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Prepare to Answer the Call: Inbound Call Center

What is an inbound call center?

An inbound call center is a contact center companies use to take large volumes of phone calls from those who are seeking technical support, answers to questions, issue resolution, or any other customer service issues. The calls are answered by customer service agents or call agents, unlike outbound call centers which predominantly focus on making calls. It's a necessity for nearly every industry.

With Zendesk Talk, agents can provide phone support from an inbound solution, and on the same centralized platform they use to manage all other channels.

A different approach

Traditionally, unlike other types of customer support centers which can field support requests from any number of channels, the inbound call center is specifically designed to respond to incoming phone calls. Agents are trained with soft skills associated with resolving issues over the phone. In that regard, call agent management is measured against a specific set of metrics, such as:
  • Average call duration: the average duration of each call.
  • First call resolution: the number of calls resolved without the need for further calls or call escalation.
  • Customer satisfaction: was the customer satisfied with the interaction?
  • Time in queue: how long was the customer on hold before being able to speak to an agent?
It should be noted that the growth of channels like email and Twitter has motivated some customer service leaders to take advantage of inbound call center software that allows agents to interact with those outside of the typical inbound call.

Best practices

Providing support via an inbound call center can be a challenge because callers want quick resolution to their issues and don’t want to have to explain their issue to multiple people. It’s important for agents to deal with these calls in such a way that they are able to handle expectations but also ensure they are getting the context they need to resolve this issue, all while maintaining a positive rapport with the customer. Skills that agents can be taught to help with this include:
  • Be a good listener. If a caller becomes annoyed or frustrated, they might have trouble hearing your answer—even if it’s correct. Listen first, let them calm down, and then try to help them. Also, don’t turn the call into a sales call unless it seems appropriate.
  • Acknowledge. Callers want to know they are being heard, so make sure they know that you understand why they’ve called you. It's essential for two-way communication.
  • Give them options.With an IVR (interactive voice response system), allow callers to choose to listen to FAQs or opt to leave a voicemail instead of waiting in the queue.
Ultimately listening can be a tough skill to learn, but it’s an essential one to master for a successful inbound call center. You’ve got to listen to a caller in order to repeat back to them, using supportive language, what you’ve heard them describe.

The right fit for your business

If you’ve typically provided support via an inbound call center and not invested in other channels, now is a great time to explore inbound call center software that integrates with the systems you already have in place but also allows you to expand your support offerings to include newer channels. Doing so will let you engage with callers on their terms and provide them with seamless, multichannel customer service that can fit in any industry.

How Zendesk helps

Zendesk Talk is call center software that uses voice over internet technology (VOIP) and seamlessly integrates with Zendesk. Since it’s cloud software, setup only takes a few minutes and doesn’t require the help of technicians. Plus, it’s easy to use, so you can ramp up your users quickly and make them efficient agents.

More importantly, an integrated call center lets agents expand the solutions they have at their disposal to engage in personal and efficient conversations with customers. With Zendesk Talk, agents can provide phone support from a contact center on the platform they use to manage all other channels, creating one centralized support system.

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