What is the Difference between a Call Center and an Answering Service?

Difference between a Call Center and an Answering Service

When deciding whether you need an answering service versus a call center, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. An answering service simply takes calls, routes calls, takes messages, and notifies you of emergency calls. A call center can also function as an answering service but it takes more complex and longer calls. Let’s examine the similarities and differences a bit further to ensure your business chooses the correct support.

Call Center Services

Call centers are set up differently than answering services in that they handle more operational support tasks like:

  • Customer service calls
  • Order and shipping management calls
  • Overflow calls
  • Virtual receptionist needs
  • Tech support services
  • Bilingual representative services
  • CRM & loyalty/renewal program

Answering Services

When determining if your business needs a call center versus answering services, an answering service would handle these types of tasks:

  • Sudden increase in call volume
  • Shorter call duration
  • Message taking and call relaying to another department
  • After hours answering and call routing
  • Live chat answering
  • Message forwarding

Both services answer calls and function as employees from your business. Call centers and answering services both also handle inbound and outbound calls. However, answering services are different from call centers in that agents typically are not providing additional information to the caller. Answering service agents are trained to properly take messages and route calls. In a call center, the agents are providing additional information and answering call questions. The call passed through an answering service will be much shorter in duration than one routed through a call center. Answering service calls are simpler in nature than call centers.

When understanding if your business needs a call center or answering service support, think of the nature of the call and how you would want the call to be answered and handled. From there, Responsive Call Center will work directly with you to map out a call flow and benchmarks needed in terms of call length. Responsive Call Center will provide your team with a recommendation if an answering service or a call center will be needed and which solution is best for you.

Responsive Call Center agents are trained to handle all different types of complex calls across verticals. Responsive Call Center agents work directly with your operations team to ensure quality, brand and message are carried through and every call is answered. Whether your business provides a medical or real estate service, the Responsive Call Center team will set up an introduction and on-boarding call directly with your employees to train in the company’s culture and expertise. The Responsive Call Center agents become a direct extension of your company providing your team the scalability and automation that is needed at this time. Free up your management and sales team to address core business related issues while the Responsive Call Center agents take care of your clients.

Let’s get started today to understand what type of service works best for your business and create a plan.

Our state-of-the-art equipment and highly trained staff allow us to make sure you never miss your customers’ calls again. Contact Responsive Call Center to find out more about how we can help you best manage the calls that are most important to you.

Scale Your Business: Let Responsive Help with Order Management

Let Responsive Help with Order Management

Handling repeated incoming calls and managing orders from customers can be hard to keep up with as your business grows requiring you to quickly scale your order management process. When customers call to place orders, placing them on hold while they wait for someone to become  available can result in lost sales. At the same time, you would hate to tell your team to rush through their sales calls because you are trying to provide the best customer care possible or miss out on any cross-sale opportunities simply because team members are trying to quickly clear call ques.

What if we told you there is a better alternative? And that you would be able to allocate your limited time to more important matters yet still have orders being handled with excellent customer service!

With Responsive Call Center on your side, we work as an extension of your own private team managing your customer’s orders and providing the same exceptional service you would expect from your internal teams. Our call center experts can assist with taking orders and processing them all year round, even during your peak season!

If you already have an Order Management System (OMS) in place, the representatives at Responsive Call Center will be trained to work with your system per your directives. They are able to follow your instructions for:

  • • Lead capturing
  • • Validating information
  • • Fraud checking
  • • Sourcing
  • • Confirming deliveries
  • • And more

Our goal is to act as an extension of your internal teams so we train our call center representatives to provide the important information your customers are looking for each and every time they call. Experienced operators can provide the following:

  • • Product information
  • • Stock availability
  • • Order status
  • • Dispatch management
  • • And more

Should a problem arise during a call, our call center representatives are able to rely on the expertise of a supervisor or pass a call on to be handled by a supervisor. We understand that escalated calls should be handled professionally and promptly so we are ready to do so.

Responsive Call Center knows that order management is critical to your success and outsourcing this aspect of your operation to experienced professionals helps you cut costs and improve the order processing experience for your customers and lets you focus on growing your business instead.

Call Responsive Call Center today to discuss how we can help you meet your goals for Order Management.

Order Taking: Sure, We Can Help

Order Management

A phone ringing with customers eager to place orders is a positive sign for your business growth but to ensure customer satisfaction the order must be taken down properly. Order taking and management requires time and attention to detail.

If your growing business needs customer service representatives who can answer calls and take orders, Responsive Call Center’s team of professional representatives can help your business. We are available to take orders and process them 24/7. Our representatives can provide:

  • Product information
  • Stock availability
  • Order processing
  • Order status updates
  • Dispatch management

Does your business already have an Order Management System (OMS) in place? No problem. We will work with your team to ensure our representatives are fully trained and well versed in how to use your OMS so it can be integrated with our own system. Every member of our call center order management team follows processes including:

  • Lead capturing
  • Validating information
  • Fraud checking
  • Sourcing
  • Confirming deliveries

Our live order management call center representatives are able to provide customers with tracking information and details. If your company works with consultants, repairmen, or stores that only serve customers in a specific geographic area, we can merge your database with our system so that your customers always have the most accurate information possible.

Responsive Call Center’s team is well trained and our call centers are fully equipped and staffed to take and process your orders according to your specifications. There are always supervisors on hand to monitor calls and support our representatives if anything urgent comes up or if there are any escalated calls. We will treat every caller with the utmost respect and professionalism so they always feel their needs are being met. As your partner in this endeavor, Responsive Call Center takes this responsibility seriously and will ensure your callers feel as though they are speaking to members of your own team.

