A recent internet search will bring up hundreds of pages describing new technologies for the Call Center. While all of these technologies have their advantages, some of them are worth looking into and others should be avoided like the plague. Before you take a side in any of the technology battles raging in the Call Center World, consider the following advice.
Most successful companies in the field of telemarketing use an interactive telephone system, or I.T. to take calls.
They use this system to pass information back and forth between the customer and the salesperson while getting the job done faster than using voice over IP.
The telemarketers do not have to use voice over IP, because they can still communicate with the customer in person while calling the customer with a good system. However, for sales calls, VoIP is often used as a back up.
For years, telemarketers were using standard phones with headsets to communicate with customers. This system worked fine when the call was coming from an uninteresting or old phone, but when the customers had a telephone that could be upgraded with a headset and a better quality telephone, the problem was exacerbated.
Salespeople also found that if they needed to close more calls, the telemarketing companies gave them better equipment than they would normally receive. This was meant to attract customers who had phones with good quality headsets and larger phone ranges.
Salespeople who could not use voice over IP to take calls would have to switch to more expensive phones, not only to perform the job they were hired to do, but to increase their efficiency when the call came in. So the Call Center managers saw that the new phones were bringing customers who were more profitable.
In the beginning, most telco companies would provide call centers with such phones and headsets at no charge. However, they realized that there were benefits in investing in the hardware upgrades as their customers’ needs changed, so the telcos began providing the technology for their employees to use.
What happened next was quite interesting.
Instead of switching to VoIP because of their increased efficiency and their increased profits, the Call Center managers took a conservative approach, and they decided to hold off on implementing the new phones and headsets until after the competition in the area of telemarketing began using the new technology.
While the Call Center employees waited for the competitors to get to them, many of them began using the new VoIP technology to take calls for their own internal customers. This changed the dynamics of the industry, because now customers of the other telemarketing companies could not rely on a Call Center as an effective means of communication.
The Call Center managers also saw that if they did implement the new technology, they would lose control of the market, because customers were starting to get their calls transferred to the VoIP systems, which didn’t include any kind of filters or alerts to alert them that they were being called by a Telemarketing Sales Person. Some customers were even receiving sales pitches via VoIP, while they waited for their call to be transferred to the Call Center.
The solution for the Call Center was to continue to use the older phones and headsets, but to install filters to prevent customers from hearing any telemarketing sales pitches during their calls. The Call Center didn’t want to compromise on its efficiency, so the Call Center managers decided to hold off on the VoIP upgrades.
When the VoIP technology was implemented, it was extremely popular. Salespeople began switching over and the Call Center managers found that they were quickly out-selling the telemarketing companies, who were still using older telephones and headsets.