Friday, 17 February 2012

Letting Call Centers Take Your Orders

While most people know that call centers offer customer support, many are unaware that there are even order taking call centers. Today, mobile phones are a necessity for people, and it is these same mobile phones that allow people to immediately call and place an order for a product or service that they think they need. Placing an order over a phone is efficient and convenient. An order taking call center allows a consumer to place an order without leaving the comforts of their homes.

An order taking call center can be used for any kind of business. In fact, takeaway food chains use the services of such call centers along with fast moving consumer goods companies. Typically, these call centers have highly trained and service-oriented operators, who can handle multiple callers at the same time. Such a feat is not possible by a regular receptionist, who can get overwhelmed by the number of callers. Furthermore, an ordinary business’ telephone line will not be able to cater to a large volume of callers simultaneously. An order taking call center can increase productivity of employees in a business, as they no longer have to bother about doing their regular office tasks and also worry about taking order.

There are many other benefits for hiring an order taking call center. When a customer calls in to place an order, the call center would be able to give more options, the business has the liberty of expanding and offering more products or services, and the business can also offer a combination of different products and services. Above all, hiring a professional order taking call center can help a business improve and boost its relationship with its customers. When a company messes up an order or does send an order on time, it will lose customers. However, this can be avoided by having a professional call center take down orders from customers, who call in.

Most of these order taking call centers have professional operators, who are trained to handle even the most difficult customers. In addition, they use the latest telephone systems to reduce problems and long waiting time. The chances of orders getting messed up or being mishandles are virtually eliminated. The call centers also have systems and processes in place to ensure that the orders received are processed properly. This ensures greater customer satisfaction, increases sales and creates a better image of the business.

Another benefit of an order taking call center is that small- and medium-sized businesses that have limited staff can outsource the order taking process. This ensures that employees are not overwhelmed during busy hours. Otherwise, productivity suffers and also quality of customer service deteriorates. This can have an adverse effect on the business’ bottom line. When the order taking process is outsourced, the employees can concentrate on their job and focus on meeting their targets and helping the business grow.

However, if you do use an order taking call center, there are certain FTC telephone order merchandise rules that need to be followed. There is a business guide for telephone order taking that the FTC has prepared in conjunction with Direct Marketing Association. The rule for shipping orders state that the vendor must have a specific period within which any order must be shipped. If the vendor does not imply or state this period, it is understood that vendor will ship the product within a period of 30 days. In case the vendor cannot ship the order within 30 days and has already taken the order, he should get in touch with the customer and inform them of the delay in shipping. If the customer does not give consent, the full amount has to be refunded to the customer without any delays.

The FTC’s business guide for telephone order taking states that when customers pay via check, money order or cash, the refund should be made within 7 working days after the cancellation of the order. This refund has to be sent by first class mail. On the other hand, if the customer pays through credit card, the customer would have to be notified that their credit card will not be charged or if the credit card is already charged, the amount has to be credited to the customer.

Hence, record keeping is extremely important when you are using an order taking call center. The records will show whether the customer has been charged for a purchase, whether the order was shipped on time, whether the order was cancelled and whether the paid amount was refunded to the customer. The Federal Trade Commission requires order taking businesses to maintain these records perfectly, as they are needed to comply with the Mail or Telephone Order Merchandise Trade Regulation Rule mandated by the FTC. Even if the order taking call center messes up, the liability falls on the business. Hence, it is important that a business hire a professional order taking call center to ensure that no problems occur during the order taking and processing of the order.

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