14.02.2024

How to Open a Call Center: Top 9 Mistakes

Prepare for the launch of the contact center! Start with this article. In our experience, every second call center during launch commits at least one of the listed mistakes.

How to Open a Call Center: Top 9 Mistakes
💬💬To launch a call center, you need to be prepared! Start with this article. Based on our experience, every second call center during launch makes at least one of the mistakes listed below.💬💬

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💬💬Oki-Toki is a cloud service for organizing work within the call center. Since our inception in 2008, we’ve noted that companies annually commit similar blunders.💬💬Learn about the capabilities of Oki-Toki for your call center here💬

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1. “Do everything for me”

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💬💬Often, a client would say: “I need to make and receive calls. And a simple customer card is needed. Set everything up yourself. I don’t want to deal with it, I just want it to work. The project brief? I have a simple task, why do I need a brief!”💬💬

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💬💬Without your participation, the contractor can only offer a standard solution. How can this be a problem? For example, the working hours could be set from 9 to 21, whereas your work hours are from 8 to 20. This will be discovered after a month and someone will get blamed.💬💬

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💬💬Summary💬💬

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💬💬When setting up the system, the contractor doesn’t know the details of your business processes and could potentially miss important factors.💬💬

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An ‘out-of-the-box’ software solution won’t boost your team’s efficiency, it will only add to your overhead expenses.
To ensure the solution aligns with your business needs, you’ll need to play an active role at least during the briefing stage.

2. Changing Horses Midstream

A new call center isn’t a side task that you can easily delegate to a contractor. A call center grows into all the departments and business processes, pulling in streams going to clients and distributing the reverse. Therefore, to interact with the service reps or ‘call center builders’, you will need a competent representative from the ordering company who is familiar with internal business processes.
Changing the project manager during the contact center deployment practically resets the work. The new agent will need time to get up to speed.

3. Launching Multiple Projects at Once

Attempting to launch multiple call center-related projects simultaneously (without sufficient experience with new software) results in outcomes not aligning with expectations, or even work being put on hold.

This mistake is relevant both for outsourcing call centers and for large companies with many departments. To avoid such issues, it is advisable to initially launch the simplest project with a minimally loaded communication channel and test the new software on it. Only after this, when all stakeholders have acquired the necessary experience and understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the new tool, should work be launched on the planned scale.

4. Lack of clear objective

Surely, you’ve encountered baffling questions like “How come you don’t have a call center?! Everyone should have a call center these days!”. One gets the impression that having a call center alone should increase a company’s profit (we are working for profit, aren’t we?). But this is not true. It’s not needed by everyone. It won’t bring profit to everyone. Even if a call center can benefit your company, it’s crucial to clearly understand why you are creating it. It’s not enough to just set up a call center, it’s vital to define the role it should fulfill.

5. Reckless Speed

You can rapidly set up a contact center, but most likely, it will reflect on the quality of work. Haste may and, probably, will cause errors in service settings, staff instructions, and confusion in the processes being built. As a result – missed deadlines, lost bravado or even a contact center restart.

However, short terms are real if business processes have been identified, and the functions of the service are fully defined.

6. Lack of Agents

If you have a shortage of agents, they won’t be able to manage calls promptly and provide quality client support.

The necessary staffing levels can be assessed using the followings:

Decide whether agents will handle web chats and respond to emails, ideally grouping them separately with their KPIs.

For an independent forecast, determine the call duration and their number per hour or day.

If delving into such calculations isn’t your cup of tea, consult with your integrator team: they can help determine the number of agents you’ll need.

If you opt to use Erlang’s calculator, set up your service level objectives. For instance:

  • A response to 90% of calls;
  • Wait time – 20 seconds;
  • Average call duration – X seconds;
  • Number of calls – Y.

And the software will suggest the minimum staff size to meet these conditions.

7. Software that can’t be scaled

It’s essential that your call center software is scalable. It should rapidly adapt to the number of clients and agents, and to the complexity of the requests being handled. In this respect, cloud-based systems are a winner, as setting up a new workspace in a cloud call center and integrating new features, like dialer, voice bots or voice broadcasting, takes only a few minutes.

8. Overblown Expectations of Software

The right software will increase the efficiency of your call center, but there’s no program that will completely replace a human agent in a call center. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution that can meet the needs of individual businesses.

Be prepared for cost estimates on integrations, customizations, and automations – that’s the only way to reap maximum benefits from your chosen solution.

9. “I’ll Create a Call Center to Improve Service Quality”

Quality of service does not just arise in the call center on its own, it is something you can control, and there are numerous tools for this: conversation quality assessment, automatic discipline monitoring, collection of various performance indicators into a single KPI, and finally, “social competition” or gamification. Gather your colleagues and define key indicators for each process.

Useful tips on how to get the best service from your SIP provider

Engage integrators to solve your problems. An open discussion of difficulties, expressed concerns, voiced plans, and expectations will help to find the best technical solution and allocate responsibility.

Express your ideas and ask to implement them for free. This works for small improvements or interesting ideas. And even if they ask for a certain amount for implementation, ask them to credit it (or at least part of it) towards your balance.

Demand strict SLA from integrators (service). Even if it requires additional payment, initially it is definitely not superfluous. Usually it’s inexpensive and allows for priority service, as well as compensation with money/services if anything goes wrong.

Use a referral program. Inquire about the terms of the referral program in the chosen service to get a discount for your other projects or the projects of your colleagues.

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