Contact centers are the means by which consumers stay in touch with the companies they get their services or products from. It’s here where a claim is processed, bills are paid or a technical problem can be solved. A call center can outsource many different lines of business (LOBs) for one single provider (billing, sales, tech support) or keep a single structure for different companies.
If the call center dedicates representatives to receive calls only, then we say that is an “inbound” project, whereas having them make calls to contact customers is known as “outbound”. This differentiation is settled depending on the LOB that the center has been assigned to by the client (the company that the center represents when in contact with consumers). Customer service, for instance, is typically done by inbound projects and sales operations are mostly handled in outbound centers.
Because centers provide specific solutions to the businesses they represent, the relationship between both enterprises is based on metrics that are carefully reviewed and followed up. In fact, this is the reason why representatives are trained, monitored and coached based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) by their supervisors and support teams.
These metrics are pulled from the operation’s systems that include a large variety of applications (CMS, IEX, etc.) which are fed by the total time that agents are logged in. The amount of agents connected depends on forecasts that are elaborated in Work Fore Management, whose responsibilities also include supervising those shifts designed in order to keep a proper level of adherence, i.e. service level indicates how many stations are available to respond incoming calls to the queue.
QA Analysts, program specialists, floor walkers and team leaders help agents fulfill their tasks, making sure that the Key Performance Indications are constantly improved and under control. The information that Data Analysts retrieve is updated on a daily basis and sent out to managers who must take proper measures in areas of opportunity.
Now management is a whole different story since each function in the call center requires a decision maker who is responsible for achieving specific objectives. All related to those metrics requested by the client, reinforced by support, executed by operations and accomplished by everyone. They keep us busy at all times!