The following article is a guest post.
In recent years, call center services have become more diverse. These days, there are a variety of services clients can choose—from telemarketing and business to business sales to, conducting customer surveys and answering customer inquiries. Those who want to get into this business can even hire consultant services to assist with the process of buying or establishing a call center business.
If you’re looking to set up or to buy a call center business of your own, you should take a look at these important tips before getting starting.
Decide if you want inbound or outbound calls.
There are two types of call centers: inbound and outbound.
Inbound call centers are used mainly for supporting an existing customer base. In this type of call center, agents can help address any questions or concerns about a company’s products or services. Depending on the account that they handle, call centers can do customer care functions and take calls addressing various inquiries.
The second type of call centers focuses on outbound calls. The most popular type of outbound calls are telemarketing services, which is especially important when a business needs to generate a consumer base. Cold calls, customer surveys, and sales pitches are some of the functions that can be done.
When buying a call center, decide on the type of service you need. If you want sales generation, the call center should focus on outbound calls. But if you want a call center with a more customer-service approach, you should consider an inbound call center instead.
Decide if you need office-based or work-at-home agents.
Depending on the volume of calls you’ll make or receive, you need to decide between office-based or home-based agents. Each type has its own advantages.
Office-based agents are more suited for inbound call center inquiries.
Hiring these agents can be more appropriate if you want to cater to companies that are reachable through hotlines, especially if you’re targeting large businesses. Certain examples of these companies include cellular network providers and retailers.
If you also need a service that’s available 24/7, it’s advisable to hire office-based agents. This is because you’re more likely to receive hundreds, if not thousands of calls per day.
These agents have the advantage of having reliable equipment to take the calls, but only if you can acquire and maintain the needed equipment. This can include recording equipment and computers to assist the agents with looking up relevant information to address client concerns.
On the other hand, home-based agents could be better if you need people who are available for certain hours of the day. In fact, this is a growing trend in places like the US, where the home-based agent pool is expected to total 160,000 by 2017.
Tasks like online tutoring and generating sales leads are well suited for these home-based positions that do outbound calls.
Consider the equipment you need.
Phones, headsets and even computers are some of the basic equipment call centers need.
Depending on your business, you may also need to invest in software to record voice calls. This is needed mostly for companies that handle inbound calls, because it’s important to keep track of customers’ concerns if you need to go over them later.
Other necessities include voice over internet protocol (VoIP) equipment, which allows calls to be made over the internet instead of traditional lines. This makes it easier to record calls and monitor them, especially if you have to evaluate whether or not your customers’ concerns are being addressed properly.
These three factors are some of the crucial ones that you need to consider when buying or setting up your call center business.
It’s the same with building any business. After all, you need to determine the type of clients you need to cater to and how large you want your company to be. Depending on your capital, you could purchase large office-based call centers with agents that can handle inbound calls for customer care or a small number of home-based agents that can work with a basic internet connection.