Call centres have been the talk of the town for quite some time now. This business has flourished over the years, and there are many who have taken the opportunity to open a call centre. This industry has grown over time, showing a fantastic increase graph, and is capable of generating revenues that are impressive and have the capability of leaving others spellbound. Setting up a call centre involves multiple things, of which monetary funds are the primary concern. Money can solve your set-up issues, but apart from that, you also need to be in possession of a roadmap on how to set up a call centre. So, if you are someone planning to open a call centre business, read further to know about the checklist that you should keep in mind.
Discover your goals before you consider how to set up a call centre
Goals are the primary thing that you need to be clear about when you think of starting any business. How to set up a call centre requires you to be crystal clear about your goals. You need to be sure and confident about why you have hit on how to set up a call centre. Basically, call centres can be categorised into three groups: inbound, outbound and blended call centres.
You need to be precise about the type of call centre you want to open before thinking about any other aspects of how to set up a call centre.
Determining between a physical or virtual call centre set-up
Before you consider a physical or a virtual type call centre, you need to thoroughly understand the difference between the two. A physical call centre is bricks and mortar, with some in-house employees who will manage your tasks, sitting in office cubicles. A virtual call centre can have remote agents sitting in different locations managing your work. Both types of call centres have their own pros and cons in terms of cost, location, and other factors. So, in lieu of deciding on how to set up a call centre, you first need to choose between virtual or physical.
Plan a budget
Money matters are vital to consider when planning how to set up a call centre efficiently. You cannot overlook the monetary constraints at any cost, for every business investment is of utmost importance. Thus, you need to plan a budget for setting up your business. Before you start the call centre project, make sure that you have calculated your expenses and, accordingly, have made arrangements for funding your expenditures. Another thing to keep in mind is that initial project expenses are not the end. You also need to keep a cash reserve for further operational costs. So, if you want to rank highly when setting up your business, ensure that you consider all these monetary factors to manage your revenues.
Implement speed efficiency and quality
For any company to flourish, the key performance indicators perform a significant role. How to set up a call centre does not only involve the manual setting up of your office, but it is a futuristic approach, which involves the provision of quality services to your prospects. Thus, you need to be focused on the key performance indicators, which include speed, quality, and efficiency in providing services to your customers. These indicators need to be followed with dedication in order to enhance the performance of your company. Adherence to these makes your company rank higher in the eyes of your customers, and it also helps in getting good reviews, which further triggers the outputs and performance graphs of the company. So don’t keep the KPI for a later stage; include it in the initial planning process so that your employees inherit these factors on their very first day.
Figure out your workforce
If you are thinking about how to set up a call centre, one of the primary concerns is to plan how many employees you are going to hire. How many heads you are going to see working in your office cubicles is another primary concern. For this, firstly, you need to understand the core motive for which you are planning to set up your business. So you need to be clear about your motives and, accordingly, you need to find the right people to help you run your business.
Grouping your employees
If you are keen on how to set up a call centre, then you should be able to understand the importance of bundling your employees. No, we are not telling you to apply the divide and conquer rule, but here, the grouping is for the good of your company. You need to segregate your employees based on their skills; to classify them according to their skill groups or talent pool. Just for an example, you can consider grouping your employees in sets where one group has a workforce that will only solve the queries of the customers, whereas the other group can be handed the responsibility of handling operational issues. You can consider having a group to handle refunds and another for sales and information. It’s your call on how to organise, but distinguishing between the groups can help you stay at par and score well in business terms.
Location of your call centre
For every business, the location stands as an essential aspect for it to flourish and gain popularity, so this is also the case when you think about how to set up a call centre. You need to decide the type of employees you require for your team, and accordingly, you need to set up your business in such a place where you can find such people. Setting up your office in ‘posh’ areas or near an airport or posh colonies can help you attract bilingual employees to your office. Another factor that you can consider is setting up your business near the headquarters; this helps your employees to develop a sense of trust and reliability. Also, make sure that your office is not located in a far-off place that your employees find it a challenge to get to. An area with good transport links should be an ideal choice for setting up your new call centre business. Ensure that your company has proper parking spaces so that it doesn’t cause inconvenience to your employees to park their vehicles.
Training your employees
The employees form the backbone of any company, and thus, you need to understand their worth and also need to polish their skills for better results. If you are thinking about how to set up a call centre, and if you want to achieve 100 per cent success in it, then generating profits should not be your sole goal. You need to focus on your employees as well, so you need to provide them with proper training so that they get to enhance their skills. Also, they should be made to understand all the products and services offered by the company. This will help them in communicating well with targeted customers and in convincing them to avail the services. Training makes your employees competitive and also gets them well acquainted with the company’s products and services so that they are able to solve the queries of the prospective customers. Also, one-time training is not enough; refresher courses should also be brought into practice to enhance productivity and output.
