13.08.2021

Creating an outsourcing contact center: first steps (Part 2)

How to open your own outsourcing contact center and not burn out. A step-by-step action plan is already on the Oki-Toki blog.

Creating an outsourcing contact center: first steps (Part 2)

In the previous part, we talked in detail about the correct procedure for creating an outsourced contact center. Here is a short step by step list:

  1. Decide why you need it. The industry is complex, the problems will be through the roof. Better open a shawarmesh.
  2. It is extremely difficult to get new serious customers, they have been dismantled, the market has crystallized.
  3. You will have to sell the services of the company personally. No ACC has achieved any spectacular success unless the owner sold himself.
  4. Packages, auto funnels and other online marketing do not work in our industry. Or rather, they work, but they will not bring you those whom you expect.
  5. At the initial stage, a business plan is not needed, buy the book “100% Call Center” by Alexandra Samolubova and study it.
  6. Get a job at CC. Operator. Preferably in two: a large corporate one and a small one. See many wonders.
  7. If you still decide to open, then do not open in the spring, open in July. By the fall, there will be some kind of flow of customers.

Let's continue. Tip number eight: Don't open up if you're planning to build something small in the first place. At less than 20 operator positions, the economy will definitely not converge, even if you do not pay taxes (which I strongly advise you not to). The exception is if you have a stable external source of funding, but something more or less decent starts from 50 places, primitive but normal – from 80, financially stable – from 120. Therefore, the expansion stage 20 => 120, you need to go quickly, like a photon starship. Like “Moscow-Cassiopeia”, do you understand? A curious consequence follows from this, to which I have been leading since the middle of the first part. No financial plan is needed until you understand whether you can sell. Therefore, open an IP, make a business card website, as if you had a contact center, rent a phone number and place it on the site. And then try to test your marketing strategies. Naturally, in no case do I urge to deceive potential customers, if you receive a sufficient share of “yes, a deal” – refuse for technical reasons. A nice option is to negotiate with some outsourcing CC and, refusing the customer, recommend them as a partner. Only the supplier must be good, it is better to contact someone who understands to evaluate the partner. And so – normally, you will receive an agency fee. According to the numbers – if the conversion of the negotiations that took place into potential deals with you is less than 15%, then it's all over, if it's less than 10% – don't take it, you won't ensure stability in the economy, 25% – a great miracle has been revealed. Plus or minus, of course, but on average so. At the same time, conduct another experiment, it is always very interesting to watch it. Come up with a customer, imagine that you already have one. Find a company with a similar profile, just change the name so you don't catch the real company. Build the firm's customer base as you would for a real client, and call on their behalf with an offer. Notice the reaction, if you personally call, then your operators will do it with about half the effectiveness. This is such a fairy tale about the future, it never deceives. And, by the way, it also follows from this that you must want and be able to sell, because who else will teach your subordinates to do it well, and how will they teach their operators without it? If you think you will be serving incoming service lines, then I assure you that this is a utopian dream. The specificity of small groups is that it is impossible not to lose calls to them unpredictably, the queuing theory tells us about this, this is such a branch of mathematics. And you can't argue against mathematics. You will have to take outgoing calls to work, otherwise the customers will swear very strongly. Remember that if you want to open in one month, then you need to look for customers earlier – 2-3 months in advance. While they are found, you will have time to finish building and recruit staff. They will ask why you are contacting in advance, tell the honest truth: “We are completing a new site, looking to the future, there will be capacities from … a month” Another point that is usually missed is recruitment . With this, contact centers are always difficult, there are always not enough operators. But at the opening they don’t look at it, and then it turns out that there is a site and even customers, but there is no one to work. At the same time, even those people who are idle, because often customers do not transfer the scope of work in parts and do not want to start with a “ladder”: first, for example, 5 places, after a month – 5 more, and so on. Therefore, this issue also needs to be worked out: post a recruitment announcement on some site like a headhunter and look at the ratio of views, calls and interview attendances (you can meet in a coworking space or a cafe, this is normal). At the same time, please remember that a lot depends on how the vacancy announcement is composed and designed. Sometimes it is enough to swap a couple of words and the flow of candidates increases significantly. By the time you get through all this, you will need a financial plan. And it should take into account the following: it is necessary to have a “safety cushion” based on 3 months of wages for all staff and rent of infrastructure. A growth crisis for a small company is extremely likely. If that doesn't stop you, open up, maybe something will come out. Oh, by the way, don't even think about subcontracting. It is contraindicated for you, it will almost irreversibly spoil the economy of a novice KC.

Dmitry Galkin, independent consultant on the creation and management of contact centers

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