Short-Term Call Centre Services Can Be A Boon During the Current Coronavirus Crisis

The coronavirus crisis has hit the economy hard bringing all business activity to a standstill. Though the government has recently started allowing businesses to reopen after weeks of lockdown, there is still a long way to go in the fight against the virus.

At such a time, one of the best ways to keep sales rolling is through the effective use of temporary call centres. With tourism and international travel paused, shoppers confined to their homes, and malls and retail shops operating at greatly reduced customer capacity, telemarketing with the help of trained temporary sales executives could give business organisations a respite and help them sustain themselves during the Covid-19 crisis.

Understanding Temporary Call Centre Outsourcing

Call centre outsourcing has been one of the most visible global trends in recent decades enabling companies to save costs while also gaining access to high-quality professional services. Call centre services can be either inbound (customer support) or outbound (sales and telemarketing) depending on the needs of the client. Outbound call centre services can be of great assistance to businesses at a time like this when people are largely confined to their homes by reaching out to them via telephone to make compelling sales pitches.

Temporary call centres are similar to traditional call centres with one important difference—they are peopled by temporary staffers. This allows clients to engage them for short periods of time such as peak season or emergencies without worrying about recruitment, employment benefits, as well as the moral dilemma of having to fire the employees after the end of the desired period.

How Temporary Call Centre Services Can Help Your Business

Direct calling can help you prop up your sales volumes by reaching out to customers in their homes to generate interest in your product. Below we list six important reasons why businesses should seriously consider temporary call centres and how it can help them benefit in a ‘lockdown market’.

  • Personal touch

It is necessary for companies to keep sales activity alive while maintaining social distancing in current times. Including call centres in your marketing mix opens up access to yet another marketing channel that reaches out to customers in the comfort of their homes. Compared to digital marketing, telemarketing offers a personal touch and manages to engage the customer on a human level. Trained telemarketers can easily strike up a personal rapport with the customer to get them interested in your product to generate leads and sales.

  • Professional and domain expertise

Working with call centres not only helps you benefit from the professional expertise of those who have been in the telemarketing industry for years but also enables you to work with people who understand your own sector. These professionals have prior experience in working with clients in your industry which enables them to understand the nuances of your business. This, combined with their expertise in telemarketing, creates an effective amalgam that is well-suited to help you realise your sales and marketing goals.

  • Training and infrastructure

Temporary call centres make all devices and instruments available to their employees including landline, mobile, desktop, printing and diallers solutions. No need to provide them yourself. Technology now also enables call centre executives to work from home although this must be carried out in strict conformity with government rules and regulations.

Additionally, companies do not need to spend time on recruitment and training as these aspects are handled by the call centre company. Call centre executives undergo extensive training in culture sensitisation, speaking skills, listening skills, product knowledge and rejection handling to make them proficient in their jobs.

  • Increased efficiency

Working with a professional call centre results in increased efficiency due to the larger number of calls placed and greater employee productivity. What’s more, you can even expand your target area to cover the entire Gulf region and beyond to get in touch with customers from other geographies.

  • Cost benefits

Temporary call centre outsourcing is a cost-effective way to reach out to your customers at a time when your sales team is out of action due to the lockdown. It is often cheaper than in-house telemarketing with the additional advantage of scalability and flexibility for clients.

Apart from generating savings on hiring and overheads, call centres can afford to have highly competitive pricing due to economies of scale. Clients may choose from different pricing models such as hourly, commission, and commission-plus-hourly.

  • Temporary arrangement

Working with temporary staffers gives you the option to end the contract after a few weeks or few months minus any long-term obligations. Outsourcing on a temporary basis also allows companies to avoid the ethical dilemma of having to lay off employees after the required period of service while also allowing them to get the job done.

Choosing a Temporary Call Centre: What to Keep in Mind

The process of looking for a suitable temporary call centre service provider should start with gaining a clear understanding of your own needs and requirements. Once you have that understanding, it becomes easy to sift through shortlisted vendors by homing in on specific criteria.

Get references from your friends and peers to generate a list of likely vendors and then prune the names based on your criteria. Below we provide a list of important questions clients should ask the service provider along with others specific to their needs and requirements:

  • What are your hours of service?
  • What call volumes can you handle?
  • What outbound services do you offer? (Options may include cold calling, sales calls, lead generation, product surveys etc.)
  • Do you have the equipment and training to handle my needs?
  • Do you have any knowledge of my industry?
  • What is your reporting frequency? What information will your reports include?

Thrash out the terms and conditions of the contract and don’t forget to assess the data security and privacy measures implemented by the company. Clarify the charges and the billing procedure before signing the dotted line.

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