The call center back office is the space where phone calls are received and answered. The call center operator sits behind a desk in the center of the room. All the phone lines enter the call center through one or more phones connected to extension boxes. Continue reading to know all about it.
A call center back office is the section of a call center devoted to key administrative, support, and secretarial tasks.
As with any back office, this area of a call center operation will address issues such as the maintenance of company records, the management of accounts payables and receivables associated with the operation, and the management of basic clerical tasks that promote communication between departments and with customers.
When the call center operation includes taking customer orders, the back office will typically also manage order fulfillment activities.
Roles Of a Call Center Back Office
The majority of back office activities involved with a call center are identical to those of any other sort of corporate operation. The accounting procedure is a useful example of these functions.
This section of an office will have a department responsible for managing the payables and receivables of the operation, including the development and issuance of invoices to clients and the receipt of payments from those customers.
Depending on the type of call center, accounting efforts may involve preparing and sending invoices to other companies who outsource certain functions to the call center, or they may involve working with the accounting department of the company that owns and operates the call center for its own internal purposes.
It is not uncommon for a call center back office that operates purely for the benefit of a single company to also be involved in the order fulfillment process. The call center receives an order and then transmits it to the fulfillment center.
From there, the products are packed and scheduled with a courier service or other shipping company for delivery to the customer. The information is subsequently provided to the accounting department, which can promptly bill the customer for the order plus shipping.
The precise scope of duties performed by the back office of a call center will depend on the nature and structure of the engaged firm. Generally, any administrative and support activity performed by the center will be categorized as a back office duty.
When any of these duties are disturbed, the impact on the middle and front office operations of the call center can be enormous, generating a great deal of trouble for the organization as a whole.
Why is back office optimization important to contact centers?
Back office processes can influence the client journey just as much, if not more, than front office activities. Instances in which a claim is improperly processed or an item is shipped late not only invite a terrible customer experience, but also necessitate contact center personnel to remedy the issue.
Even the best agents may be unable to compensate for the damage caused by inefficient back office processes. As a result, savvy businesses have initiated back office optimization initiatives.
A crucial element of success in the experience economy is having high-quality end-to-end processes and supporting technologies. Consumers with a high level of sophistication anticipate every interaction with a company to be of a high standard. Optimization of the back office is essential to meeting these objectives.
1. Take a hard look at the processes
You should have the same level of visibility for your back office as you do for your customer care representatives. I’m not discussing technology here. I want you to concentrate on the back office procedures and the individual phases or jobs that comprise each process.
List each procedure and determine how each step leads to the following. Where can bottlenecks be found? Where do you have the most vulnerabilities? How may the processes be streamlined or enhanced?
A typical issue arises when you have task-specific teams, such as those responsible for billing resolution, claim approval, client information modifications, and complaint resolution. Each team is focused on a certain set of tasks. There can be instances when some teams are devoid of members while others struggle to accommodate clients.
A way could be to have a “swing team” that can help control the gaps between all teams. By rotating team members across multiple teams, no one will be forced to perform the same task every day, and it will also be simpler to construct your swing team.
2. Know your workforce, in and out
Processes are only a single piece of the puzzle. People are an essential component. In any case, these procedures cannot be automated until cost-effective robots are developed.
Managing the back office staff of a call center presents numerous obstacles. If they are unmotivated or not genuinely attempting to assist your clients, this will have a bad impact on you. Customer service is, after all, the basis of what you are attempting to do; if your workforce lacks this quality, there is no reason to maintain customer service channels.
Research indicates that 28% of employees’ time spent in the back office is devoted to wasteful duties. Customers who are patiently awaiting prompt resolution of their complaints or requests can find this problematic. Utilize the 80/20 rule Determine which 20% of their unproductive actions have the most impact.
Observed harmful behaviors include selecting only the tasks they enjoy, rather than the most important ones, and taking their time to identify and prioritize the next assignment. You must delete them or optimize them.
3. Adopt appropriate technological solutions
There exist numerous technological options. Consequently, what criteria should we use when searching for the best solutions?
Every call center has its own issues and requirements, but at a bare minimum, you will need something that provides visibility throughout your whole staff, particularly for workload, efficiency, and resolution rates. They are known by a variety of names. You may seek out client engagement solutions such as Vivocha.
You may also require a system that enables you to configure business rules for call and task routing. Consider systems with Business Rules Management or Business Process Management functionality.
While it is always preferable to find a solution that meets all of your requirements, there are instances when this is not possible and you require two or more options. If so, you should also consider integration options.
A call center back office is an employee support center for an organization that is responsible for answering calls and providing customer service to other people.
Companies like Ringcentral and Cisco have created call centers that are completely virtual and allow workers to answer phones, use chat, email, etc while working from home.
Companies like these have huge benefits for workers who don’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day.
Workers are able to pick when they want to work, which means more flexibility in their lives. The cost for a virtual call center is much less than having an office full of workers.
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