What is an inbound call center?
An inbound call center is a call center that primarily or exclusively handles inbound calls (calls initiated by customers or prospects). Agents in inbound call centers essentially provide reactive support while those in outbound call centers are proactive.
There are various reasons why customers contact inbound call centers. These reasons can include placing orders, requesting support, making a complaint, canceling appointments, upgrading or renewing subscriptions, etc.
The call center needs to focus on answering these calls speedily and resolving any issues the customers face as quickly as possible.
How to handle inbound calls?
Inbound sales calls are arguably the toughest kind of calls that you would have to handle. They could get rather complicated. To handle these calls properly, your sales representatives need to be very well versed in the products and services provided by your company. They also need to have as much information about the customer as possible available to them. This could include the order history or even transcripts of chats that they’ve had with your company in the past (which Engati provides with our live chat offering).
Here are some tips on handling inbound sales calls:
Pronounce their name right
You don’t want to butcher their name by pronouncing it incorrectly. Towards the start of the call, you should ask them if you’re pronouncing it right. Just asking that question alone would show them that you care and would make them feel better about you, and more willing to trust you.
Use questions as well as statements
Just making assertions might not work too well. You need to be asking questions to get to know what your customers want. But you can’t just make them answer a long list of questions. You need to blend statements with questions to make the conversation feel more natural. You can then use this combination of statements and questions to guide how your conversation flows.
Acknowledge their hindrances
When your prospects tell you about their problems and what’s holding them back from making a purchase, you might not want to directly dive into how you’re going to work around that problem. Instead, first, repeat their issue in your own words and ask them if you got it right. That would make them feel heard. After doing that, you can explain how you’re going to solve their problem.
Go at the caller’s pace
Making your pitch and asking for the order right away might not necessarily be the best idea. It might make them feel like you’re being a bit too pushy. Different people go through the buying process at different paces, your representatives need to go at the caller’s pace. Make the sale without making the caller feel pressured.
Prepare a product description in advance
Coming up with descriptions on the fly could be hard, even for experienced agents. Make life easier for them by drafting a compelling description of your product or service in advance. This would make your agents seem more confident instead of having them fumble while describing your offerings. You should also mention whether there are any specific words that you want your representatives to mention without fail when they interact with a prospect and describe your product or service.
What is the difference between an inbound and outbound call center?
While an inbound call center either predominantly or exclusively focuses on receiving inbound calls that customers have initiated, an outbound call center concentrates on proactively making outbound calls.
An outbound call center may make calls to prospective customers for telemarketing, generating leads, booking appointments, and much more. They can even be used to call your existing customers to gather feedback or conduct surveys.
Outbound call centers and even used to conduct market research and to drive sales.
What metrics should you monitor in inbound call centers?
1. Average Response Time
The average response time is the average amount of time that your inbound call center’s staff takes to respond to calls from your customers or prospects.
2. Average Handling Time
This refers to the average amount of time spent on a customer support conversation. Your average handling time also includes the time spent on holds and transfers, along with the time that your agents spend on after-call tasks.
3. First Contact Resolution Rate
This metric shows you how capable your agents are of resolving customer issues in the very first interaction. Your first contact resolution rate is the percentage of support requests that your agents resolved in the first interaction instead of having to get back to your customers at a later time.
This is the amount of time that it takes for a customer’s issue to be resolved. The quicker you can resolve your customer’s issues, the higher your customer satisfaction level will be.