There are many things to consider when starting a successful contact centre, using our knowledge of the industry, here are the main areas we believe you should think about.
A Purpose for the Contact Centre
Without a purpose, there is no point in starting a contact centre as you can’t just call people to have a chat. You’ll soon be out of business! Therefore you need to make sure you have another company willing to pay you for leads or market research. You might, for example, offer debt collection services or generate leads for insurance companies etc.
Once you’ve agreed on terms in regards to the price per lead, you then need to start putting together your contact centre.
Data for the Contact Centre
Without data there is no one to call, you can’t, unfortunately, call anyone. Contacts need to have previously agreed to be opted in to receive marketing material such as calls.
The size of the data is also important as it dictates the number of people you will need to call to be effective. To obtain data you will either need to source through a data provider or have it provided by the company who is hiring you to generate leads.
We recommend sourcing data for your contact centre from reputable sources as having bad data could generate a lot of complaints or low conversion. This could also land you with heavy fines from the ICO, especially if you can’t prove opt-in.
Working out the number of agents
Depending on the amount of data, the number of calls you wish to make in a day and call handling times. You can work out the average number of agents you need. We’d advise starting small and scaling up. The best way to work out the number of agents you need is to use what’s called the Erlang Calculator. This allows you to enter information such as the number of calls per hour etc and work out the number of agents you need for your contact centre.
Don’t forget, depending on how much you’re going to get involved and the number of agents, you may also require supervisors or managers to handle employees.
Contact Centre Office
Once you know the rough amount of agents you need and bearing in mind future plans for expansion you need to locate an office.
Every agent will need desk space and there also needs to be space to track progress such as a wall board. Management will also need somewhere to sit so you can make sure agents are performing well.
A custom wall board from Primo Dialler
Contact Centre Equipment
Every agent will need a desk, chair, computer, headset, and access to the internet. You might also need screens for wallboards or whiteboards if you’re going to log results manually.
Contact Centre Software
To get the most out of your data and agents you will need to use software called a predictive dialler. This basically allows you to load in your data and make calls automatically. It uses advanced algorithms to get the most out of the contacts and stops calling the numbers multiple times.
Hosted diallers allow you to increase or decrease the speed of calls easily. If for example, someone is off sick you may want to slow the calls down for the day. If the data isn’t being responsive, you can increase the speed to generate more calls.
As a startup company, it’s best to look for a solution that can allow you to grow, whether you’re starting out with 1 agent or over 10. It’s also good to avoid committing to long term contracts to allow flexibility in the first stages of business.
A CRM allows you to manage contacts through the sales funnels. A good predictive dialler should be able to integrate with your CRM to allow you to easily feed in the leads.
Lots of regulation to be aware of. This varies depending on what industry you will operate in, for example, FCA regulates Financial Services, Claims Management Regulator for any claims management activities, ICO governs data privacy and Ofcom has rules around making calls. Be sure to do your research before going live and it is always best to seek the professional advice of a compliance expert.
If you’re planning on opening a contact centre make sure you pre-plan and have the right amount of people, software and equipment. The more work you do beforehand will give you the best chance of success in the long term.
As spoken about, the Erlang calculator is an excellent tool for plotting the number of agents you need to handle calls. Coupled with choosing the right contact centre solutions before launch will allow you to get the most out of your data by generating more leads and being able to manage them efficiently.