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The Entrepreneurs

Tips to set up a call centre from scratch

  • Written by News Company



“I have a small business for buying and selling used cars. Clients often call after hours. There is an answering machine for this case, but managers the next day do not always remember that they need to call back, and sometimes there is simply no time for it. How can I organize a call center so that it is not too expensive?” If you can relate to this query, dive right into this article.

First, let's figure out for whom and when it makes sense to create a call center.

  • You’re getting a lot of calls – customers have a lot of questions and problems. The secretary/managers do not cope with the flow of incoming calls and get distracted from the main work.

  • The company has more than 1000 customers.

  • There is a need to transfer calls from one specialist to another.

  • A lot of calls come in after hours, weekends.

You need customer support to create and maintain a company image — quick problem solving = loyalty. According to statistics, 75% of customers are focused on a high level of service, and 15% of them are even willing to pay more for it. Get your phone systems for small business now to get the best services.

We need customer records.

Information on goods and services is often updated, and customers need to be notified of new promotions and changes.

Alternative methods of communication do not always work as we would like. We are waiting too long for a response from a specialist in a chat messenger. You can wait for an answer from a few hours to days. Therefore, telephone support on-demand takes the first place.

Customers want to communicate with companies through the same channels as with their friends and relatives. And if the new generation, for the most part, is for social networks and instant messengers, the bulk prefers to call still.

Your call center is a good solution if you need to remove the load from employees.

To immediately understand who is calling, to determine the customer group (newbie, regular, VIP, wrong number, etc.) and based on this information to build a dialogue, offer special transaction conditions, a personal offer.

To sell more.


And this saves time and helps to improve/gain/build a better reputation.

HOW TO CREATE A CALL CENTER FROM SCRATCH

You can use the services of an outsourcing contact center, so as not to spend money on equipment and additional staff. Cons: you will have to come to terms with the fact that specialists will not be able to advise your customers at the proper level, because they don’t know all the nuances of your business and product. And the personal data of your customers will be visible to third parties. Or you can create your call center.

SEARCH FOR COLLEAGUES

Two will be enough for a start. In a couple of weeks, it will become clear how many calls fall on each of them and what is the average duration of a conversation. According to the results, decide whether you still need to expand the staff or not.

Brief new employees. Show how to use the equipment and introduce the instructions: how to respond according to the script, what you can say, and what is better not and in what cases to transfer to the manager.

ORGANIZATION AND CONTROL

Test new professionals for a telephone ethic. If necessary, conduct training. Tell us in detail about the product and introduce you to corporate culture.

Develop clear recommendations for conducting telephone calls, a work schedule and 15 minutes of breaks for “warm-up” and “take a breath”.

Why record calls:

Recording can help in controversial situations, conflicts. (order conditions, delivery issues).

Often in a conversation, you can find out how the client found out about the company and why he chose it. Further, this information can be worked by marketers, leader.

When employees go on vacation or sick leave, it is important not to lose the information that they own and pass it on to others by relay. By listening to the calls, it will be easier and faster for them to get into the course of business and the history of relationships with the client.

You can control the operators yourself, appoint an experienced employee as a curator, or listen to calls for errors, and feedback based on the results. Employees can also listen to their calls if they did not hear something; the caller had too fast speech, accent, or forgot something from what was said and needs to be clarified.

What employees need to know:

Attention to detail and involvement in conversation/emotionality. Actively listen, ask clarifying questions.

Good product knowledge.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF WORK WITH INBOUND AND OUTBOUND

To facilitate the work of operators, create scripts for processing incoming and outgoing calls. To maintain the dialogue in the right direction and during the conversation, do not forget to voice important information to the client.

For simple questions, you can configure the voice menu (payment, balance, tracking the status of the order).

Plan outgoing calls, for example, informing about promotions at time intervals when there are few calls from customers to reduce the burden on operators and not wait for customers who cannot reach you.

When making a call, the operator can, based on the results of the conversation, designate the type of client to transfer to a specific manager and so that he already has information about what the client needs and how much time to devote to the conversation.

A hotline can be highlighted for urgent questions and quick, competent answers. On an ongoing basis, temporarily or around the clock, depending on the goals of the business.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE CALL CENTER IMPLEMENTATION

If organizing a call center in a large company may require many operators and technical personnel, 2-3 small specialists will be enough for a small business. And you will also need hardware and software. The result and the quality of the operators' work will depend on the quality of automation.

What equipment is needed for a call center

Physical or virtual telephone exchange and IP telephony, headset, stable Internet, the convenient program for working with the base or CRM.

HOW TO ORGANIZE OFFICE SPACE

It is better if it is a separate spacious room, with areas for employees or partitions separating them, so that everyone has a small, but their own separate space. A table, chair, preferably comfortable because employees will spend most of the time on it.

HOW TO SET UP COMMUNICATION WITH CRM AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT

If telephony is tied to CRM, this is convenient because:

  • The entire customer base is stored in one program.

  • Each client has a personal card in which all calls, letters, transactions, bills, documents, personal data are recorded.

  • When calling from a regular customer, his card is open, and the operator can see all the information on him. Starts a new one at the first contact (lead), recordings can be done immediately during the conversation.

  • Customer calls are automatically recorded, and records are saved in the system. You can listen to them. To the head - to check the work of the operator, for the employee - if he forgot or did not hear.

  • The manager can set tasks for specific operators and the entire department or set up automatic (link) task assignment. For example, to make a call to customers and inform about new offers, changes in the product mix, promotions, and talk about a personal offer.

  • To configure scripts for dialogs with clients. For example, ready-made answers to difficult or controversial questions.

  • For analytics, to automatically report to the supervisor and employees. For example, to assess the effectiveness of calls: average duration, number of calls per day, closed deals. Or assess the work of a call center, see the strengths and weaknesses, make changes. Here’s a checklist to set up a call centre from scratch.

Conclusion

Companies with a call center know more about their customers and the ability of managers to negotiate. Not only large companies but also small businesses can afford a call center. And this will help improve customer relationships and expand the base because there will be no more missed calls.

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