Planning a Call Center Kickoff: 4 Parts to A Successful Launch
- byNick DAlleva
- onMarch 6, 2020
We’ve seen thousands of small and medium businesses (SMBs) engage our call center since we’ve opened our doors. Along the way, we’ve learned that planning your call center launch is an incredible way to make sure the call center outsourcing experience doesn’t fall incredibly flat.
If you’ve ever used a call center before with limited preparation, you know what we’re talking about. Without proper planning, outsourcing can feel limiting and uninspired.
Fortunately, there’s a formula the best call center kickoffs use to guarantee a successful experience. If planned correctly, the call center can continue to drive meaningful change to your business. In this post, we’ll define the term call center kickoff, and explore the 4 things businesses need to get right to make sure their kickoff is successful.
What is a call center kickoff?
We define call center kickoff as a pre-launch checklist you need to verify before you start sending call traffic to your inbound call center to manage. This isn’t a pre-planning meeting, i.e. which call center should we choose for our business. The kickoff means you’ve already secured a call center. For the kickoff, the intention is to get your business on the same page as the call center for how the two entities will work together to grow your business, create a better customer experience, or just ease your communication bottleneck. Kickoff is the perfect chance to:
- Discuss what prompted you to seek a call center provider in the first place
- Have a renewed discussion about what you expect from the call center
- Re-align your goals with what the call center is capable of delivering
Whether you have a small call volume or are using a call center to handle thousands of inbound inquiries, kicking off on the right foot is essential. Now, let’s talk about the 4 parts of a successful kickoff.
Review your outsourcing goals and know how you plan on measuring them
Goals are important, but without having a solid road map to follow to achieve them, they’ll just sit on the shelves and collect dust. When working with a call center, a good idea is to create goals that everyone on the team is clear with, and then devise a plan on how to achieve those goals.
For example, if your goal is to increase customer service, a plan to put into action might be to route calls to your call center 24/7, or implement additional communication channels such as live chat or email response. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase lead capture, you might want to focus on some outbound call center services like telemarketing or market research. No matter what your outsourcing goals are, a call center can help you achieve them so long as you have a plan!
Assign employees on your team to manage the performance on the call center side
As a business owner, you can’t feasibly manage everything on your own without losing your marbles every now and then. That’s where your staff comes into play. While outsourcing to a call center might mean that some tasks are being delegated to others outside of your business establishment, it doesn’t mean that your employees are totally off the hook.
A good way to make sure your call center agents are firing at the same capacity that your in-house team is by assigning one of your own employees to oversee all things call center related. Having one or two points of contact on your side will help streamline requests and correspondence with your call center. The designated employee(s) tasked with this responsibility can help keep all requests, questions and overall communication between your business and your call center organized and easily understandable. Here are some tasks your employees can handle that will help manage call center performance:
- Listening to calls: While your call center is responsible for handling quality assurance, your business also has a responsibility to ensure your customers are always receiving the best possible care. Having a designated team member spot-check random calls each day or week will help you and your team get a better idea of what your customers are experiencing, and if there are any issues that need to be addressed.
- Gather feedback from customers: Aside from you and your team, the people most interacting with your call center is your customers! So, asking for their feedback is a great way to gather valuable information. With this information, you can make adjustments that will help create a better call center experience for both your customers, and the agents handling your calls.
- Schedule script reviews: Every successful business follows some sort of “meeting schedule.” Whether it be once a day, once a week, or once a month, scheduled team meetings provided a great opportunity to address questions or concerns, pitch new ideas, and ultimately get everyone on the same page. The same should be done with your call center as well. Setting aside some time for periodic script or account reviews is a great way to refresh protocols and make adjustments as needed.
Review your script as your business processes may have changed
Much like in every day life, nothing ever stays the same in the business world. Business owners and managers need to constantly review data and make adjustments to help better improve the services and/or products they offer. Without improvement, there’s a good chance competitors can swoop in and steal valuable customers. For example, if a business owner finds that many calls are resulting in customer questions or requested call backs, they may want to adjust their call center protocols to provide the agents the resources they need to be able to help answer questions or schedule appointments accordingly.
For a business that is outsourcing to a call center, it can be easy to let some things fall by the wayside. However, in order to create a successful business relationship, regularly reviewing your call center script should be made a priority. This ensures that customer communication is as seamless and efficient as possible, no matter who is on the other end of the line.
Create a plan for updates, changes, and ongoing maintenance
When outsourcing to a call center, you never want to “set it and forget it.” With that mindset, you’ll undoubtedly cause unnecessary chaos for you, your team, and most likely your customers as well. For example, picture this scenario: You’ve recently increased your prices, but you forgot to let your call center know of the change. Customers are calling to schedule service and are being told the wrong information. Then, when they get their first bill, they’re totally dismayed that the price is different than what they were originally told. They’re so upset they cancel service and flock to the internet to write bad reviews. Doesn’t sound great, right?
While the example above may seem a little over-dramatic, the underlying point is the same; when you and your team are planning to make changes within your company, it’s equally important to create a plan of action when working with your call center so that both sides can be aware of what the other is doing at any given time. After all, team work makes the dream work!
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