A call centre is a specialized office or work area that handles incoming and/or outgoing telephone and voice calls. They serve many different purposes including sales and marketing functions and market research. Every major company or business will likely have a call centre function that might be located in-house or contracted out to an expert call centre facility. External call centres can be relatively small or very large depending on the client base and the purpose and mission of the call centre.
The role of call centres continues to evolve as technology allows them to offer many new programs and services to their clients. Here are some of the services that call centres are being asked to perform.
Call centre basics
Some examples of call centres that most people would be familiar with might include service or support functions for the cable and telephone companies where your query is answered or referred to the appropriate section or department for resolution. Banks and credit unions are also big users of call centres to help customers with their account inquiries and to deal with credit card issues that might arise. Telemarketing calls are almost always from a call centre as are opinion or product surveys and requests for political support or donations.
☎ 1. Telephone answering and reception
Call centres can now provide a variety of programs and services to assist with telephone call handling, and messaging. A company can forward some or all of their phones to the call centre who will answer and take messages during off hours. They can also screen calls and forward urgent or emergency ones to the appropriate authority. This is a great service for weekends and during peak or busy sales periods when staff do not have time to answer the phone quickly. The call centre will prepare reports on their activities and can record all calls to ensure quality control. Call centres can also be an organization’s receptionist during off-hours or even when staff is busy or on a break.
☎ 2. Email services and support
Who answers the general email inquiries that come into a large company. That is now probably handled by an in-house or contracted call centre service. There are simply too many general emails for a regular office to handle on a timely or effective basis. That’s why many businesses are turning to call centres to deal with this growing demand. That way they can be reassured that someone is answering and responding to requests for information and making sales, even when the storefront office may be closed for the night. The call centre can also triage emails for the busiest staff members, screen out the frivolous ones and ensure that the most important are forwarded for attention and action. All of these services help maintain good customer relations and deal with the increasingly 24 nature of doing business in the modern world.
☎ 3. Workplace support
Call centres can provide many services that help support the organization in the workplace. This includes assistance with attendance management that allows employees to call in to the call centre if they are going to be sick or running late and that message gets delivered immediately to their manager or supervisor so that they can ensure a back-up plan is put into place. This provides an easy route for employees to report in and a record is kept of every call in case of any disagreement or discrepancy later on. Call centres can also support workers who may be asked to work alone. They can be tracked using a check-in system and if they do not contact the call centre at the designated time, emergency services can be immediately dispatched.