Launching a call center isn’t something that has to be reserved for those with years of experience in the industry. While experience can certainly help you prepare for the launch of your new business, there are plenty of people who set up small contact center operations from their own home or a rented space with great success. Here, we’ll show you what it takes to prepare for launching a call center - and doing it right from the very beginning!
First Steps - Determine Which Type of Center You’re Launching
There are many types of call centers. All of these can benefit businesses in various industries, but certain types of centers are best suited to specific applications.
The four most common types of call centers are inbound call centers, outbound call centers, web-enabled call centers, and telemarketing facilities. In some cases, outbound centers are also used for telemarketing or sales.
- Inbound means receiving calls. This is the type of center you think of when you think of customer service or taking orders. Agents at this type of center may also provide technical support, medical information or advice, and more.
- An outbound call center is the opposite - a center that makes phone calls. If you’re launching a call center of this type, you are generally making collections calls, selling or advertising a product, making appointments for medical or other providers, or administering surveys. Campaign call centers are also outbound facilities.
- Web-enabled contact centers are a hybrid of the traditional call center and today’s internet-based communications, allowing consumers to access additional assistance via a “click to chat” or “click to call” feature on an instant messaging service or business’s website.
Telemarketing centers are a type of outbound call center in which goods or services are advertised or promoted via outgoing calls. While sales are often made this way, the goal of the calls going out is to promote the services or products that a company offers.
To determine which type of contact center you should launch, think about what types of goods or services your company - or partner companies - offer. If you are primarily involved in one of the industries mentioned above, you’ll find an easy fit in a single type of center. If you offer numerous products and services or both sell and offer support for your goods, you may need to consider a blended approach.
Creating a Business Plan for Launching a Call Center
Without a business plan, your center cannot hope to be successful. However, the type of plan you create will depend largely on the type of center you are launching.
Some of the information you will need to include in your business plan includes:
- Projected sales based on both industry benchmarking and previous experience
- Start-up costs and ongoing projected expenses
- Equipment costs and upfront investments
- Expenses associated with marketing and promotion
- Costs associated with labor and employee bonuses
With this plan in place, you and your management team will have something to refer back to - and adjust - as your company grows.
The benefit of a business plan goes beyond simply having a road map to your own success. It can also show others that you are serious about what you’re doing. This method of demonstrating your commitment is important when launching a call center since you will need to secure capital support in your center’s early days. Having a solid, realistic business plan can help you get it.
Evaluate Your Compliance with Both State and Local Business Requirements
Before you can launch, you will need to file all the necessary paperwork for tax purposes. To do this, you will need to reach out to your state’s Office of Finance and Taxation. When launching a call center, you will also need to determine what your state and local ordinances are regarding starting a business from home or from a rented space. Ensuring that you meet all requirements and that your company is operating legally will help during tax time - and will keep you out of trouble, too!
Outfit Your Operation with the Right Equipment
Of course, before launching a call center, you will need to ensure that your staff has the equipment that they need.
The initial investment may be high, depending on how much equipment and technology you need. Some centers have equipment from previous businesses already available, while others begin from scratch. Either way, that upfront investment is one of the most important you will ever make, since you will need the tools and technology you acquire for your agents to do their jobs properly.
Some of the investments you may need to make include:
- A phone line that is dedicated entirely to the call center business. This is something you will need to invest in if you are working from home or launching a call center in conjunction with another business. Adding more phone lines will likely be necessary with further expansions.
- Better internet connection. The speed that you currently use may not be sufficient for the high demand of a contact center.
- Hardware, such as computers, headsets, phones, and office supplies. Don’t forget your business basics!
Another major expense in the first phase of launching your center is call center software. This can be pricey, especially if you don’t currently have the correct software or if what you have at present needs an upgrade. However, it is perhaps the most important investment you will make in the early days of your center since you won’t be able to serve consumers or clients without it.
For all the tools and technology you need to get your contact center started successfully, talk to the industry experts at ChaseData. We have what your team needs to get started on the right foot, no matter what size shoe your business wears. Give us a call today to learn more!