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Oct 022012
 
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Call centers are a critical asset for many U.S. businesses, which require a cost-effective way to provide service to numerous customers across the country. Unfortunately, some of these services have rightly attained negative reputations by outsourcing to foreign countries. Inevitably, this business practice has left many customers frustrated by poor communications skills and strange, confusing dialects.

As more call centers hire foreign employees in an attempt to reduce overhead and increase profits, a growing number of U.S. businesses are partnering with domestic services, which only hire domestic workers. That said, to find a call center that will consistently meet your expectations and those of your valued customers, you need to look for several particular attributes.

What Makes a Great Call Center?

Not every call center operates according to the same standards, and many have no real standards at all. Before you partner with just any call center, learn how to identify specific traits that will ensure trust and reliability.

  • Communication – When people call in for support or information, they want customer service agents who speak well and know their stuff. Nowadays, more and more businesses are hearing an outcry for improved customer service; and this is why most are relying on domestic call centers that employ American workers.
  • Domestic employees – Some call centers look to boost profits by outsourcing to foreign countries where employees will work for mere pennies on the dollar. Invariably, businesses are far better off when they work with domestic call centers that pay extra for qualified, American customer service agents, who won’t alienate callers by confusing them with unfamiliar dialects and poor language skills.
  • On-site employees – Unfortunately, just because a call center employs American workers doesn’t mean it provides superior service. Some centers work with remote agents, who answer calls at their homes. Businesses should be wary of this practice, because it offers no way to protect the security of clients and their customers.
  • Low turnover – A good call center should value its employees as the backbone of a successful enterprise. Call centers that pay low wages tend to have high turnover rates. This prevents them from maintaining an experienced, qualified staff. Businesses are better off working with a partner who pays extra to maintain a staff of satisfied, reliable customer service agents.
  • Longevity – A reputable call center should be able to stand the test of time. Before working with just anyone, ask how long the center has been in operation.
  • Good security – Many companies don’t realize that good security is a critical trait of a good call center. Businesses should only work with centers that have strict policies of conduct that prevent employees from having personal belongings and pens at their desks, since these might allow them to photograph or write down credit card information.
  • Modern equipment – Providing good customer support is about more than offering knowledgeable, courteous service; it’s about knowing how to answer each caller’s question without making him or her wait an unacceptable amount of time. To do this, a call center needs modern equipment that will make the client’s company information and that of the caller available the moment it is needed. Businesses should only work with call centers that invest heavily in their employees and equipment.
  • Affordability – All businesses must manage overhead, but some must pay extra special attention to their expenses. Instead of working with a one-size-fits-all call center, companies should look for one that offers customizable plans that will fit most any budget.
  • Customized accounts – When your customers contact a call center, they should believe they are speaking with a member of your staff. To nurture that feeling of trust between you and your clients, you need to work with a partner that offers customized accounts that are designed to leave callers feeling 100 percent satisfied each and every time.
  • Versatility – While some call centers specialize in providing services for one or two types of businesses, others have experience working with a host of different companies. Invariably, businesses get better customer support when they work with a center that has a wide range of experience. Before partnering with any one particular call center, business owners should ask who they’ve worked for in the past. For instance, United Call Center has experience providing customer service for just about every type of company, from assisting with car repossessions, booking doctor appointments, booking plumber appointments, and taking calls for Pepsi, Oprah and El Pollo Loco.

Don’t Settle for Less

Although each of the preceding traits is highly important, having only one or two just isn’t enough. To provide consistent, reliable and safe customer support, a call center must possess all ten attributes. United Call Center offers its clients these ten valuable characteristics along with dozens more. To learn about how we can help you serve your customers, contact us today.

About Neal Lacy

Neal Lacy has written 82 posts in this blog.

Neal Lacy is an expert in professional call center services. He provides great content on a wide variety of topics concerning answering services, message services, order taking, and virtual receptionist. He is main writer for United Call Center.

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