Call Centers & Online Appointment Scheduling for Contractors (Part I of II)
If you work as a contractor, it’s likely that you don’t spend all that much time in an office. As a small business owner, the majority of your time is spent meeting customers and prospects on-site, all over town. Unfortunately, with the amount of travel that your job demands, it’s easy to lose touch with customers and overlook potential job opportunities.
Whether your customers are looking for help during regular business hours, on weekends, over the holidays, or after hours, they need to know you’ve got them covered … because quite frankly, if you aren’t there to answer the phone when your customers need you, they’ll find someone else who is. To stop your customers and prospects from simply crossing you off the list and moving on to the next contracting service listed on Google, you might consider investing in a call center or in online appointment setting.
As technology continues to shift, and customer expectations along with it, contractors are noticing a rise in the importance of online scheduling. While some contractors decide to stay with a phones-only method, many other contractors have begun to offer customers the option of requesting service and specifying appointment times through their own website portals. If you fall into the camp of going the phones-only approach, read on to see how you could benefit from working with a call center.
Call centers can streamline efficiencies for your contracting business, answering customer questions on your behalf during normal operating hours, with most offering 24/7 support as well (including holidays).
Call Centers for Contractors: Reduced Costs
Having a call center available for appointment-setting can be a more cost-effective solution to hiring and maintaining an office’s worth of in-house personnel. It reduces costs associated with staffing, and it also reduces infrastructure and overhead costs. Lastly, it turns a significant fixed cost (labor) into a variable cost – so you’re not paying for the labor you don’t need. Put all these things together and they can add up to huge savings, significantly improving your bottom line.
Additionally, hiring an external call center service provider to handle calls when your in-house personnel aren’t working can be a great way to provide 24/7 service but without having to keep a 24/7 employee or in-house call center agent.
Call Centers for Contractors: Improved Call Quality
Having a staff of well-trained and well-informed external call center agents that can handle calls at a moment’s notice can help significantly improve service quality during busier business hours. Overflow calls will be routed to your call center agents, which reduces wait times and customer frustration. Moreover, both your in-house personnel and your outsourced call center agents won’t feel hurried when talking with your customers during busier business hours because they know plenty of other qualified agents are available to answer all of the calls that are coming in, which can help drastically improve the quality of customer service provided, and ultimately help to decrease wait times during busier hours.
Call Centers for Contractors: Decreased Call Abandonment
When you choose to use an external call center service provider, long wait times and high caller abandonment rates will no longer be an issue. In a call center, every call is answered in a timely fashion, so you never again have to let a customer slip through the cracks or lose them due to long wait times.
Additionally, deciding to hire an external call center service provider to deal with calls when or if your office’s call center software goes down (for instance, in the event of a disaster or emergency when your in-house agents can’t make it in), in the event of a power outage, or if your office’s computers go down – these are all events in which a call center can be a cost-effective solution to ensure business continuity.
Call Centers for Contractors: Increased Customer Satisfaction
When you work with call center agents, your agents will be able to handle peak call volumes more effectively and can spend more time meeting your customers’ needs, which means you’ll lose fewer customers to call abandonment due to long wait queues and declining service levels. The bottom line is that better customer service and shorter wait times translates to more satisfied customers.
Call centers can be an extremely effective way to enhance customer service, increase efficiency and reduce risk without sacrificing your bottom line, and could be exactly what you need to propel your company ahead of the competition.