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Lone Worker assisted by First Call

Recently one of First Call's clients who use the Lone Worker Messaging and Answering Service, had a member of staff out in the field. Upon arriving at their place of work the staff member called in and reported that they had arrived safely and would be approx one hour on-site. First Call's operator updated the system and advised that they would await the staff member's next checkin, in one hour.

During the time of the call, the member of staff was leaving their vehicle and lost their footing falling to the ground and injured themself. First Call's quick thinking operator instructed another First Call operator to call emergency services and advised of the location whilst keeping the member of staff talking by asking a sequence of critical questions. Due to the calm, quick professionalism of the First Call operator, emergency services arrived quickly on the scene and took over the medical situation. The injured staff member later called into the office and delivered flowers for the operator who dealt with his call.

If you have staff working in the field give us a call to discuss your Lone Worker Answering and Messaging needs. Call 0800 854 736 to arrange a free set-up today!



Offshoring

According to research, the number of people employed by the call centre industry grew by 5.5% last year, dispelling worries about offshoring. Contact Babel's report, 'UK Contact Centres in 2006: The State of the Industry', found that 52,000 call centre jobs were created last year, taking the total workforce to nearly 900,000.  The report also predicts that the industry will employ more than 1m people by the end of 2007.

Steve Morrell, principal analyst at Contact Babel, said: "The UK contact centre industry continues to grow at a healthy and sustainable rate, driven by the expansion of existing operations, rather than the opening of new contact centres."Morrell also pointed out that the industry is confounding predictions about its vulnerability not just to offshoring but also to the rise of the internet retailing.

According to Morrell, retail websites are increasingly supplying telephone support for customers, meaning that by 2008 the retail sector will overtake the financial sector as the number one user of call contact centres. Morrell states, "Clever retailers have expanded their telephone support to take care of customers who may have questions that are not fully answered on the company's website,".

If you are looking to provide inbound call support for your online retail customers give us a call to discuss your Overflow Telephone Answering and Messaging needs. Call 0800 854 736 to arrange a free set-up today!



Would you trust them with your customer?

Nothing is more important than trust and value when it comes to entrusting your most valuable assets, your customers, to a third party. And value is not something that can be defined in a brochure. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. lmagine their problems and queries. Imagine how you would want those problems resolved in an ideal world. And imagine how you would want to be treated when you make that call.

Does your outsourcer have those skill sets? Are its agents motivated, skilled, experience and supported by the processes and technology needed to deliver first call resolution, time after time? Do they have the skills, knowledge and information to notify customers about appropriate offers/products/services during that contact to add extra value? lf not, then you may need to reconsider your outsourcing strategy.

My tips:

  1. Properly define your objectives Ensure that your goals are compatible with those of your outsourcer. They must be motivated to perform and able to fulfil your business needs at an acceptable price. lt’s amazing the number of outsourced relationships where the two sides start off with different goals and objectives.
  2. Don’t think you can “tack on” a call centre operation To be successful, it must be an integral part of an end-to-end customer management process that, for example, may start the moment a customer picks a product off a shelf, and which involves all of your departments that the customer may come into with - sales, support, ~ billing and service.
  3. Ensure that the people at your outsourcer feel a part of your company. Make sure they are informed, that there are regular meetings to exchange information and ideas - and that they are surrounding by branded messages.
  4. Pick a company that can work with you at a strategic level so that it can quickly and proactively respond to changes in your business.
  5. Ensure your outsourcer can provide a broad range of services. As well as basic customer call handling, these include value added services such as specialist customer service, outbound customer acquisition, debt collection, customer retention, technical assistance, cross-selling, upselling, staff accounts, activations, credit management, customer registrations, customer lifecycle management and back oftice functions.
  6. Pick an outsourcer that can understand complex product propositions, for example broadband/phone and T\/ “triple lay” packages.
  7. Ensure that your outsourcer can maximise each customer contact. This could be introducing customers to new products and services and educating them about ways that they can get more from existing products and services.
  8. Pick a company that is flexible in its work practices, such as virtual call centres and home working.
  9. Establish how you will measure performance, not just the number of calls handled, but how well they are answered and how happy the customer is at the end of the process.
  10. Don’t underestimate the management time required to make it work. It takes real teamwork - but the benefits in terms of reduced overall contact handling costs, higher customer satisfaction and more efficient contact handling will make it worthwhile.

Source - Steve Norman, business development director, Garlands Call Centre. Call Centre Europe issue N083

© First Call Business Communications 2017