Due to the growing interest of companies to better connect with their customers, their need to have a call center as a centralized and organized medium for this purpose has also grown. It is true that there are large companies providing this service, many of them focused on large clients; but the truth is that in many cases, startups and small businesses sometimes do not have the resources or the knowledge to set up a call center on their own, nor the budget to rely on these large companies. This spot could be an opportunity for those who wish to dedicate themselves to offer a structure of agents and a phone platform so that startups and small businesses can get a suitable call center, at low cost and adapted to their size and clients.
Although a call center can be used to make and receive calls, basically there are 2 general models, which apply to offer certain services.
The agents, the devices and the location of your call center
Regardless of your type of call center, you must have agents capable of handling clients in different moods, without losing control, especially for support issues, customer service or debt recovering. Regarding the location, if you use a virtual phone system you will only require computers and a stable internet connection and even your agents could work from home, which can reduce your initial costs. In general, these initial costs are defined by the phone system you choose, the traditional one, is more expensive by installation, configuration and maintenance of telephone exchanges, while a cloud phone platform like Toky, allows you to start with just the devices you already have and a good internet connection.
Inbound Call Center
They are the call centers in which most calls are inbound and although outbound calls are made, they are really very few. These call centers are generally used to:
- Technical support of products and services
- Customer service
- Home delivery of products and services
- Complaints and claims
- Customer Management
- Information about eCommerce orders or home deliveries
Outbound calls are generally related to tracking clients or cases.
What do you need to set up an Inbound Call Center?
To start a call center focused on receiving calls, you must have:
Offer telephone numbers easily: You must be able to offer your clients the ability to add phone numbers in different countries or to carry existing phone numbers. You can also offer the integration with Toll-free phone numbers in case the client requires it. You must bear in mind that Toll-free numbers have a charge per minute of inbound calls and also may involve activation costs.
Agent structure: In order to optimize your resources, it is important that you can assign different teams of agents to the phone numbers of each customer since it is not practical or advisable for agents to answer calls from different companies at the same time.
CRM integrated with your telephony: Both for your internal management and to improve the value offered to your customers, the integration of your phone system with your CRM can make things easier, by having in one place the related contacts of each of your customers, in addition to the agents who attended them.
Outbound call capacity at low cost: Although most of your calls are inbound, your agents could need to call customers to make a follow up on any case and the cost of these calls should have a good price per minute.
Call center reports: You must be able to generate reports by agent, phone number and other elements that help you both to measure the performance of your call center and report your activities to your customers as a support for your invoices, depending on your business model.
Knowledgebase: Especially for support services, it is very important to provide your agents a structured information base that allows them to find quickly and easily problems and requests of the caller, and the possible solutions and procedures.
Call escalation: If one of your agents does not have the knowledge to handle a case, you must be able to transfer the call to one of your team members, who are better qualified to solve each case.
With Toky you can set up an Inbound Call Center and not only answer calls from phone numbers in more than 60 countries but also from websites and Facebook pages. Try Toky for free!
Outbound Call Center
It is a call center where most of the calls are outbound. These call centers are generally used to:
- Market research
- Telephone surveys
- Debt collection management services
- Sales of products or services
What do you need to set up an Outbound Call Center?
To start a call center focused on outbound calls, you must have:
Outbound call capacity with low price per minute: In this call center model, outbound calls are a critical element of the cost, so having a good price per minute for international calls is a key part of your business model to operate correctly. You must bear in mind that per minute prices may vary from one country to another, so you must define very well with your customer which countries should be served by your team of agents, before making a proposal.
CRM integration with your phone system: The integration of your phone platform with your CRM becomes very important if you want to keep track of all calls made by each agent during the day and to measure the number of calls, as well as record successful conversions.
Call center reports: As in the Inbound Call Center model, the phone platform reports are crucial to measure the performance of your team and keep track of the costs of calls.
The virtual phone systems and your call center business
A cloud phone system is an excellent choice if you want to start your call center business since it offers great features you the flexibility you need to add and remove phone numbers and agents as you require it. Being a cloud service, your monthly cost can be included in the price your customer pays for having the call center. Even, since a virtual phone system is an internet-based service, your agents could perfectly answer and make calls from their own home, reducing, even more, the operating costs of your business.
With Toky you can get excellent prices per minute for international calls, as well as integrations with different CRMs that will help you better measure your sales process. Try Toky for free!