Figuring out the technological needs
Today’s technology is top-notch, and you cannot move ahead without bringing technology into use, so make the appropriate technology choices for your office so that your employees find ease in working. You can consider seeking advice from an expert who can tell you which technology to use for your business goals. A few things to consider are the technology that your competitors use, customer relationship management systems, call routing services, and channels used by customers. In order to enhance your calling systems, make sure that it accumulates advanced features such as scripting, quality monitoring, analytics, knowledge management, multilingual customer support, call back, performance management, etc.
Developing a proper work culture
Work culture is of primary importance and motivates your employees to return to work every day. Thus, you need to have an appropriate management system to support your employees. Proper work culture is the essence of thinking in how to set up a call centre. Your work as an owner doesn’t end in getting your call centre connected with a phone line, having the latest technology, and hiring your employees. You need to possess a forward-thinking approach wherein you are committed to building a proper culture for the company. For this, you need to have a proper team, managers, and mentors, and an adequate management team who can guide, mentor, and motivate your employees at every step. All employees should be able to get along well with each other so they do not end up in clashes that may affect the performance factor of the company.
Provision of proper facilities and amenities
Getting people to work for you, hiring them, and paying them is not everything. You should provide them with the necessary amenities and facilities if you are thinking about how to set up a call centre at its best. It further helps in boosting a proper work culture inside your call centre. Some things that can define your outlook towards your employees is furnishing your company premises with cash machines, a fun room for a break, well-stocked canteen, comfortable seating arrangements, comfortable sofas, etc. Not only do these things help your employees to have an environment suitable for them, but it also takes the standard of your company to a higher level.
Having a backup plan
You might be excited about setting up your call centre, but the rule of thumb says that you should not only be focused towards the positives. There are negatives to consider too. What if your business is not able to match the standards? What if your business is not able to generate profits? It would be a shock, right? Therefore, it is mandatory to have a Plan B in hand. By saying Plan B, we mean a disaster recovery plan that you can implement at the time of disruption. So how to set up a call centre not only involves all the positives but the negatives as well. Take into account all the things that can bring about hurdles, and can create a hindrance in the proper functioning of your call centre. Having something planned well in advance to meet any such circumstances helps you to rank highly as a businessperson who is all set to enter a world where profit and loss is part of the game.
Having realistic goals and time frames
You cannot think of becoming rich overnight when setting up your call centre. You need to have some realistic targets and goals. Getting on the right track of operation will need time. A three-month duration is a very short course. Though you can expect some good results in such a time frame, you should give your call centre a period of six months to extract some realistic outputs. Reducing the time period can put your employees under pressure and can affect their efficiency. Staying cool and calm and having patience is a call centre owner requirement. In fact, setting up a call centre may also take around 24 months to set up from top to bottom. You should consider understanding the numbers and shouldn’t be in a rush to get things falling into place in a month’s time.
Customer service experience
Ultimately, your customers are the ones who are going to define your success. Thus, the sole motive of setting up your business revolves around customer satisfaction. How to set up a call centre should also involve thinking about the provision of enhanced customer services. The sales figures are directly proportionate to happy customers; thus, your workforce should be able to keep your customers happy.
Once you have gone live by setting up your call centre, your checklist on How to set up a call centre doesn’t end there. What about your success calculation? You would definitely like to know about it, right? Getting feedback from your valued customers is a step to calculating your success. Their feedback stands to be valuable in calculating your results and outcomes. Further, it also helps you in finding the areas where you are lagging behind and helps you to find ways and measures to enhance your business performance.
Evaluation of success
As mentioned in the above point, feedback is a parameter to measuring your success graph. The evaluation also forms a core concern to finding out the success rate. Thus, one needs to figure out the performance of the company against the metric standards set and the implementation of the key performance factors. Also, make sure that you conduct regular and periodic evaluations to determine the percentage of success. The assessment helps in developing better standards, and adherence to it helps in bringing more productivity and profits.
These were just a few points that should be in your checklist of how to set up a call centre. Everything needs a proper plan, and setting up a call centre requires planning and working out how to provide the very best customer care. So, if you are someone planning to set up a call centre soon, consider checking out the above-mentioned points to help you set the right standards.