How to offer a call handling service
Call handling – how to offer a call handling service – remote worker | virtual assistant. This article deals with ‘how’ to offer a call handling service – and also looks at ‘should’ you offer a call handling service? So read on to see how to offer a call handling service as a remote worker | virtual assistant. So how does call handling work?
What is call handling?
It is simply the act of managing telephone calls, which can be either inbound (calls made to you) or outgoing calls (calls made by you).
Why do businesses need call handling services?
- Better customer experience
- Allows staff to focus on other areas of work
- Don’t lose out on opportunities
- Customer always gets to speak to someone
- Have better telephone cover during peak times
- Before you start you need to choose which type of service you are going to provide as each requires a different approach when handling.
Let’s look at this in a bit more detail.
First of all let’s make it clear that we are not talking about a large call center who employ thousands of staff dealing with large government contracts – we are basing this on individual freelance remote workers | virtual assistants who are supporting small to medium sized businesses.
Types of outbound calls can include things such as:
- Appointment setting
- Sales follow-ups
- Customer reminders
The outbound call handler will generally work from a ‘script’, something drafted by the business they are supporting. This will include things such as company name, brief company history, management structure, escalation of complaints procedures, welcome chat, etc. They will also need access to areas such as on-line calendars, ordering systems, stock inventory, etc.
The outbound call handler acts as a direct representative of the business they are supporting. They should adopt the feel and ethos of the business they are ringing on behalf of and be as knowledgeable as possible on the information they are imparting.
The person receiving the call should feel that they are speaking directly to a staff member and not a third party.
Types of inbound calls can include things such as:
- Message taking service
- Call answering
- Appointment confirmation
- Sales enquiries
- Follow-up calls
Similar to the outbound call handler, inbound call handler’s also need to have a thorough understanding of the business they are acting on behalf off. They need to be able to quickly, and effectively, understand the nature of the incoming call as they will not be working from a set script.
Should I offer call handling as one of my services?
Whether you choose inbound, outbound, or a selection of both, you need to ensure that you can deliver a superior service on behalf of your clients. Here are some reasons to consider if and how you should offer a call handling service – remote worker | virtual assistant
- You need to be able to answer inbound calls between the agreed hours (no popping to the loo, or having an extended coffee break or long lunch break).
- You need to be able to make the outgoing calls during the contracted hours.
- You need good quality equipment to ensure a high quality service – broadband, IT, headsets, VOIP platforms, etc.
- You need a dedicated work area (no dogs barking, children crying or washing machine noises in the background).
- You need a thorough understanding of the businesses you are supporting.
- You need to be attentive, and knowledgeable of any fast-changing areas of the business/products, etc.
Call handling software
There are many different call handling software options on the market. Do your research and see which is best for you.
We hope this has given you something to think about. Offering a call handling service needs a high level of commitment on your part and the ability to communicate as a member of staff of the business you are representing. You also need to factor in the costs for any equipment/software required to deliver this service.
If you can think of anything else just let us know.