This article was written by Demet Dayanch staff writer of Seawave Media and the call centre outsourcing service The Market Leaders
Now, if you have never been hit up by a call center, then you have probably never owned a phone.
Call center’s are big business. Business’ in their own right and essential for many business’ that wants to (as they should) increase their clientele and develop their business.
What are Call Centre’s?
In simple terms call centre’s are business’ that handle large amount of telephone calls. This is a dual operation in that calls are both made and received by call centre agents: employees of call centre’s. A call centre agent’s role can vary from and/or include all the following: screening calls, logging calls, and forwarding them to someone (in house or outhouse) who is more qualified to take the call.
The biggest benefit of call centre’s for companies that outsource this work is that it saves the company time to both find, develop and sustain relationships with clientele and also hands over this marketing and business development strategy to a team who is trained and qualified to do the task at a professional level with high levels of success.
Call Center’s for Big or Small Business’?
You don’t even have to be a big business to run a call center. It can be started with a few call centre agents and perhaps stay at this level but if it is successful it will grow.
Who Uses Call Center’s?
Call centers are used by mail-order catalogue organizations, telemarketing companies, computer product help desks, and any large organisation that uses the telephone to sell or service products and services
So How Does One Go About Setting Up A Call Centre?
First and foremost you need a good business plan. You may want to seek advice from a consultant in the first place unless you are already business savvy and feel confident to go solo.
The next task is to think about whether you want to operate from a business premises or from a soudcloud perspective. The first option is self-explanatory and has been the method used for many years. I’m sure we’ve all seen those layouts: call center agents set up in an open plan office with computers and headsets and often a script of some sort. The second can take different forms, but essentially there is no central office space and call centre agents can work from anywhere, i.e. their home.
Both of these options have pros and cons. A whole separate article could be written about this alone. In a nutshell. It is more cost-effective to operate with a soundcloud – no office space finances. A soundcloud method provides more autonomy for call centre agents but also requires self disciplined, trustworthy agents who are self motivated and happy to work alone.
Depending on what your call centre requirements are, then it can influence what type of environment is better suited. In some instances, if there is a paper element to the job that requires photocopies or other business related machinery to be utilised frequently, then it may be more suitable to have an office space.
In today’s day, there are many ways to operate. One call centre I know has the soundcloud operation in place. It motivates, self disciplined, high functioning call center agents who book a time to come to the central office once a month to handle paperwork and takes part in a personal/development programmes organised by the company on a three monthly basis. So you see there is no one way!
Another very important part of a call centre business is the software used. Take time to find the right software for your own business needs. There is a lot out there, but it is worth the time and effort to research this thoroughly.
If you are going to have a business space then it is essentially to have good working headsets. A call centre agent will be wearing their headsets for eight hours. Needless to say, comfort is as essential as effectiveness. Whether you are operating from a cloudbased operation or business office setting, then if you have five or more agents it is advisable to have a supervisor. This makes life easier for you – frees you up to delegate and not have to be on the call centre case, so you can concentrate on other aspects of your business on a daily level.
Whether your call centre is for handling existing business or for generating new business (ideally both) then having it integrated into your website is of paramount importance. It provides continuity, trust and builds relationships.
Making use of other social technology that makes communication easy, is also highly advisable, and with today’s advancing technology it is incredibly easy to do. Ease in a world where we expect results immediately and are used to getting them pretty simply (just think of how search engines alone have changed our lives) is crucial.
Whatever software you have should make it possible for your clientele or those who hope to become your clientele, to interact with multichannel functionability. And there are many ways to communicate and interact these days. Agents and clientele alike should be able to interact and respond via the telephone using the old fashioned human voice, email, social media, Chat, SMS and web “call me” requests, all within the same application.
It goes without saying that as technology advances at a speed rate greater than we can even keep with up, when you are resourcing your software it is advisable to choose one that has a rep for keeping up with the changes.
So, you have your group of call centre agents in your office space or operating from a soundcloud perspective. A supervisor, if you have more than five agents. You have great headsets, a motivating and inspiring work ethic and good training. You have infalliable software, good telephone line connections, multichannel functionability. You have a link into your website – you’re set…to get started…
Now, it’s important to have an effective and efficient way to collect and collate the information gathered. Live monitoring and performance reports that link telephone data to the content of calls will give you the opportunity to see how effective your call centre is running and where it can be improved…
So what are you waiting for…Start it up!
This article was written by Demet Dayanch of Seawave Media and the call centre outsourcing service The Market Leaders (www.themarketleaders.co.uk )