Sometimes it pays to just go back to the basics. A recent study from Five9 (News - Alert) looks at on-demand call centers, and runs over some call center dynamics fundamentals it’s easy to forget in the complexity of actually running one.
The entire piece is well worth reading, some excerpts:Types of calls are often divided into outbound and inbound. Inbound calls are calls that are made by the consumer to obtain information, report a malfunction, or ask for help. These calls are substantially different from outbound calls, where agents place calls to potential customers mostly with intentions of selling or service to the individual. Call center staff are often organized into a multi-tier support system for a more efficient handling of calls. The first tier in such a model consists of operators, who direct inquiriesto the appropriate department and provide general directory information.
If a caller requires more assistance, the call is forwarded to the second tier, where most issues can be resolved. In some cases, there may be three or more tiers of support staff. If a caller requires more assistance, the caller is forwarded to the third tier of support; typically the third tier of support is formed by product engineers/developers or highly-skilled technical support staff of the product.
There has also been a recent trend to move call centers to India, where there is a large pool of English-speaking people. However, there has been widespread dissatisfaction from consumers, who are unable to understand Indian call center staff and vice versa, owing to differences between American and Indian English.
The Philippines is said to be the best outsourcing site outside North America since the accent of Filipinos is nearer to that of American consumers as compared to other ethnicities.