The Complexities of Running a Successful Call Center

Running a successful call center is a complex enterprise, but it can be broken down into two simple categories: good people and cutting-edge technology. Having the latest management software, along with a top-notch management team and a pool of dependable call agents, is the foundation of a successful virtual call center that consistently meets and exceeds goals.

From an operational standpoint, it’s essential that the management team has the planning skills, the technical knowledge, and the human resources experience to build a cohesive organization. Running a call center business – or even a division – is no small challenge, and the executives and managers at the helm need to know what they’re doing and be familiar with best practices for call centers.

Following the management team, the next vital cog in the machinery of a smooth-running, efficient call center operation is, of course, the actual agents. Whether they’re remote agents or in-house call agents, they need to have a professional attitude, be well spoken, dependable, and have infinite patience with people. To reduce the expense of employee turnover and retraining, call agents should be carefully screened to weed out “job hoppers” or those who don’t have the necessary “people skills” to be effective and courteous on the phone.

A lot can be gleaned from a thorough job interview. So-called “behavioral interviews” can often be the most effective way to uncover personality traits – both good and bad — and identify “red flags” in job candidates that might otherwise not be revealed. For example, if you ask a call agent applicant to describe a specific situation in which they have had to deal with a difficult customer or co-worker, how they handled it, and how it turned out, you can often gain some valuable insights into how they react to stress or conflict.

Other than a top-notch management team and a pool of dependable agents, the third ingredient to running a successful call center operation is technology. That would include using software that provides real-time streaming data, call detail record reporting (CDR) capabilities, and the advantages of call tracking, skilled agent routing, and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) functionality. Whether you’re operating an inbound call center, an outbound call center, or a combination of the two, it’s vitally important to capture statistics and call management data. This data enables managers to analyze the effectiveness of telemarketing campaigns and focus their resources on where it’s doing the most good. Call center software can also provide flexible routing, as well as advanced call flow functionality. Predictive dialers, also called “telephone auto dialers”, “hosted predictive dialer”, or simply “autodialer”, are one tactic that modern call centers are using to filter out barriers, such as busy signals and answering machines. This technology enables agents to make the maximum number of contacts per hour.`

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