Outbound Call Center Worst Practices
With the amount of call centers in the field today, it’s important to maintain quality standards. Outbound call centers are typically involved in telemarketing, debt collection, and proactive customer service. Managers and agents may not know they’re already committing blunders in their operations that could be holding back their productivity levels and profits.
What are the worst practices to avoid and the best solutions to implement in this industry?
1. Doing the bare minimum in training.
Waiting until your employee’s first official day to commence training is a waste of time. Think fake calls in the boardroom will suffice? Let your agents train on the job to get a feel of what it’s actually like. Further down the line, continue to oversee the professional improvement of your agents through speech analytics and call monitoring software. Update the script they read from as needed and teach them to deliver their lines naturally. Learning is not a one-time thing, it is a continuous process.
2. Having an inconsistent schedule.
It goes without saying, but you may need reminding: you are in the business of communicating with people, not mere names and numbers on paper that exist just for the sake of profit.
Observe your own habits and preferences. Research says that Thursdays, especially between 8 to 9AM and 4 to 5PM are the best times of the day to call. These prime hours before and after work shifts are when people are 20% more likely to take your calls and stay with you. Check the weather report, too. Rain and snow tend to keep people cooped up indoors, fostering a call-friendly environment.
3. Letting the customer wait.
If you’re coming from an inbound call center, the outbound process may be something of a culture shock. It’s an agent’s initiative to do the chasing this time, be it by individual outbound calls, SMS, or automatically generated emails. The aim is to never let it get to the point that the customer has to contact first for any grievance whatsoever.
4. Failing to follow up on updates.
Think in terms of customer service and technology. Once someone has availed of your service or purchased the product you’re selling, do not give them the hit-and-run, dine-and-dash treatment! Be attentive and respond to their additional queries or send regular notifications. Double-check your call database if the phone numbers are still active.
5. Forgetting to build a support system for your employees.
The outbound call center is rife with stress from the constant competition and requisite rejection. Your employees are not robots. There will be lulls in their enthusiasm levels, which is why you should play motivating games to liven up the tense office air. In the long term, set obtainable goals and incentive programs.
We list just five of the many possible conundrums and corresponding resolutions you will encounter in the exciting field of outbound call centers. May your own outbound call center be as buzzing as it is fulfilling.