Published on March 18, 2014
Inbound Appointment Scheduling 101
How an Inbound Appointment Scheduling Call Center Works An inbound appointment scheduling call center is one that receives calls and schedules appointments on behalf of a client or number of clients. They work like a receptionist in an office, only they are off-site contractors instead of employees. Who uses inbound appointment scheduling? Inbound appointment scheduling services are utilized by a variety of industries and under a number of scenarios. Attorneys often employ scheduling call centers in order to setup initial consultation appointments with prospective clients who call into the office. Contractors and service professionals use these answering services to schedule estimates or manage the calendar for their entire operation (not just new customers but existing ones as well). Any business that routinely schedules appointments as part of their operation can utilize a scheduling call center. Inbound vs. outbound appointment scheduling
Inbound appointment scheduling differs from outbound telemarketing in that it only deals with calls that come in to a business. It does not involve cold calling from lists and trying to generate new business. Instead, inbound appointment call centers rely on people expressing interest and placing calls for appointments. Once a call is placed, the call center answers and works to get the caller on the client’s calendar. Outsourcing your inbound appointment scheduling duties Taking advantage of a scheduling call center is a simple process. First, you need to locate an answering service or call center that advertises appointment scheduling capabilities. Be sure to locate a company that answers inbound calls instead of making outbound telemarketing inquiries. Once you’ve located a company you’re interested in working with, check with their sales team to ensure they can integrate or utilize your preferred calendar system. In most cases, you won’t be interested in using a new calendar system just for the call center’s sake. After selecting a company that can take your calls and use your calendar, all that’s left is ensuring they have the information and scripting necessary to handle your call types. If you’re running an advertising campaign offering free estimates, for example, they need to be aware of the fine print, when to schedule those estimates, how to notify you, what information to gather, etc. Plan your internal process for handling these appointment calls and then provide that plan to the call center for implementation.
Call centers can handle more than scheduling Typically the vendor you work with is capable of far more than simply scheduling your appointments. You may want to consider them for general receptionist duties or other customer service related tasks. It’s quite possible that they can handle all of your telephone answering and customer service needs. Call center and inbound scheduling source: www.continentalmessage.com
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