Monthly Archives: November 2011

Call Center Price vs Call Center Quality

Getting the cheapest price isn’t necessarily the best value for your business!

We all want to pay the least amount possible for nearly everything we want to buy, or else we’re interested in saving as much as we can. In the answering service/call center business, we receive many inquiries about service, but in the end, everyone wants the cheapest price. There is a rule my father told me over 50 years ago when I was a little girl in making a purchase: “Consider the best value – not the best or lowest price.” In his wisdom he added, “The quickest delivery, the highest quality and the cheapest price – you can’t get all three, but you can usually get two of them.” (I think he borrowed this saying from a really smart businessman, but it is still really solid advice!)

Our nation has been suffering through a tough economic environment for the past several years. Some of our customers are experiencing tighter times than usual in their businesses, and, from time to time, they ask for a reduction in what they are currently paying for our call center services. Many times, it’s actually possible to reduce their answering service rates by adding one or more automated services rather than decreasing their live operator rate.

Other times, our customers are approached by any number of competing answering service bureaus or call centers who are trying to win their business. Usually, these competitors offer a cheaper rate initially as an attractive reason to change.

Also, when larger corporations receive bids for outside answering services, they usually choose the call center with the cheapest rate. The better decision, the value decision, would be to incorporate these factors:

  • call handling accuracy
  • call handling response time
  • customer care and courtesy
  • latest answering service technology

It reminds me of the quote by Astronaut John Glenn when asked what was going through his mind while awaiting liftoff. Glenn wryly replied, “I was thinking that the rocket had twenty thousand components, and each was made by the lowest bidder!” Our astronauts deserve better, and so does your company.

A Better Answer Call Centers (ABA) may not always be the lowest bidder, but we have been in business over 40 years by holding our staff to “quality messaging”. Our Telephone Service Representatives (TSR’s) are some of the best in the business, but their services come at a premium. ABA’s staff regularly attends webinars, seminars, and in-house training in order to keep their skills honed at the highest level. All TSRs are trained on all accounts before they actually handle any messaging live. TSRs are monitored daily to be sure all messages are top notch. ABA is also enrolled in quality assurance testing. We invite you to come to one of our offices, observe our call handlers in action, and observe our office walls which are covered with quality call handling awards – some of the highest in the industry.

It is not unusual, should we have lost a client to another service, to have them return back to us. They say, “Leaving ABA was the biggest mistake we have ever made.” Additionally, they will add, “I am so sorry we left you. We even lost some clients because they loved your telephone staff so much.” It’s always a joy to welcome any customer back with open arms. A company that uses a second-rate call center will eventually experience “business laryngitis”… the loss of their professional “voice”.

In the end, when the final decision has been made, it’s high answering service quality, not low pricing, that wins the day and makes happy customers. An answering service is just that…a service, not a commodity. Not all call centers are created equal! We, and our customers, think ours is pretty special.

At A Better Answer, we want to always be our customers’ “Call Handling Heroes”.