Maybe you’ve recently discovered that you’re running a call center and are ready to make it official. You can always download our full guide to building your first call center (How To Start Your First Cloud Call Center). Or just read on a bit to get the basics of what is needed to build a call center.
Setting Up A Call Center From Scratch
This process can seem overwhelming at first. My advice is to let the experts do their thing and walk you through this. But the more you know upfront the better you’ll be able to feed them the information (and data) they need to get this right.
Before you start answering these questions, you’ll want to spend some time (alright, another meeting!) figuring out WHY you’re doing this. Identify the outcomes you expect for the business and for your customers. Think about hold times, 1st-call resolutions, analytics & reports, real-time metrics, etc. Get some feedback from key users and leaders throughout your team.
So, as you start preparing for this, consider the following:
- How Many Call Center Agents Will You Have? Think about how many team members will be active on the phones at any one time. This number is important, but you’ll also want to count up the TOTAL number of agents (i.e. users) that you’ll want unique accounts for. For example, if you were running a 24-hour call center with 30 agents, you might run three 8-hour shifts of 10 agents. You’d need 10 seats and 30 licenses.
- How Many Supervisors Will You Have? These will be the individuals who monitor calls, interact with agents, and are the escalation points for angry (or super elated) customers. They need access to special features, including dashboards, call monitoring, call recordings, analytics, transcripts, etc.
- Do You Have Space For Your Agents? They’re probably already sitting in place, but make sure you have a good, quiet(ish) space with a break room and maybe even a play area where they can let off some steam.
- Will You Have Remote Workers? The great thing about a cloud-based call center is that agents can work from home just as efficiently as from a cubicle. Your managers/supervisors will have full access to them and their activities.
- Which CRM Are You Using? Most call centers integrate well with most of the major CRMs out there today, but you’ll want to make sure there is a good integration with yours. Call pops (a screen popup with caller info), automatically logged activities, and click-to-dial are just a few of the key functions you’ll need.
- What Happens If/When Your Internet Goes Down? You’ll want redundant internet access, but sometimes disaster strikes. Will you have apps on the agents’ phones? Will they get calls on their cell phones? Again, cloud-based call centers are very flexible and will keep your business and its revenues running through a disaster.
- Inbound, Outbound, or Both? Use some of your current phone logs and/or bills to figure out what type of call traffic you’ll be handling. Be sure to list all of your inbound phone numbers (DIDs), including toll-free numbers. You don’t want any of them getting overlooked.
- Will It Be A Multi-Channel Call Center? People don’t always want to call your team. They might email, chat, or even Tweet. Will you want to manage all of these channels?
- What Is Your Budget? Work with me on this. The key here is to consider the potential for finding and retaining new customers and taking advantage of new revenue opportunities. That said, we’ll put together a budget, compare options, and help you analyze the costs and opportunities.
Get Started On Your Call Center
If you’re ready to build your first call center from scratch, don’t fear. You have plenty of support and information available to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. Start with a very short call with me. I’ll help you figure out if this is the right path forward, and then we’ll start putting together a plan, doing some demos, and getting you some budget numbers.