How to Set Up a Contact Center: 5 Steps
Contact centers are the first point of contact for everyone reaching out to your company, so it’s crucial to have a qualified team and innovative technology driving you forward. Let’s look at five steps on how to set up your contact center.
Why Would You Set Up a Contact Center?
As a business leader, you know how difficult it can be to attract your ideal audience and get them the information they need quickly and professionally. Having a contact center is the solution to this problem, and it’s the first point of contact that your company has with the outside world. The agents answering and making calls are skilled at speaking with your clientele and creating a positive, impactful customer experience (CX) that makes your company stand out.
Implementing a contact center at your business can make significant improvements, whether you are running a small startup or have thousands of people working with you. In addition, contact centers can be on-site at the office or remote, giving you more flexibility with your operations.
Let’s take a look at five steps you can take to set up a successful contact center.
How to Set Up a Contact Center in 5 Steps
Step #1 – Determine the Goals
Every business has goals. It’s important to set weekly, quarterly and annual goals to keep your company moving forward. As a leader, collaborating with coworkers and setting these goals is necessary to ensure everyone is united. By determining goals with team members rather than for them, your employees will feel a sense of worthiness, resulting in a drive for accomplishment.
For example, a common contact center goal is increasing customer satisfaction. A good leader encourages agents to work together to improve customer satisfaction while helping them along the way. Reassure agents during the process and celebrate with them when the goal is achieved.
Shared goals are something that unites employees and leadership together. Recognizing that accomplished goals are a team effort reminds employees they’re needed and appreciated by staff.
Step #2 – Decide on a Budget
The budget for your contact center depends on your goals, how many agents you need and your current expenses.
Whether you have big or small goals for the year, you will need the right tools to help you get there. What technology do you need to make these goals happen? What internal changes do you need to make to ensure contact center growth? Take some time to figure out these answers so you will have an approximate idea of how much this implementation will cost.
This simple formula will help you calculate how many contact center agents you need.
A competitive salary/benefits package for your contact center agents is an important part of your budget. Remember, if you want to hire qualified agents who truly care about your company, you need to care about them as well. By stepping up your game and offering the best benefits package you can, you will receive applications from the best people.
Your current expenses are already taking up room in your budget, so you need to take those into consideration when planning to set up a contact center. Upon taking a closer look, you may notice where you can adjust your current expenses and better allocate funds.
Step #3 – Build Your Team
Building your team of qualified, professional contact center agents is the best part of setting up a contact center. The people you hire will have a significant impact on your company, both internally and externally. Because these agents will be the first point of contact for anyone trying to reach your company, it’s important they have high-performing characteristics. When hiring for a contact center, you should look for people who are:
- Excellent communicators
- Calm under pressure
- Good at problem-solving
The interview process is your chance to find the right people for your contact center, so take your time and enjoy it.
After hiring your contact center agents, it’s crucial to provide them with the training they need to succeed in their new roles. Some training you should implement immediately includes:
- Effective communication
- Products/services knowledge
- Customer relationship
- Call etiquette
Before these new agents can begin answering calls, they need to go through the appropriate amount of training for their role. They need to learn about your company, the goals you have set, the solutions you offer customers and how to work with your technology. Contact center agents can only perform their best when they get the necessary tools.
Step #4 – Find the Right Software and Tools
Finding the right software and tools for your company’s contact center can be overwhelming. There are so many different solutions on the market right now, and choosing one is tricky, especially if you are in the initial stages of setting up a contact center. Here are some key features you should look for when looking for software and tools:
Screen-pop: This is a functionality where a specific customer’s information automatically pops up on an agent’s computer screen during a call with that customer. It is enabled by computer telephony integration (CTI) technology.
Custom reporting: Your technology should give you insights into agent performance and CX. KPIs like call time, queue time, talk time and hold time are important to track. The data from these metrics will help you make meaningful business decisions that will help you meet your goals.
Call recording integration: All calls should be recorded and automatically archived into your telephony system, customer relationship management (CRM) system, or another external integrated system. It’s essential to be able to listen to calls after they finish so you can monitor and evaluate agent performance.
Voice mail integration: It’s crucial to listen to messages and return customer calls in a timely manner. Voice mail integration will make this possible, creating a more valuable CX.
Call metrics integration: Call metrics are both quantitative and qualitative measurements for tracking agent productivity. This integration will help track how quickly agents address and resolve customer issues, how many calls were missed due to unavailable agents, the average time agents spend on calls and more. These KPIs focus on CX and satisfaction.
Step #5 – Invest in Culture
Company culture is a huge part of any business. Having shared values, clear communication methods and healthy morale will create a positive environment for employees and significantly impact the success of your business. As a leader, you decide what direction your business is headed, and you have the power to create a culture that establishes and fosters engagement and improvement. You can invest in your company culture by:
Promoting learning and development: Cross-training employees is a low-cost investment that becomes highly valuable. Consider moving employees across different functions, giving them a chance to take on other responsibilities for increased learning and understanding of the entire business. Learning how different parts of the business function will strengthen company culture, as employees will be able to make decisions with the entire team in mind.
Using team-building tactics: Team building encourages collaboration, increases open communication, builds trust and promotes employee engagement. To incorporate team building into company culture, you should embed it into day-to-day communication and activities.
Celebrate with recognition and reward: Being recognized for achievements is a basic human need. Recognizing your team for both large and small achievements is a great way to drive performance, retention and engagement.
Achievements should be communicated within your company every day. Encourage teams to recognize their teammates’ victories daily. There is also technology you can invest in that will track goals and achievements and allow for all team members to express appreciation and positive reassurance. This is a great way to build a motivated, happy team.
Conclusion: How Can CDC Software Help?
Setting up a contact center at your company will instantly increase efficiency and create a brand-new CX. The technology that you use in your contact center will shape your company’s future, so do your due diligence before making a decision.
CDC Software’s cloud-based solutions empower companies to quickly and cost-efficiently integrate their telephony and CRM systems, giving contact center agents the information they need to delight customers – on each and every call. Click here to schedule a demo.