How to Start a Call Center: The Basics Explained

Did you know that call centers employ more than 2 million people across the US? Despite huge leaps in automated customer service technology, people still want to contact a human being. But do you know how to profit from this need?

One way to do that is by opening a center. Read on as we give our must-know guide on how to start a call center.

Know Your Aim

Before starting a call center company, you should know what your aim is. Luckily, this often falls into two easily definable categories.

The first is to generate leads. You may have a business, but want a sales team using the phone to find customers and open dialogues for you. This is an outbound center, as you are calling potential customers.

The second is for customer service. People may ring you to solve a problem or ask a question. This is inbound, as they are calling you.

Know Your Metrics

To measure the success of your call center and its efficiency, there are a number of terms and metrics you should be familiar with. The first one is the average speed of answer and is the time it takes for a customer to reach an agent. If they hang up while waiting, this is known as your abandoned in queue metric.

Average handle time is the length of time a customer stays on the phone with an agent. The average talk time deals purely with how long the agent and customer are in conversation. Finally, missed calls are the number of calls not picked up by an agent in time.

Set Size and Budget

Once you have this, you need to decide on the size and budget of your call center business. If you have an overall budget in mind, then you can get an idea of the size and scope.

The first consideration is the number of people you will employ in the call center. This is important, as it also has a direct impact on the space and amount of tools you will need. After this, you can decide on premises that will be large enough and budget how much you will need to spend on technology.

Hire the Right People

Working in a call center requires a degree of autonomy, so it is important you get employees you can trust. They have to maintain a professional front with customers, problem solve and work to schedule adherence. Set up a recruitment process that is quick and effective, to get your center off the ground quickly.

Train Staff Well

The more time you spend training employees at the start, the less you will spend troubleshooting later down the line. Make sure you have a robust training program that eases employees into the job and its systems.

How to Start a Call Center

Now you know how to start a call center, weigh up the costs to your business. Either for customer service or outbound sales, what value will it add? You may find you can completely transform your operations with very little setup.

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