How to create a call center?

If you decide to open your own outsourcing call center or add a new department to your company, our article will definitely help you. We aimed to collect tips and personal observations on organizing our own contact center, and have also selected the useful functions of our program that will help optimize and improve the quality of your agent’s work.

First, think about the type of call center you’ll need; an internal call center or an outsourced one.

Internal is part of your company. You can be fully involved in the work and be sure of the result. However, this will require additional investment, since it will be necessary to allocate an amount for the salaries of employees, premises, equipment, and programs.

An outsourcing call center is a specialized company that completely takes over the work with calls. That is, the services are rented. In this case, you’ll avoid the cost of setting up an internal call center however it may result in lost calls.

Once you’ve decided on the form, it's time to move on to the content.

Think about what tasks your call center should solve:

- Processing only incoming.

- Committing to outgoing only.

- Combined tasks (processing incoming and committing to outgoing).

Next, let's look at the structure of the call center.

1. Agents. The largest group of call center workers. They perform the main function which is receiving and making phone calls. Work in this department, as a rule, takes place according to certain regulations.

2. Supervisors. They control and evaluate the quality of the agent’s work.

3. IT specialists. These workers eliminate and minimize downtime due to technical failures. They provide the technical ability to ensure that the work of the call center is completed on time and with high quality.

4. Manager: They define tasks for supervisors and agents.

There are several ways to organize a call center:

- In the office. All employees are in one room and it’s much easier to control the quality of work. But in this case, it will not be possible to avoid the costs of maintaining and arranging the office.

- Remotely. This eliminates the cost of maintaining the premises. However, it complicates the quality control of the work. In this case, the Softphone.Pro Team functions "Capture the agent's screen" and "Shoot the agent with a webcam" will help.

- Mixed. Some of the workers are in the office while some work remotely. This method reduces the cost of maintaining the premises, however it doesn’t completely solve the problem of quality control.

Now, let's discuss the existing call handling scenarios:

Call processing is the sequential execution of a set of call processing operations until the connection is established.

First, it's worth deciding:

1. Do you need a voice greeting and a menu?

2. Whether the function of dialing to a specific agent is required.

3. In what order the agents will be called.

This will help to reduce the client's waiting time for a response, as well as correctly distribute the load amongst the workers.

1. Some companies, in order to save time for the employee and the client, set up an automatic playback of the voice menu and greeting when a call comes in. With their help, the client will quickly get through to a suitable agent and as such, the time to solve the problem will be reduced.

2. It may be worth considering the option of placing numbers on the company's website for dialing certain agents. Therefore, the client will immediately get to the right specialist who’ll be qualified to solve the problem. However, in this case, there’s a danger of long queues since the call will not be distributed between free agents.

3. Set up your dialing strategy. There are several options:

- Parallel: The call goes to all agents at once and is either answered by the one who’s free, or the one who becomes free first.

- Consistent: The call is received sequentially and accepted by free agents. There are several variations of this strategy:

● In a given order: Dialing goes according to a given scheme from agent to agent and is accepted by the currently free employee.

● In random order: The call is given chaotically until a free agent is found.

● Start with the agents who handle fewer calls: In this case, employees are distributed in the order of increasing number of processed calls so that the call starts with the smallest number.

● Start with the agents who speak less: Calling begins with those agents who, on average, take less time to talk to a customer than others.

To speed up the agent's work, it’s worth taking the time to set up integration with CRM and Helpdesk systems. This will help you to utilise the useful functions of the programs.

For example, in Softphone.Pro, it’ll be possible to set up a click-to-call, pop-up customer card (if the person is in the database) or organize the quick creation of a customer with a filled-in number.

Now, let's talk about the Softphone.Pro and Softphone.Pro Team functions that are useful for any given call center.

1. For agents: Softphone.Pro, designed specifically for intensive use throughout the working day, provides:

- Large buttons (scalable interface for visually impaired people) that are easy to hit

- No more than two clicks to perform basic actions (for example, transferring a call to a colleague or redialing).


2. For supervisors: Softphone.Pro Team has a dedicated online dashboard.


3. For IT specialists: Softphone.Pro Team has a function for the remote configuration of a softphone.


4. Softphone.Pro has a post-processing function for calls, if the agent needs time for high-quality processing. To ensure the specialist doesn’t abuse this function, you can set a certain time after which the calls to the agent will resume.


5. Control and optimization

To control the quality of the agent's work, Softphone.Pro Team has functions like Call Log, Calls by Agent, Agent Working Time, Agent Webcam Capture, and Agent Screen Capture.

For optimization, Softphone.Pro Team has such reports as:

- Number of answered calls.

- Average waiting time for a response.

- SLA (Service Level); the percentage of calls answered within 20 seconds (configurable). SLA 80/20 is considered a good indicator - 80% of calls were answered within 20 seconds.

- Average agent load.

For outgoing calls:

- The number of successful calls.

- Average talk time.

- Average agent load (percentage of the agent's working time [calls + post-processing])

And to improve the work of the entire center, the following reports are available:

- Distribution of calls by time.

- Distribution of calls by days of the week.

- Distribution of calls by geography.

These reports will help you to understand at what time, on which days, and in which region more agents are needed.

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