Top 9 Mistakes When Starting a Call Center

Get ready for the launch! Start with this article. In our experience, every second call center makes at least one of these mistakes during launch.

Top 9 Mistakes When Starting a Call Center
Get ready for the launch! Start with this article. In our experience, every second call center makes at least one of the mistakes listed below during launch.
Oki-Toki is a cloud service for organizing the work of a call center. We have been working since 2008 and during this time we have seen that companies make similar mistakes year after year.

1. "Do everything for me"

You can often hear from a client: “I need to receive and make calls. And you also need a simple customer card. Set everything up yourself. I don't want to understand, I want it to work. TK? Yes, I have a simple task, why do I need TK!
Without your participation, the contractor will be able to offer only a standard solution. What could this turn out to be? For example, the work schedule will be set from 9 to 21, and the client will work from 8 to 20. This will be clarified in a month and there will be a search for the culprit.
When setting up the system, the contractor does not know the details of your business processes and may miss important things.
Customized software won't increase your team's productivity, but will become an additional expense.
In order for the solution to take into account the needs of your business, you will have to take an active part at least at the briefing stage.

2. Replacement of "horses in the crossing"

A new call center is not a side task that can easily be outsourced to a contractor. The call center "grows" into all departments and business processes, pulling on itself the flows going to customers and distributing the return ones. Therefore, to communicate with service representatives or with "call center builders", you will need a competent representative of the customer company who is familiar with business processes within the company.
Replacing the person responsible for the project during the launch of the CC returns the work almost to the beginning. The new person in charge will need time to understand what is happening.

3. Simultaneous launch of several projects

An attempt to launch several projects related to the call center at the same time (without sufficient experience with new software) leads to a discrepancy between the results and expectations or even a freeze of work.

This error is relevant both for outsourcing call centers and for large companies with a large number of departments. In order not to run into problems, it is worth starting the simplest project with a minimally loaded communication channel and testing new software on it. And only after that, when all interested parties have gained the necessary experience, understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the new tool, start work in the planned volume.

4. Lack of a clear goal

Surely you have come across perplexed questions like “What, you don’t have a call center?! Now everyone should have a call center!” One gets the impression that the mere presence of a call center should increase the company's profits (we work for profit, don't we?). But this is not true. Not everyone needs it. It won't work for everyone. And even if a call center can benefit your company, you need to clearly understand why exactly you are creating it. It is not enough just to create a call center, it is necessary to determine what task it should solve.

5. Haste

You can deploy a contact center very quickly, but, most likely, this will affect the quality of work. Rush can and probably will cause errors in service settings, instructions to staff and confusion in the processes being built. As a result, deadlines are missed, courage is lost, or even the contact center is restarted.
However, short terms are real if the business processes have been scheduled, and the functions of the service have been fully defined.

6. Lack of Operators

If there are not enough operators, they will not be able to process calls on time and provide quality advice to customers.
You can calculate the number of required personnel using:
  • independent forecast based on available data;
  • Erlang calculator.
Decide whether operators will handle web chats and respond to emails, preferably put them in a separate group with their own KPIs.
For an independent forecast, determine the duration of calls, their number per hour or per day.
If you do not want to go into the details of the calculations, then consult with the integrator team, they will help determine the number of operators, which will become a guideline.
If you decide to use the Erlang calculator, then set the target service level. For instance:
  • response to 90% of calls;
  • waiting time – 20 seconds;
  • average call duration – X seconds;
  • number of calls – Y.
And the program will offer a minimum staff size to meet these conditions.

7. Software that can't be scaled

It is important that call center software be scalable. It must quickly adapt to the number of customers and operators, as well as the complexity of the requests being processed. In this regard, cloud systems win, as it takes only a few minutes to create a new workplace in a cloud call center and enable new functions (for example, dialer, voice robot or voice mail).

8. Exaggerated expectations from the software

The right software will increase the efficiency of your call center, but there is no software that completely replaces the human in the call center. There is no standard solution that will cover all the needs of a single business.
Be prepared for integration, customization, and automation budgets – this is the only way to get the most out of your chosen solution.

9. “I will create a call center to improve the quality of service”

Quality of service is not something that arises in a call center on its own, but something that you can manage, and there are many tools for this: assessment of the quality of conversations, automatic discipline monitoring, collection of various performance indicators into a single KPI, and finally , "social competition" or gamification. Gather colleagues and identify key metrics for each process.

Useful tips or how to get the best service from a supplier

Involve integrators to solve your problems. An open discussion of the difficulties, expressed concerns, voiced plans and expectations will help to find the best technical solution and distribute responsibility.
Express ideas and ask to implement them "for so". This works for small tweaks or interesting ideas. And even if a certain amount is asked for the implementation, ask to credit it (or at least part) to your balance.
Require strict SLA from integrators (service). Even if it requires additional payment, at first it is definitely not superfluous. This is usually inexpensive and will allow you to raise the priority of service, as well as receive compensation in money / services if something goes wrong.
Take advantage of the referral program. Take an interest in the terms of the referral program in the selected service to receive a discount for your other projects or projects of your colleagues.
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