We live and work in a global economy where most people do not conduct business from nine to five in one particular time zone.
Customers expect to be able to reach a business at any given time of the day or night and, if they cannot, then more often than not they will move on to a competitor and take their business with them.
And one of the things that those customers will be looking for when they call is a live person and not a pre-recorded voice. That is where call centers can be of great use to businesses.
Here is a run-down of the top industries who could benefit from using a call center service to augment their business.
· Medical—Medical offices have been using answering services for years. However, in the past, most of the services were limited in their scope to just taking messages and passing on basic information.
Now, call centers can provide much more assistance.
Since patients are not just sick during office hours, call centers can staff the phones after the regular office has left for the evening, making sure that patients get the assistance that they need.
This can include referring the patients to after-hours emergency care centers if the situation is dire enough to answering simple questions about the practice.
But the most commonly utilized area for call centers in the medical field is with scheduling.
Patients can now call anytime to set up appointments, without having to worry if the office is open or closed for the day when they do so.
In fact, some medical offices have found the call centers so effective that they are totally outsourcing their scheduling;
with the money saved by having a call center field these calls, the office is able to reinvest the capital into newer equipment and other miscellany which will help the practice grow.
- Service/Repair—One of the unfortunate facts of life is that bad things will happen, often at the worst possible moments.
That’s why you can almost guarantee that someone will be looking for a plumber at three o’clock in the morning when a pipe bursts or
a heating/air conditioner repairman when the air goes out in the middle of the night in July.
Rather than paying someone to staff your personal office phones 24/7, the best move a service and repair company can make is to utilize a call center.
These operators can take in the service call, find an available repairman with your company, and
assign the call for a fraction of the price that it would cost to keep a full-time employee on staff in your brick and mortar business office to do the same job.
Plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and carpentry companies can truly benefit from using these answering services to track their employees and assign them quickly and efficiently.
- Sales and Customer Service—If you are in the sales business, then call centers allow you to take and process orders even when your office is closed.
Today’s economy is not just localized to customers in your area code.
If you wish to truly compete, then you will need to expand your base outside of your local sales area, possibly even looking at world-wide sales.
With that in mind, you need a sales force that can field these calls at any point in the day regardless of what time zone your customers are in.
And with sales, customer service also goes hand-in-hand.
That is why call centers are important because they can also be utilized by businesses to handle customer questions and complaints at any point in the day.
Remember, more often than not, if a customer calls a business and gets no answer, then they will simply move on to another company.
That is why it is so important to keep the phones staffed at all times.
In addition, many companies are finding that hiring a call center to field sales and service calls full-time allows them to focus more on the production and
distribution end of the business and less on training and maintaining a full-time sales staff, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Although these three industries can find the most use and benefit from utilizing call centers, there are many more which can also find them beneficial.
Managers can use them when having employees “clock-in” off-premises where there is not a physical time-clock to punch.
Political Action Committees or candidates can utilize them, not only for traditional campaign calls, but also to field donation lines.
The idea is that a call center’s services are varied today and the only limit to their ability to aid a business is the imagination of the business itself.
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Cassie Lummus is an independent writer for http://www.answeringserviceunited.com/. She is an expert in call center outsourcing.