Your Company May Have a Call Center and Not Even Know It
September 19, 2016
The classic definition of a call center is a centralized place where calls are answered. Though the answer is straightforward, identifying corporate call centers is not always so easy.
Yes, the obvious corporate call centers are those large rooms with rows of cubicles staffed by people who spend their day talking on the phone to customers and prospects. Yet the larger the company the more likelihood they have other call centers, too. These may be harder to find and may require a bit of investigation to uncover them.
Consider the following situations:
A Team That Fields Phone Calls: Any group of people who handle phone calls for a specific purpose is effectively a call center. This may be for customer service, complaints, a help desk, collections, scheduling, telemarketing, inbound order taking, lead generation, and more. Even if it’s just one person on the phone, he or she is effectively a call center.
A Person Who Handles Customer Emails: If one or more employees have the primary task of responding to incoming email messages or monitoring social media, he or she also fits under the call center banner. (Technically we would label this a contact center, but for now that’s just semantics.)
Staff Who Answers the Phone, Takes Messages, and Transfers Calls: Employees who we might call receptionists, assistants, or department resources often do a lot of work on the phone, such as answering phone calls, taking messages, transferring callers, giving out information, setting appointments, and even placing calls. Yep, these employees most likely make up a call center, even if it’s only one or two people.
Shared Space Where the Phone Rings: Sometimes a group of employees works together as a team. Though their primary task may not be to answer phone calls, this is part of their job description. Collectively they share the responsibility of answering their department’s ringing phone. The unfortunate result is that most of them view phone answering as a secondary duty or beneath them. They hold back when the phone rings, hoping (or expecting) someone else will answer. Taken to an extreme, in stubborn resistance, no one answers the phone and the callers suffer. The result is a most ineffective call center.
These are all examples of corporate call centers in disguise. Labeling them as such is the first step to their proper management and to maximizing their value and success. In most cases, standard business thinking does not apply to call centers. Call centers require specialized management, and without the specific supervision they require, they will flounder at best and fail at worst.
Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier consultancy for corporate call centers, whose team possesses decades of relevant business and call center experience. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706.
Peter DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.
Should You Offer a Free Trial When Selling Answering Service?
Some answering services offer a free trial to new clients. Others do not. Both camps are adamant about their reasons for making this decision. While t...
Sales Support Pays Off Huge for Quality-Minded Answering Service
Supplementing internal sales and marketing with third party sales support is a winning strategy Cunningham Communications, founded in 1989, worked har...
Why You Might Benefit from Having a Multilocation Corporate Call Center
By strict definition a call center is a centralized place where calls are answered. However, technology now allows this fixed characterization to expa...
HIPAA Applies to Your Outsourcing Call Center, Too
As mentioned in “Five Things to Check Before Outsourcing Your Healthcare Calls,” it’s critical to hire a call center that complies with HIPA...
Fast-Track Lead Processing to Maximize Sales Outcomes
It takes time to process sales leads, which decreases close rates In looking at lead response times, we already know that the faster the lead response...
Call Center Sales Pro Taps Pete Gilhooly as Director of Hospital Call Centers
Pete Gilhooly, Telecom veteran with fifteen years’ experience in healthcare vertical joins Call Center Sales Pro FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 20,...
The Three Critical Metrics for Lead Response
Keep Total Lead Qualification Time Low to Maximize Results We’ve discussed how low lead response times affect the likelihood of being able to eventu...
A Slow Lead Response Produces Low Lead Qualification Rates
Maximize lead qualification rates by responding to inquiries fast A common complaint among salespeople is not having enough quality leads. They might ...