Call centres: alive and well in the 21st century
Even in today’s online world, the telephone is still a vital gateway for businesses and consumers alike. Traditionally, call centres performed fairly basic inbound tasks such as message taking and customer enquiries while outbound functions were largely restricted to cold calling and routine follow-ups. With the growth of digital technology, we might have expected to see call centres being replaced but instead they have evolved into sophisticated sales and marketing operations. The telephone is the preferred means of contact for a significant percentage of consumers and this is likely to remain the case until ML and AI have matured enough to take over.
For now, the phone is dominant but a business needs effective call centre solutions more than ever. 80% of callers react negatively if their call goes unanswered, 70% will not leave a message and 50% will never call back. Even existing customers will be put off in significant numbers. You need callers to be answered efficiently and professionally so they will take a positive view of your business and keep coming back. Call-handlers may be well trained and highly skilled but to excel they need all the help and support that digital technology can provide.
Meet the call centre challenge
The multiple functions of the modern call centre
Call centre solutions cater for both inbound and outbound operations. For outbound calls, operators can prepare thoroughly for the conversations they are instigating, but even so they need data and resources at their fingertips to answer any questions the customer might raise. Following a script is all very well but interactive and intuitive knowledge databases are indispensable. Inbound calls are a different prospect: until the call comes in the operator has no idea as to the identity of the caller or the subject of the call.
Call centre software providers have developed a range of solutions to enable call handlers to respond quickly, confidently and accurately. Callers expect helpful, authoritative answers and the best call centre solutions provide them. But today’s call centres deal with more than phone calls now that chatbots, live chat and other online facilities have become widespread. A comprehensive solution will incorporate inbound and outbound, call routing, interactive voice response, screen sharing, email, chat, social media and messaging as well as highly sophisticated analytics tools. Gradeon offers a full package of software solutions supported by the consultancy expertise to help you choose the right software for your business.