How to create a call center from scratch and efficiently organize work in it? What is required? We’ve compiled a brief checklist that will help you tackle the main challenges.
In the early stages of a company, it might suffice to use a mobile phone and maintain a database in Excel, but as your business grows, the establishment of a full-fledged call center becomes indispensable. There is an urgent need to respond to calls swiftly, provide advice on products and services, provide technical support or address related issues. Agents ought to handle calls on multiple lines simultaneously, work with inbound and outbound call flow, and maintain a communication history.
The task may not seem too difficult if it is broken down into several components.
This article is related to the product “Cloud Call Center“.
h3>1. Determine the role of the call center in your business/h3>
At the outset, it is necessary to identify one or several directions for the call center’s operations. This could include:
- Handling incoming calls, like a hotline;
- Making outbound calls (order calls and expanding the client base);
- Outsourcing. The call center takes orders for handling calls.
The choice of direction narrows down the software search and helps to highlight important points. Typically, call center agents manage both incoming and outgoing streams. Less frequently, specialists are divided into two groups.
h3>2. Choice of Software and Equipment/h3>
When selecting software for a call center, it’s great if you can plan a few steps ahead. Convenient and flexible software will speed up the development of your business, while a wrong choice will lead to losses (financial, time, motivational).
The whole world of contact center software boils down to two large groups:
- Boxed solutions;
- Cloud-based programs, which are simply accessed using a computer, laptop, or another device with an installed browser.
When purchasing a box solution, you pay ‘once’. The downside: there is a need for a specialized expert in-house who can set up, maintain the software and server functionality, and also monitor the devices connected to the software for quick replacement. Quality box software is always more expensive than cloud-based. Modifying the functionality and adding needed features is difficult or impossible. In the event of power or Internet connection failures, the contact center’s operations cease.
To manage and set up a cloud solution, you don’t need a specialized expert – thanks to a user-friendly interface and technical support. All data is stored on a cloud server, ensuring access from anywhere. The service team is responsible for data backup. With a power or Internet outage, work can always continue in a place where there is network access. The downside of a cloud solution is the monthly ‘subscription’ payment, storing work data in the cloud, and the dependability of work on the Internet. Although work data in the cloud is often optional and can be placed in-house, and dependence on the internet is not a critical factor, as all SIP agents only work this way Online.
Choosing a platform type. It’s crucial to consider its key metrics:
- Flexibility in adjusting for different cases;
- Clear and convenient functionality;
- Detailed reporting.
These three indicators are fundamental in the Oki-Toki cloud service.
3. Equipment selection
You have decided to create a call center and chose a boxed solution, the following will be needed for operation:
- Servers (the number and configuration depends on the number of agents, reliability requirements, speed of failure rectification, and the software to be used);
- Uninterruptible power supplies for it and networking devices;
- Internet access and preferably not only one;
- Equip the agents’ workstations;
- PCs and headsets for agents.
For working with our software, sufficient are a headset, PC, and internet access. Employees can work from home. We do have agent monitoring tools. 🙂
A call center employee should have basic skills in PC operation and negotiation, as well as fluent speech. Key qualities for an agent are:
- Articulate speech;
- Stress resilience;
- The ability to quickly switch between tasks, or “scripts”. This is essential when working with multiple projects. It’s normal for an agent to handle more than 10 projects!
Monitoring staff performance is crucial. This includes listening to conversations and monitoring activity during work. Special reports from Oki-Toki will help you understand how much time the agent has spent online, in conversation, or in “Unavailable” mode. You can also see the number of calls processed.
Difficulties in opening a call center
When opening a call center, you may find that:
- The equipment is too expensive;
- It’s difficult to find experienced specialists;
- Expanding the call center – a costly task;
- The price of boxed software is inflated or it’s impossible to finalize it;
- It’s difficult and inconvenient for agents to use the program.
It is crucial to choose the correct software considering the specifics of your future activities. For instance, the ‘right’ software (CRM & contact center) should have the capability to limit access to viewing orders, contacts and call monitoring, remember the history of settings changes and generally take strict approach to data handling. This will reduce the risk of orders ‘going astray’, internal conflicts and other security issues.
If you are an outsourcing company and take an order for contact center service, the limited adjustment settings of cloud-based software may prevent its implementation. And if resilience has not been thought through in advance, you may lose precious hours for recovery.
How to create a call center from scratch with Oki-Toki
Specialists from Oki-Toki will guide you on how to create a call center from scratch in three days. During this time, we will select suitable tools for your tasks, set up the system, and train your agents.
The advantages of Oki-Toki are:
- Work through the browser. With Oki-Toki, there’s no need for extra equipment or hiring a specialist for setup. Our tech support agent will conduct a presentation and initial training. The user-friendly interface, widgets, and high-speed performance will accelerate your comprehension of how the service works.
- No need to seek high-category agents. The program allows you to save conversation scripts. Therefore, even beginners can handle incoming or outgoing calls, product sales, tech support, or problem-solving.
- Ease of setup. Oki-Toki allows you to quickly open a call center for small businesses and large companies alike. Functionality setup and tool connection are conducted in just a few mouse clicks.
- All reports are stored in the system. You can request a detailed report on the work of the entire call center or a single agent, assess the load on the call center, call duration, costs, and other parameters.
The resilience of the Oki-Toki service – 99%. In case of disconnection from the main server, it will connect to the backup one. With us, you pay only for the services you actually use. When calculating the price of services, the number of agents and the duration of their work, and the use of additional tools: autodialing, voice mailings, or a robot, are taken into account.
You can test the program for free for 14 days!
Keep in mind
If you are not sure whether to create a call center, determine the problem that needs to be solved. The answer will primarily depend on it. For instance, you definitely need a call center if you are developing a business with cold calls, processing a large number of orders, or providing call center services on outsourcing.