Many businesses make the mistake of believing that creating and setting up a call center is simply a matter of installing a phone system and hiring personnel to answer or place calls. While this might be the basis, there are many intricacies that can make or break the activity. The fact is that customer service has changed in the last few years.
The consumer is more demanding and requires immediacy in every action. Although technology has advanced to the point of simplifying tasks, companies adopting a call center still need to understand how to align technology with optimized business processes than can enhance a customer’s experience.
Set Realistic And Actionable Goals
A call center is a division of a company, whether inhouse or outsourced, with dedicated personnel tasked with outgoing and incoming calls. These representatives can provide answers to customers calling in to inquire about a product or service or perform technical support services to existing clientele. The purpose can be anything. However, the first step in developing a successful division is to understand its purpose and specialize in this. The reason is that if the objective is too wide, it may be too difficult to execute.
If a call center is tasked with cold calling potential leads while also providing technical services to incoming calls, the organization will need to develop representatives with different skill sets. While possible, this is too ambitious for a small business. Therefore, start with an objective, build it, and then expand as needed. Also, is the activity a core competency? Most smaller companies, for example, are better served with finance and accounting outsourcing. The same goes for technical support or other specialized services. Once the organization makes the decision to proceed with building a call center, it is time to look for talent.
Build Your A-Team
A call center is made up of human talent that will provide the services to prospects and/or customers. Therefore, set up a budget to see how many people will be needed. Once the business has the team, these should be trained to perform top-notch service. Always keep in mind that the call center is the point of contact between the company and the customer.
Therefore, it is critical that personnel be caring, knowledgeable, and resourceful so that the client feels important and well taken care of. Look for individuals that enjoy problem-solving. The primary characteristic of a representative is that they enjoy looking for solutions and have a positive attitude toward handling problems.
Also, do not be afraid of investing in continuous training. Since this division faces the customer, the better the training, the better the performance. It is also vital to build a team mentality. Make sure to build a cohesive unit where personality is encouraged, and results are rewarded. Trust and empower employees so that they represent the organization in a positive way. Employees that are motivated and happy will project those feelings to customers.
Find A Metrics System
Technology can do a lot when applied properly. Whether it is IT asset management software that can provide users with vital information or customer relationship management software that can help a representative understand who is on the line, knowledge is key. In metrics, however, tools can push execution a lot further. With metrics, an organization can reduce the length of a phone call or even reduce the volume of incoming calls.
The reason is that resulting figures can be established to indicate where the most common problems reside and how to solve them. Make sure to review which of these applies to your organization and its specific industry and understand the meaning of the results. Create a plan for how to react to the metrics. Most importantly, be prepared to review the organization’s business processes and improve using the information gathered.