Today’s outsourced call centers offer businesses a full suite of inbound and outbound customer contact solutions that help companies realize their full marketing potential. Combining old-fashioned customer service while utilizing advanced communication technologies, outsourced call centers serve the role of a strategic partner to boost revenue, reduce overhead costs, and improve customer satisfaction, among other benefits. It was not always this way.
The Birth of Call Centers
The first commercial call centers date from the late 1950s and early 1960s. What may be considered the first or earliest known commercial call center was the Life Circulation Co., established by Time Inc. in 1957 to increase subscriptions for one of its publications, LIFE magazine. Another early call center was started by Ford Motors, often recognized as the first company that initiated a department dedicated to improving the customer experience by contacting 20,000 people. That number eventually expanded to 20 million customers.
Ford’s success in utilizing the call center to improve upon the customer experience did not go unnoticed. Other companies soon followed Ford’s lead. As forerunners of today’s modern call centers, these early call centers consisted of internal teams communicating with patrons. Still, they soon evolved to follow leads to pursue new customers.
The notion of initiating outgoing calls or handling incoming calls was a novelty that provided excellent opportunities for company growth and improved customer service to more and more customers. These internal teams that managed the phones at companies like Ford didn’t work in separate facilities, what we refer to today as “call centers.” The words “call center” were not officially recognized as a term until 1983, when the definition was published in the Oxford English Dictionary.
The Rise of the Modern Call Center
Throughout the 1970s, call center technology continued to develop and expand into different sectors of the economy, such as banking, airline reservation systems, and telephone sales. The advent of commercial applications for digital telephone technology began in earnest during the 1980s, with the development of fiber optics in the 1980s ushered in the age of digital phone transmission. The 1980s also saw the deregulation of long-distance calling and the expansion of toll-free telephone numbers, which helped to firmly establish the call center as an integral component serving industries.
By the 1990s and early 2000s, the rise of the internet revolutionized telecommunications. Companies developed their websites as the primary point of contact for customer service, sales, and technical support. The modern call center was established to manage the increased call volume. It was enabled by the expansion of technologies that increased customer service channels for businesses and their customers to interact. The time and effort in personnel and resources could be all-consuming, and, for many companies, large and small, it initiated a shift to outsource call center activities and tasks to companies that specialized in such services.
Call Centers Today
Today, the demand for outsourcing call center activities has never been greater. Even though the many benefits of outsourced call center activities have been realized for years, few would argue that the impact of COVID-19 pushed recent demand. But for the modern contact center, many companies, organizations, and brands were ill-prepared and equipped to deal with the immense surge in addressing their customer’s needs during the pandemic.
The realization of the many benefits to businesses of outsourcing their call center functions to a strategic partner freed them to focus on managing ongoing core business activities and services. Full-service contact centers staffed by professional agents improve the quality of service that customers receive and lower costs.
Customer Contact Solutions from Telecom, Inc.
Telecom, Inc.’s range of omni-channel support services and customer contact solutions offers their partners traditional inbound and outbound options, as well as an array of advanced Intelligent Communications® online interactive solutions for customers that prefer web chat, email, web callback, texting, social messaging, and more.
Outsourced call center services’ leading benefit for companies is saving them money while increasing revenues. The obvious cost savings—hiring and training personnel and paying their wages and benefits—are eliminated, but so are the operation costs. When outsourcing—all the operational overhead—facilities management, equipment, workstations, connectivity, advanced telecommunication technologies, the energy to power it all, and the maintenance to keep it online and up-to-date are reduced to a neatly packaged charge with your new strategic partner.
Telecom’s contact center is staffed with seasoned professionals who provide their partners with exceptional services, from inbound customer care to outbound sales and marketing. We offer advanced, emerging technologies to drive any combination of Omni-Channel support services, whether voice, webchat, email, mobile, bots, or social media. Telecom offers advanced, emerging technologies for its clients to choose from. Small and large companies benefit from Telecom’s commitment to staying current with technological advances.
As much as technology is vital to customer service success, so is communication. Speaking or writing is a big part of the contact center experience. Telecom is a domestic contact center service provider staffed with professional agents who are fluent in English and have interpersonal communication skills to optimize customer interactions and build customer loyalty and trust.
The evolution of the call center has come a long way over the past sixty-odd years. From in-house teams to outsourced strategic partners, today’s call centers are poised to deliver superior results and exceptional ROI. To learn more about the benefits that Telecom offers and how we can help you optimize your customer experiences and increase revenues at a reduced cost, contact us today for a free consultation and proposal. We’ll give you the competitive advantage you need to succeed.