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Ask These Questions When You Interview a Call Center
By Paul Zak, President of Inspector Office Solutions – America’s Call Center
As a home inspector, you inspect to certain standards when you perform a home inspection, right? Most credible inspectors do, especially those who are members of one of the professional home inspector associations. This way, your clients and agents know the scope of the inspection; it will always be the same scope because those are the standards professional home inspectors follow.
But when it comes to selecting many other services, there are no standards. One example is call centers that serve inspectors. Here is a list of important questions to ask when hiring a call center.
|Question||Answers and Importance|
|Home Inspection Focus & Experience|
|Do you serve home inspectors only/how
long have you served the profession/how many
inspectors do you represent?
|Understanding home inspections, agents and clients, as well as the demands of a home inspector = more successful bookings and fewer headaches for you. Many clients means the call center is doing something right.|
|How long have you
served home inspectors?
|Depth of experience, proven track record = more inspections, less hassle & headaches for you.|
|How many home inspection companies do you serve?||Breadth of experience, successful track record = higher quality service to you.|
|Extent of Services|
|What are your hours of
|Coverage to meet your needs.|
|Are all calls answered
“live” or do calls go to
voicemail during the day?
|Voicemail during the day means lost inspections and a call center that is understaffed.|
|Do you do follow-up calls
to capture missing/ additional
information? Or is
that left up to me?
|Fully ready-to-go orders saves you time. Half-completed orders you will have to follow up on to make ready-to-go wastes your time.|
|Can you book and
schedule to my specific
preferences and needs?
|Schedule/price/arrange orders to your preferences verses one size fits all with no flexibility (less business for you).|
|How much can I personalize
|Greater personalization to your preferences better serves clients, agents, and you = more inspections, happier agents/clients.|
|Can you arrange my 3rd
|Less work/hassle for you to have to schedule, reschedule, and handle exceptions = time saved, fewer headaches.|
|Can you confirm access
for each order? Even if
that means calling the
selling agent or seller?
|Less work for you to arrange, plus impresses agents = time saved, fewer headaches.|
|Can you arrange payment
for each order?
|Automated payment options provide security to your clients.|
|Can you handle my email
|Fast response to email leads = more inspections.|
|Can you follow up on my
online scheduled orders, if I want that?
|Confirm details, sell add-on services = higher revenue per inspection, less hassle for you.|
(story continues below)
|How do you handle “shopper calls”?||Educate, sell inspection. Done
professionally = more inspections
|What is your close ratio for calls with an
opportunity to book?
|Higher close ratio = more booked
|Can you send price quote emails to my leads?||Turns more leads into booked
|How do you handle my agent calls verses my client
calls? The same or
|Each need specialized treatment.
Leads to happier agents, more
|Call Center Staff|
|Tell me about the staff answering my calls, are they
full-time or do you
use part-time staff?
|Full-time performs better, more
knowledgeable, which benefits you
and your callers.
|Does everyone take my calls or a smaller group?||Smaller group is more personal.
Otherwise, it sounds more like an
impersonal call center.
|Regular staff? The same staff all the time?||Staff stability means more personal/
knowledgeable interaction with
you and your callers.
|Do they read scripts or is the call a natural
|Natural conversation is more personal and
presents a better image to caller.
|What are their average ages, experience, and
|Maturity & service experience yield
more inspections and more satisfied
|What kind of training do you provide?||Formal training, ongoing training =
higher performing staff.
|How are calls to my business
|Your business number should not
have to change.
|Does the staff answer
with my company name?
|Call must be answered with your
|What happens to my calls
when everyone is already
on a call?
|All calls must be answered “live,”no voicemail…ever!!! Voicemail
means lost inspections.
|Do you record calls?||Needed for quality control, training,
and issue resolution…you
need to know.
|What caller id shows to
my agents and clients
when you call them? Is it
my business number?
|Outbound calls showing your business number
is more professional.
(story continues below)
|Do you use a business
such as ISN to book and
schedule my orders?
|Reduces re-entering of information
by you into back-end systems,
saves you time.
|How does the system you
use allow for personalizing
to my needs and
|More personalizing to your preferences =
things done the way
you want = more inspections, less
headaches and rework for you.
|What kind of quality
procedures do you have
to ensure accuracy?
|Double & triple checking, consistency
= fewer errors, less hassle for
|How do you handle calls
that require a message to
be emailed or texted to
me? Can you do that?
|Handling/delivering messages in a
timely and professional manner =
happier agents/clients, less hassle
|Can you handle email
correspondence with my
agents and clients?
|Leads to more inspections and
flexible communications with your
|For email correspondence
with my agents
and clients, what “from”
address will they see?
Does it look like an email
from my company?
|“From” your company is more professional
and personalized = happier,
less confused agents/clients.
|Can you send me reports
of calls received and
|Gives you visibility into number of
calls, type of call, result, and close
Regardless of the level of support you are looking for from a call center, be sure to feel comfortable with them (heck, if you are not comfortable talking to them, what about your agents and clients!). Feel you can trust them and ask for references so you can speak to other inspectors using their services for a good peer-to-peer discussion.
Not all home inspectors are the same, right? Skill level, services, price. Same for call centers. Prepare yourself by knowing what level of service and support you need from a call center, have your questions ready and you’ll be much more prepared to make a good decision on whom to use. And with that good decision should come more inspections and less stress for you!
About the Author
Paul Zak is President of America’s Call Center – Inspector Office Solutions. He has helped hundreds of home inspection companies prosper by providing phone answering and scheduling solutions, significantly boosting the revenue, customer service, and professional image of the inspector. America’s Call Center is a leader in the industry and provides solutions customized to fit your needs. The result is more inspections for you, more revenue per inspection from ancillary services, and an enhanced professional image.
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