We understand your business is your main priority, so let us take care of the rest. Call us today to see how we can help – (855) 729-3235.

Global Call Centers

Global call centers

Business owners today can become overwhelmed with conflicting priorities, always running out of time. Managing an entire company can be tiresome, and yet everything must still get done. Big shot companies like Time Warner Inc., The Wall Street Journal, and Hershey Foods reduced stress and company costs by outsourcing parts of their call center to offshore offices. External service providers of this nature, like Responsive, can step in and manage entire call center operations for a company, employing select bilingual personnel. In today’s globalized market, the more languages customer service reps know, the better. Call center offshore outsourcing is one affordable solution that comes with plenty of perks.

5 Benefits of Call Center Offshore Outsourcing

Once you’ve made the decision to outsource your company’s call center, the option presents itself to take a more hands-off approach and leave it to your service provider to manage daily operations. This allows your focus to be shifted to the bigger picture. Among the many benefits of having a call center locally, as well as overseas, five stand out from the rest.
Lower costs overall – outsourcing call center also outsources many of the costs associated with daily operations, reducing overhead and labor.
Around the clock customer support – provide 24/7 support at an affordable cost.
Ability to manage high call volume and overflow calls – never miss a call from a customer with a fully-staffed call center of reps waiting to take the next order.
Reduced recruiting and training issues – external service providers handle their own staffing and this takes the challenge off your hands.
Bilingual Representatives – employing representatives who can answer phones in not only one, but two major languages, is a major plus, and this can boost sales.

A Quality Customer Experience

Overseas call center representatives are trained and tested rigorously with a slew of reading and writing comprehension checks. Bilingual staff are also tested during the training period so that interactions between customers and representatives are ensured to go smoothly. Remember, the impression you make on the customer will be the taste they take away and a deciding factor on whether or not they return.

Responsive has not only US based call centers, but Latin-American call centers located in Nicaragua and Peru. We are equipped with fully-trained bilingual staff, eager and prepared to handle each customer call. What would you do with extra hours in the day? Not only do international call centers cut costs dramatically, they cut you free from the stress of trying to do it all. Contact Responsive Call Center today to discuss the ways we can help you.

5 Things to Look for in a Call Center

Things to Look for in a Call Center

We all know how frustrating it can be to be put on a lengthy hold. No one enjoys waiting on the phone to speak with someone when there is a pressing need or concern. However, making your employees bounce between providing customer service in addition to completing their job can result in unanswered calls, rushed responses and uncompleted tasks. These problems can damage your customer rapport and ultimately hurt your company. Outsourcing your calls to a call center alleviates a lot of stress on your company and provides customers with the individualized attention they want and need. Finding the right call center can be quite tricky, as the differences between various companies lies in the services offered. By hiring a call center, you are creating an extension of your company; be sure to select a call center that understands the needs of your company and your customers.

Tips for Finding the Right Call Center

Take a look at these 5 tips for finding the right call center for your business:

1. Variety of Call Services
Finding the right call center service provider has a lot to do with finding a company that is specialized in a variety of services. You want to make sure the company you select can offer the services that match your company today and can keep up with your company’s future growth. Look for a company that offers Inbound Services such as customer service, order management and CRM systems, as well as Outbound Services such as quality assurance, telemarketing, credit card processing and employment screening. By hiring a company that offers both inbound and outbound services, you are assuring a long-term relationship and consistency for your clientele; both of which promote customer loyalty and drive your business toward success.

2. CRM Loyalty Call Center Services
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions help call center agents connect to clients by accessing the correct information and knowledge about a customer’s history in order to ensure customer satisfaction. This provides call center agents the tools to understand your customers and meet their needs quickly and efficiently. There are many different platforms for CRM and finding a call center that offers customized CRM platform options and can integrate with your existing company platform is vital. By employing a call center who can seamlessly join your company, you can improve your company without changing it.

3. More than Calls
Find a company that offers more than call services in handling customers. Some call centers offer services such as database management. This means that the call center is doing more than just answering or making calls; they are analyzing calls and providing insight about your customers for your company. By hiring a call center that offers database management, you are helping your company improve your customer base by creating segmentation models that enable targeted marketing campaigns. This can also improve customer retention rates by studying customer behavior and satisfaction. Other services such as lead screening, fulfillment services, and credit card processing can greatly improve customer satisfaction as well.

4. Human Capital
Be certain that the call center you hire employs agents that are constantly trained and updated in call center service skills, product knowledge and business understanding programs. These agents should also be in close contact with supervisors who are well versed in problem resolution and effective management. Find a call center that consistently examines and evaluates service representatives to ensure proper training, knowledge of your company and how to tend to your customers. Finding a center with onshore representatives in addition to bilingual representatives promotes customer comfort and acquisition.

5. Experienced and Prepared
Finally, consider qualities in a call center that would ensure your company is properly cared for during emergencies. Find a company that is experienced and prepared. Your services need to be available 24/7 regardless of emergencies. While hiring a call center to handle customer support alleviates your work load, it also places a lot of responsibility in someone else’s hands. Find out whether the call center offers several onshore and offshore locations and can continue to function despite natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes in case services need to be transferred temporarily. Make sure the call center offers recovery strategies and recovery teams as well should emergencies such as fire or flood occur.

Responsive Call Center has 40 years of experience managing inbound calls as well as outbound call center services such as telesales, telemarketing, lead and employment screening, credit card processing and disaster recovery among other services. Responsive employs specially trained agents available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in several call center locations across the United States in addition to international call center operations. They offer state of the art technology through telecommunications hardware and software solutions as well as customer management, database management and fulfillment and order tracking. Contact Responsive Call Center to help you improve customer satisfaction and growth today!