How to Know Which Call Center Services You Need

Frontline News   •   May, 2020

call center operator with headset

Different types of businesses need different types of call centers, just like they need different types of salespeople, designers, or technicians. There are as many different configurations of call centers or contact centers as there are types of businesses.

But do you know what type of call center is right for your business? What types are available so that you can weigh your options? Which call center services would help improve your relationships with your customers? Use this guide to help you make the right decision to enhance your operations.

Why Employ a Call Center Service? Everything You Need to Know

What are the types of call centers?

The line has been greatly blurred between “contact center” and “call center.” The term “call center” is now outdated. Even Call Center Week (one of the industry’s top conferences) has been changed to Contact Center Week. The new term is used because multi-channel contact support is on the rise. Because of tech trends, smartphones, and culture, consumers often choose other forms of contact than phone calls.

The three major types of call centers are:

  • Inbound
  • Outbound (usually for telemarketing or sales)
  • Automated

Frontline Call Center is mostly inbound-oriented, although we blur the lines in that we also offer outbound survey support.

What is the difference between inbound and outbound call center services? What are some good examples?

The terms “inbound” and “outbound” refer to the direction of communication. Who made the initial contact? If your agents are answering the phone to help a customer with a question, the customer initiated the call, so it’s inbound. If agents are calling customers, prospects, or general consumers who don’t expect a call, that’s usually outbound.

Agents who handle inbound call center services often:

  • Answer questions about products or services
  • Help solve technical problems
  • Process incoming orders and payments
  • Hold conversations when a customer wants to “talk to someone at the company.”
  • Respond to customers through email and chat
  • Listen to complaints
  • Aim to leave a customer with a positive sentiment about the company

What outbound services are provided by a call center? Outbound agents often:

  • Call prospects to schedule appointments
  • Follow up on inquiries or price quotes that could lead to a sale
  • Contact customers to upsell to a better offer or a more extended warranty
  • Attempt to get customers back who have gone to a competitor
  • Ask if a customer wants to renew a product or service order
  • Gather feedback through surveys and polls
  • Inform customers of new offers or updates
  • Remind customers to make a payment

Outsourcing your inbound customer service can often free up your employees’ time because many customers want to contact companies with questions, complaints, and technical support needs. And the right contact center can handle inquiries in multiple channels.

When do you need contact center services?

There are some common scenarios we frequently see that prompt the need for contact center services:

  1. The contact volume is more than you can handle. This can be true for any size company. Some companies have high volume needs due to COVID-19, for example.
  2. Inbound contacts are a distraction. Startups, for example, need to focus on growing their accounts, not on handling calls. More than 10 calls a day can eat into a small team or solo owners’ time.
  3. You need 24-hour support. It can be much more cost-effective to have blended agents handle contacts after hours and on weekends. For example, you may have taken on a new contract that requires 24/7 support when you only currently offer 9–5 support.
  4. You need a person to answer so you don’t lose business opportunities by sending them to a voicemail. You may need someone to make warm transfers or critical judgments in real-time.
  5. You are limited in growth due to a physical space.

What Is a Boutique Contact Center? What Are Its Benefits?

A boutique contact center is one that has chosen to focus in a specific area only. For us, our goal was to be high-touch regardless of the industry. This is still our intention across all the industries we support in customer care and tech support. These are the features of our call center services:

High Touch

We are high touch, which means we use our clients’ interfaces. This can be a website, CRM, shopping cart, database, or customer platform. Being able to offer support using these tools allows us to increase our first-call resolutions and to support detailed escalations when needed.

Admin Support

We can also offer dedicated administrative support. Admin support allows for tasks to be done that are typically done by the account owner, such as:

  • Working with warehouses and vendors
  • Making judgment calls for refunds and credits
  • Managing Amazon sales
  • Compiling special reports
  • Updating online stores
  • Performing software demonstrations
  • Providing light fulfillment services

Specialty Support Models

We offer several different types of support through blended agents, dedicated agents, technical support agents, outsourced agent teams, stations on our platform for clients to log in to facilitate ease of transfer when escalating, and cohesive reporting.

Custom Tools In-house

We are not afraid of software development work. We staff our own dev team. This means we can interface with client systems at a high level. We can maximize the customization features of NICE inContact to create interactive voice responses and useful reports for our clients. We have created our own support tool that provides guided processes, a knowledge base, and light ticketing CRM functionality for accounts, which all facilitates knowledge transfer specific to the client—especially a client that doesn’t have their own CRM.

Who Is the Frontline Group?

How is Frontline able to help businesses with call center services? Most centers offer limited services. They focus on a genre, and their agent type offerings are limited to one model for workforce management. Plus, they only use their own tools. We offer the opposite of each of these.

This is part of our story as a company. When we started using NICE inContact back in 2006, we took whatever accounts we could get. As we grew, we added different genres. This ranged from Medicare Part D to online retail of gym equipment, and even language learning program support. In meeting our CEO’s high-touch mandate, we started to craft custom solutions, which led us to push the limits of the platform and learn how to manipulate it for tie-ins and custom options.

After some time of doing this, Frontline Services came into existence. We implement directly for NICE inContact, and we are also a reseller of the platform. With Frontline Services came hybrid support for Frontline Call Center. We can now do the following, thanks to this collaboration between our two companies:

  1. Set up a client with their own contact center platform.
  2. Support them as a contact center if they want to outsource support.
  3. Provide a team of agents that can sit on their contact center instance.
  4. Provide overflow, after-hours, and weekend support.
  5. Consult on how to run an on-premise or cloud-based contact center.
  6. Pull from our experience having supported a few hundred accounts and our experience in implementing over a 1,000 different contact centers.

As you’re learning what type of call center services you need, check out our Resources page to learn how to improve your customer service and customer relationships.

Do you need support with the volume of inbound calls or other contacts you have? Your team members are experts in your product or service, and they should be able to focus on their strengths, not on these contacts. And your customers may be getting frustrated with long wait times.

Why not partner with us for inbound contact support and free up your team’s productive time? If we fulfill your call center needs, we can stick with you as your remote customer service representatives and help you grow. Contact Frontline for a quote now.