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Choosing the right call center can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have any experience in the matter. All call centers can appear to be more or less the same, at least, at first glance, so it’s important to know what to look for.
Like many types of services dealing with business connectivity, different call center services will have their strengths and weaknesses. It can become a kind of juggling act, trying to find the best communications solutions for your needs. However, there are several strengths that any good call center service provider should have in place before you consider being one of their clients.
1 – You should be assigned your own account manager
This is a basic essential of customer service that all center services should provide. You should also have direct access to your dedicated account manager. You need to be able to contact and speak to this person whenever you need to. If the telephone answering service you are considering using does not offer this, perhaps you should think again.
Your account manager, among other things, should be able to provide you with any statistics and reports on any aspect of the operation that directly affects your business. If this is a problem for them, they are not working as efficiently and effectively as they should be.
2 – Your chosen call center should have a good reputation
This is fairly obvious, but not every business checks this part of it properly. You should find out how long the company has been in business, what kind of turnover of staff they have, and most importantly, do they keep their clients? If they have a large turnover of staff, or if their clients don’t tend to stay with them for very long, then both these points are red flags, and you should be wary.
Furthermore, a good and reputable telephone answering service will happily answer these, and any other questions you might have. They will have nothing to hide. In fact, they should be able to provide client testimonials and allow you to contact the clients providing the testimonials for confirmation.
3 – They should be fully secure and able to prove it
Security is obviously a concern for any company that puts its business connectivity in the hands of another company. You need to know that the proper data protection measures are in place. Ask to see their data protection certificate, as well as their Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI-DSS certificate. If they don’t have these in place, and fully up to date, it will be best for you to look elsewhere.
4 – Ask about their pricing policy
The way that each call center service provider prices their services can be different, and can also be a bit of a minefield to wade through for the unwary. There is likely to be a one-off setup fee and a repeating monthly fee. It is important that you find out exactly what each of those fees include, and that you are happy with the answer.
On top of that, expect a call handling fee. This can be charged in two basic ways: price per call or price per second. There are pros and cons to each one, and your account manager should be able to explain them clearly to you so you can make up your mind about which one is best suited to your needs. A good call center will be prepared to be reasonably flexible with their pricing methods.
5 – How do they handle calls?
In a way, this is probably the most important bit, as regards your company’s reputation. You ideally want the telephone answering service to appear as much like your own business as possible. In this way, your callers will never know that they are not actually in contact with someone located within your business premises.
You also want the service agents to be polite and upbeat when they answer calls. They should be efficient and provide accurate information to your callers, treating them with respect and dignity.
Your callers should never be put on hold, and they should never have to wait more than three rings before they are answered. If your chosen call center can do all this, then they may indeed be the perfect communications solution for you.
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.