So you have decided that you want to open a new call centre and you have the necessary resources, so what now? Having successfully launched many call and contact centres during his career Jarrod Wisniewski, Senior Operations Manager at GFM ClearComms, shared with us his top 10 tips to making sure that your call centre launch goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Calculate the number of employees needed
Having established your call centre’s objectives you need to know how many people are required to be able to achieve these objectives. This should be calculated based on data, calculated forecasts and what services your agents will be expected to deliver. Once you know the size of your call centre team it will then enable you to know what other resources you need to support them and create an environment where they can excel.
2. Set a budget and stick to it
When launching a call centre costs can soon escalate so it is essential that before you start making purchases or embark on the recruitment process that you have a realistic and suitable budget set, which you adhere to as much as possible.
3. Choose technology that matches your business needs
A major element of your budget spend will no doubt be on technology, so it is imperative that you focus your technology decisions based on your objectives and what information you want to capture from customers; as well as how your technologies can be integrated with your other systems.
4. Develop project and contingency plans
Having established your call centre’s objectives and needs you will need to put together a project plan that includes key milestones and resource requirements. Planning is great but no doubt in reality unexpected issues will arise, so make sure contingency plans are also developed for these unforeseen circumstances and that you have the right people in place to effectively deal with these challenges as and when they arise.
5. Hiring and training ahead of the grand opening
Whether you are hiring externally or internally your staff must feel confident that they have been given the necessary time, training and support prior to launching the call centre for them to excel within their new role and fulfil both their own targets and contribute towards the overall objectives. If you are performing call centre services on behalf of another company your team must understand the client’s brand and services as if they were one of its own employees in order to provide the highest levels of customer service.
6. Set SMART goals for employees
Equally important as training employees is setting goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related) in order to; support your team’s learning, motivate them and challenge them so that they develop. A reward system based upon these goals is also recommended.
7. Building a strong culture in your new contact centre
Creating or embedding a companywide culture into a new call centre takes commitment from all staff but in particular that of senior management who must set an example and make sure that employees buy into the company’s core values and that they are clearly communicated and understood.
8. Set aside adequate time and resource to support launch
Obviously the amount of time needed will depend on various factors including the size of the call centre and technology requirements; however, regardless of the requirements it is essential that you have a core team consistently working on the project and that you schedule in additional time as you get close to the launch as part of the contingency planning.
9. Make call centre go live day fun
Once you have everything in place and you are ready for your call centre’s official launch a lot of your team will understandably feel nervous about going live, so try your best to make the day as fun as possible and take away some of those nerves. Some ways this can be achieved is by having a performance based prize giveaway and holding in office games during break periods.
10. Evaluate the call centre’s success
You will no doubt experience some teething problems to begin with once the call centre has been launched, so it is critical that performance is continually monitored to see what is or is not working so that you can then make suitable adjustments. If providing call handling services on behalf of a client they will also want to be informed of your performance so make sure all relevant KPIs are tracked and reported accordingly.