Call Center Myths
The call center industry, like many others, has always been subject to stereotypes and myths. When choosing to employ a call center for your customer service and sales needs, knowing which myths are false is essential.
Why are there so many myths about call centers?
Call center myths exist because the public understands little about the industry. Many believe their existence is irrelevant, and others think their purpose is solely to scam and acquire personal information. The popular opinion is that no one ever calls into or wants to deal with a call center. However, outbound call center services are critical to a business’s customer service experience – and most fail to realize its significance.
Myth: Call Centers Are Expensive
As a business decisionmaker, it’s understandable to believe outsourced customer service call centers are more expensive than developing one in-house. However, outsourcing is cheaper if you consider a business’s costs of running a call center – wages, benefits, quality, recruitment, dialer, overhead, turnover costs, etc. This is because the required cost to operate an outsourced call center is spread out over all its various clients, making the individual cost for a business less.
The call center myth that they are too expensive to utilize is false. In fact, small businesses can benefit significantly from outsourcing customer service to a call center. Small businesses can grow exponentially and appear larger than they are by employing a professional call center to handle the needs of their paying customers. Call center representatives are an extension of the business that employs them, providing small companies access to more employees without hiring, training, and developing them.
Larger businesses with in-house customer service departments often incur higher costs than those utilizing a call center. As stated, outsourcing the work to call center representatives is less expensive than hiring internally. Additionally, those who outsource also save on equipment costs such as phones, headsets, computers, software, etc.
Myth: Phones Have Become Obsolete
One often-thought call center myth is that using phones and calling have become obsolete for consumers. While using the internet, instant chat, and social media have become effective ways to perform customer service functions, inbound and outbound calling into call centers remains exceptionally relevant. The use of 24/7 answering services is growing – 80% of customers still get problems resolved over the phone. Some benefits of phone support include:
- More personal connection with customers
- Resolves complex issues easier
- Faster, on average, resolution times
- Call recordings provide a more in-depth analysis
One other benefit to call centers is customers enjoy or prefer talking to a real person on the phone to resolve issues as opposed to a text-based medium. With phones, we know who we are talking to and can interpret vocal queues and tones that help us understand each other. Having a real person to talk to and understand makes customers more comfortable.
Myth: Call Center Jobs Are Easy
This is one of the biggest call center myths out there. It’s easy to believe a job is easy based on uninformed opinions, but until the demands of that job are experienced, that belief will continue to be an uninformed opinion. The reality is a call center job requires plenty of patience and consistency. This line of work includes a heavy workload and immense pressure. Only those able to handle those two things can work as a call center representative for an extended period.
Being a call center representative requires listening and acting fast to come up with instant solutions to satisfy customers. It includes endurance and temperament, and only those who are capable of understanding and reacting accordingly can succeed. Call center representatives also tend to work longer shifts and must remain alert and sharp during this time.
Only some people can successfully fulfill the job of a call center representative. Most people who attempt the job quit early in their training due to a lack of necessary skills. Representatives must abide by company rules, satisfy customers, and perform plenty of multitasking to prove themselves.
Myth: In-House Customer Service Provides Better Quality and Quality Control
Despite what many might think, in-house call centers are not always better. Some larger, well-known businesses with their own call centers are ranked poorly in customer service experience. Outsourced call centers specialize in the industry, and their success depends on their ability to maintain high-quality customer service. With outbound call centers, almost all calls are recorded and screened to ensure the representative is meeting company and client standards.
Myth: Call Centers Can Be Replaced by Automation
Technology, especially in call centers, has advanced dramatically in recent years. However, while automation and robotics may be innovative and cost-effective, they differ from what people want for customer service. When contacting a business with an issue or concern, customers enjoy a personal touch. Having a call center provides a personal connection and relationship that automation can’t offer.
Myth: It’s Better to Invest in Marketing or Advertising than Customer Service
Mass marketing campaigns have lost their appeal to the public. Today, people trust more in what they have experienced personally from your business, their friends’ opinions, and the reviews of others online. It has been proven that winning over a new customer costs as much as five times more than keeping an old one. This prompted the creation of the classic 80-20 rule: 80% of your business’s revenue comes from 20% of your existing customers.
Myth: Remote Representatives Are Less Productive
For the longest time, this was believed to be true for more than just the call center industry. The COVID-19 pandemic proved that to be false. However, working from home has been beneficial for productivity since long before COVID-19. In 2015, Stanford University studied 16,000 remote call center representatives over nine months and found that working from home increased their productivity by 13%. Not only that, but work-from-home representatives also reported an increase in job satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.
After the pandemic began, similar studies showed the same results. In a 2020 survey by FlexJobs, the company found that just over half (51%) of respondents reported a productivity boost when they began working from home. Those being studied cited fewer interruptions and quieter work environments as notable reasons for the improvement.