At some point everyone in modern countries makes a call to a call centre, whether they know it or not. Call centres are offices that are specially designed to handle a large number of calls. Some larger companies have their own call centres while others hire call centres, where one building may house phone systems that are working for dozens of companies. Between small call centres with two or three phones to huge buildings with hundreds of cubicles there are a lot of variations but the basics remain pretty much the same. That’s what we’ll look at in this article, the basic way that most call centres today work.
There are two basic ways that call centres can work, either by making calls or taking them. Companies that handle things like customer service are constantly taking calls while companies that make sales are always making calls and trying to land deals. In this article we’ll look mainly at the type of call centre that takes calls, though there is a decent amount of overlap between the two.
It all starts when a call comes into a main phone number. If you’re calling the support number for a major corporation it’s not like that one number corresponds directly to one phone, when you call the number your call is processed by call centre software that connects you with one of the agents who is there answering phones. If there is an open agent this process will be almost instant but if everyone is busy you will be put in a queue where you will have to wait until everyone who called ahead of you has been answered and processed. This is obviously less than ideal but it’s important to remember that companies are paying for all the people taking calls and they can only handle so many per hour without increasing their customer service budget like the phone systems in Melbourne, at http://cotel.com.au/
Lets look at the agent side of things. In modern call centres there are a number of stations that may be used by different people. An agent will come to work, sit down at their station and enter their information. This way the people who run the centre can tell who took which call. Once they login they can start answering calls. What this entails depends on the type of centre it is. In some cases the agent will be a trained employee of the company the person is calling about, so they can use their expertise to answer questions and handle the situation. In other cases, especially if it’s an outsourcing centre, the duty of the agent is simply to deal with very simple issues and connect the caller with other departments within the company itself to deal with more complex issues.
As you see the whole highly automated process for maximum efficiency. It’s why IPFX phones and other specially designed phones are used, so the process is as simple as possible without losing power to maximize labour expenditures. A lot happens between the time you dial a number and hang up. And when all is said and done the people in charge of the centre do what they can to measure the success of the agent taking the calls, from listening to recorded conversations, looking at the number of calls taken and simply asking callers about their experiences. A lot goes into correctly processing calls, which is what you should expect when the reputation of a business is on the line.