If you’ve got the hots for it, a call center is actually a good business to start because of its demand. Businesses today are more inclined toward outsourcing their call operations and phone lines, so the clients are always there. Plus, let’s not lose sight also of the fact that remote working now has become the norm. These facts, along with many others, make it a lucrative business to open.
But, before you get too excited about it, do remember also that no business, no matter how lucrative it may be, will ever survive without hard work and effort. Success doesn’t happen overnight, and this isn’t just something you can jump right into without learning much about and even studying about it as well.
Are you looking to start a call center? This is a guide to ensure that what you’re starting is going to be nothing less than a profitable venture. Here are the things to consider:
Identify The Core Purpose
Different call centers have their respective niches. For instance, there are those that focus on editing and writing, while there are those that focus on the medical industry or the telecommunications sector.
Remember that this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. There are some industries that require special technical skills and knowledge.
Identifying your core purpose will help set everything in order, as this would be the beginning of your next moves. Think about your purpose and your objectives. In doing so, you can double check which channels your customers are using and how you need to set things up to align yourself with the need of your clients.
To stay on track, learn more about call center analytics, which can be insightful in ensuring that you remain within the bounds of the function of your call center by analyzing how you’re serving up your clients.
Decide On The Set Up
Now that you’ve got your purpose done and settled, you must also identify the set-up of your call center. Typically, this would fall under either of the following:
On-Site Call Center
An on-site call center is one that operates from a physical, central location. All your employees are working right from the office, and all of the necessary work are handled there. In essence, it’s typically just like starting any other business.
If you have the budget to set up this huge physical location, then this is the best option you can go for. If you’re going to set up an on-site call center, you must also be picky about choosing the right location. Think of this as choosing a location for any other business. It can make or break your overall success.
Virtual Call Center
With a virtual call center, you’re mostly operating on a remote set-up. This means that your employees are most likely working from home. In fact, most of your interactions with these employees are done through the Internet.
If you’re well-versed in this set-up, and you’re low on capital, then this is the type of call center for you to run to increase profitability.
Learn more about setting up a virtual call center by looking up all the available resources around.
Set Up Your Workforce
Right from the very beginning, you’ve got to be certain about the number of employees you need. That way, you can be more accurate as to the employees you’ll be hiring. You won’t just be guessing, and then later on hope that you’ve got it right.
Remember that this is very important, as the employees are the very core of your call center. This will determine the size of your office, the hiring process, and even the wages as well.
If you don’t take this seriously and just guess, you might find yourself in a situation wherein you’re over- or under-staffed. This could hurt your business’ overall survival and profitability.
In calculating the number of employees you’ll need, it’s very important for you to base this decision on the information available to you. Typically, early on, you’ll have contracts with new and upcoming clients. This can help you gauge the workforce size to accommodate the client demand.
You might have to require your agents to study up. After all, how can you address medical-related customer service inquiries when you don’t have a single knowledge at all about the specifications of the medical products, among others?
If additional training is necessary, then do provide these to your agents. Remember that they’re your assets and the face of your business. You can’t be profitable against other competing call centers if your agents aren’t well trained.
Decide On The Focus Of Your Service
The focus of your business will dictate the services you provide. Generally, your services can be divided into two: responding only to inbound calls or focusing on outbound call services.
Here’s a quick description of these two:
- Outbound call centers focus only on outbound calls. These would include telemarketing and other marketing activities of a business, cold calling for real estate agents, and setting up appointments.
- Inbound call centers focus on incoming calls. This would include clients who need services relating to solving customer service complaints, taking down orders, and responding to inquiries. In simpler terms, your agents won’t make any call to customers. They’ll simply wait for a customer to phone.
Factor In Future Growth
A good business is one that thinks about future growth early on. Don’t think too far. Even a future outlook within the next five years is good enough. Because you don’t want your call center to just fail, it’s very important that you also factor in space for future growth.
Start small, and then slowly add employees only when there are more clients that’ll call for an increase in your workforce. However, be logistically prepared for this growth. Keep enough resources should you need to expand eventually.
You can eventually expand business operations even to foreign soil. While this may not be within your first five years, it still pays to keep the goal in mind as you take every step in building your business.
These are just some of the key considerations that you must have in mind in your pursuit of setting up a call center. Especially because this is a big business venture to start, it’s very important that you’ve given it much thought and preparation. Don’t rush the process. The stronger your foundation, the higher the likelihood that your call center business will succeed.