September 30, 2014

9 Qualities a Good Call Center Should Have

a good call center

If you try to be everywhere at once, your business will eventually pay the price. Call centers are great for handling tasks that you just don’t have the time for. But how do you know who to turn to for the assistance you need? How can you find a good call center?

In order to figure out just that, we asked a panel of nine entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:

“What is one important factor to use when comparing call center services for your business?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Hourly Wages

“You can usually pay for call center services in different ways — hourly, commission only, project-based, seat license and more. But, you can almost always figure out the underlying model based on the hourly wage the company pays. Take the wage and multiply twice for operating costs and profit. With this model, you can overlay the payable metric, and then compare the services.” ~ JT Allen, myFootpath LLC

2. Customer Service

“The experience you deliver to customers is absolutely critical as a startup. Nothing creates more value — or destroys it — than customer service. Find out which brands use each of your competing call centers, and make a dozen phone calls to each. Wait until you say, “Wow, I love working with this person on the phone,” then hire that call center service ASAP.” ~ Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

3. English Proficiency

“Nothing further frustrates an irate caller than being attended to by a person who is not sufficiently proficient in the caller’s language. I understand cost can be an issue, but if it is, you may want to try email-only or online chat as well. Often, writing is easier than speaking for many outsourced operators.” ~ Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net

4. Success Metrics

“Make sure your expectations and success metrics are aligned with the call center’s. You want to make sure your success is tied to theirs and that you both agree on what success means.” ~ Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent

5. Conversation Skills

“Do your research, and shop around. We have found that there is a huge difference in the way call centers handle their calls. Some read word-for-word from a script and some use more of a roadmap to steer the conversation in a general direction while relying on their employees to make judgement calls and ask probing questions. We have had much more success with that second model. ” ~ Phil Laboon, Clear Sky SEO

6. Integration Between Systems

“Lead generation is an important piece of any company and call centers are a good tool to increase the number of leads that come into your pipeline. However, your pipe can get clogged if there isn’t a good hand-off between the call center and those individuals/tools that may be essential in closing the sale. Therefore, it is important to choose a call center that works with your tech and people. ” ~ Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

7. Calling Statistics

“The most important numbers to track are calls answered (out of all placed), average ring time (needs to be less than 20 seconds), average hold time to answer (needs to be less than 30 seconds) and lost calls (part of calls answered). When call centers miss calls, take too long to answer them or leave people on long holds, they kill your business.” ~ Roger Bryan, Enfusen Digital Marketing

8. Relationships

“Most call centers are good and will deliver what they say they are going to deliver, but all campaigns are different. Some are harder to deliver than others. That is why it is so important to have some kind of pre-existing relationship with the center or know someone who has. This way, you can be assured that you will get what you are paying for.” ~ Louis Lautman, Supreme Outsourcing

9. Customer Semantics

“Price should come second to quality when considering call centers. When customers call a sales department CSR, they will immediately judge your company by the tone and skill of the rep. Consider the impact the CSR’s culture will have on the customer. Will the CSR be able to relate to the customer? Although you may save a few dollars by outsourcing, you may lose thousands from lost conversions.” ~ Gideon Kimbrell, InList Inc

Call Center Photo via Shutterstock

3 Comments ▼

The Young Entrepreneur Council


The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

3 Reactions

  1. Well taken points. I am rooting actually for # 9. “Price should come second to quality.” Just saying, customer service was set up to assist customers and sometimes, the service deflects from that purpose because the companies hiring these contact centers are demanding the wrong metrics. Contact centers will give you the best service they can provide if you are also asking the right thing. Just saying.

  2. Call centers have sprouted out of nowhere here in the Philippines. Most of them are already established and have started to include all the things included here. The field has become so competitive that they even have employee benefits.

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