An efficient call center is a profitable call center!
Every call center manager wants their business to be as effective and profitable as possible to keep business growing and tread towards excellence.
Many businesses incorporate inbound and outbound call centers. Still, the most efficient one is often a blended call center—which combines the two types of calls to increase profits and maximize efficiency.
This article will explore how you can be more efficient with a blended call center and how contact center solutions can help you manage every aspect of your contact center.
Inbound call centers vs. outbound call centers
Inbound call centers accept calls from customers who contact your business to get their queries resolved. Agents in inbound call centers passively wait for customers to call and will deal with any queries coming into your business.
Inbound call centers are integral to running any call center but may not be enough to ensure maximum efficiency. If no calls are coming in, agents wait for a call and often aren’t making the best use of their time.
In modern times, customers can often find whatever they need without actively calling a business and speaking to someone. They could research, find answers, and purchase without speaking to anyone in your business!
A purely inbound call center will not reach these people. You could miss out on lucrative opportunities to upsell products or encourage customers to add additional products to their purchases.
With purely outbound call centers, agents will call potential and existing customers to sell. While this may bring in extra revenue, it won’t provide excellent customer service.
While outbound calls can cover some answers to questions, your sales team might not have the time or inclination to get to know that customer and deliver excellent service as they may be anxious to get to the next call to increase profits.
With a purely outbound call center, customers won’t have anywhere to call if they need support. This could mean they become dissatisfied should a problem arise, with no way to contact you.
It also gives the impression to some customers that once they’ve made a purchase, they will be forgotten about and that your business does not value them once they have spent their money with you.
While outbound calls can be lucrative and helpful in selling to customers, it’s clear that some middle ground is needed to balance customer service and sales.
Also Read: 10 Best VoIP Software for Small Businesses
The benefits of blended call centers
Blended call centers have the best of both worlds, with both inbound and outbound calls happening from the same call center.
This benefits the customers, agents, and the business—with many more opportunities for sales and excellent customer service.
1. Higher agent productivity
With a blended call center, agents are no longer sitting around waiting for a call as they do in an inbound call center. When there are no incoming calls, they can make more productive use of their time by making outbound calls to customers.
These calls could be to sell to potential customers who may have registered their interest or been in contact previously.
The online portal gives agents the ability to store customers’ information. Therefore, any free agent can make a follow-up call to try and secure their business or notify them of a new product suited to the customer’s needs.
Acefone’s contact center solutions give your staff the power to be proactive and deliver highly personalized service with little effort.
Blended call center agents could also use quiet times by calling existing customers and completing a form of account management to ensure they are happy.
Customers who will feel more valued will appreciate a check-in like this and, therefore, will be more likely to purchase from you again as you have taken care of them.
2. More opportunities to make a profit
The knowledge and customer service skill of an inbound team, combined with the sales and business acumen of an outbound team, means many more opportunities to make a profit. That’s why blended call centers are popular with many businesses today.
You can capture many new opportunities by delivering excellent service when customers need you and proactively reaching out to prospective customers. For example, a customer may be considering another purchase but has not had the time to call and enquire about this with your team.
If they receive a phone call, they will appreciate that you have made their life easier and are much more likely to purchase from you. With a simple outbound call, you have made a sale you may not have otherwise.
This customer could have an issue with the product and need to call you for support. With a blended call center, you are there for the customer in both scenarios and can offer full service to the customer. This will impress your customers and increase referrals if they can easily communicate with your business.
3. Keep all your information in one place
Blended call centers mean that all information is kept in one place. Your agents can access this information quickly and have everything they need for a successful call with a customer.
Acefone’s contact center solutions are designed so agents can work collaboratively and access information from wherever they are. Agents don’t need to be in the same office to access information; they can connect to your hosted phone system wherever they have an Internet connection.
With all the information at their fingertips, agents can deliver highly personalized service with minimal effort and leave a note on their conversation for the next agent to pick up where they left off.
Most blended contact center solutions let you manage every aspect of customer support and experience. Everything you need, from call recordings to agent waiting times and call costs, is stored in one place.
Agents can easily share information and keep notes on customer accounts so that agents can follow up or offer personalized offers and product recommendations.
All the tools available through your hosted phone system mean you can run a fully flexible blended contact center at a low cost and ensure that your call center runs efficiently.