holistic consolidation of all the ways you interact with customers, whether by phone, e-mail, your Web site, or even instant messaging or chat.
In a contact centre company’s use one or more of these five components:
- Telephone (customers call in or agents call out)
- Web (customers visit the Web site and then press an icon that connects them to an agent and allows them to type in a phone number for a return call)
- E-mail (customers request information via e-mail)
- Chat or instant messaging (customers can open a chat window with an agent)
- Integration with customer database or customer-relationship management software (agents can see customer history as they’re talking to customers)
Whether your business will focus on inbound or outbound calling, or both, technology is bringing the cost of offering call-centre capabilities down and increasing the number of those capabilities it can offer. In addition to opening up new channels of communication with customers, another benefit of the contact centre is that it allows customer service agents to see all of the ways your customers interact with you. For instance, if a customer has been surfing your Web site, looking without success for a particular item, contact centre software should deliver to the customer-service agent a history of that person’s search.
Being able to track and display a customer’s search history is important for a variety of reasons. First, the agent can be aware that the customer may have a higher-than-usual level of frustration and apologize; second, knowing what the customer was looking for and how they looked for it can help you improve the layout of your site.
With a suite of contact centre technologies, you can put together an integrated communication system that gives agents enough information to be problem-solvers. Thus you create happy customers out of angry or apathetic ones and empower customer service representatives to be problem-solvers rather than just order-takers.
This kind of contact centre technology is also available by more than one arrangement. Now, through hosted or outsourced solutions, small businesses can offer their customers high-touch, personalized service through a customer service representative, or fast through their our Web site.
At premiercallcentre.co.uk UK's leading BPO supplier, covers all aspects of the Contact Centre industry. We are professional call centre that is an expert in call handling all types’ services. Our staff whom are based in our UK site, are on hand to answer your call. We have proven track record in delivering a whole range of call handling and more.
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