Moving forward with call center plans and building an efficient, successful center from the ground-up is no simple task. Commitment, budgeting and smart choices early on all contribute to the success of your call center.
Next to the people you bring on board to fill your call center, the phone system you decide to implement will serve as the foundation for the center’s success. It’s a “call” center, after all, and if your phone system doesn’t perform up to par, neither will your business.
While setting up a successful call center phone system can take some research and careful planning, the payoff is worth the extra consideration. Use the following pointers to find and set up the most effective phone system for your business’s call center - the foundation for your center’s success.
Early Tips and Tricks for Choosing a Phone System
If you’re setting up a call center within your business, there’s a fair chance you’ve given some thought into the type of phone system you’d like your center to use, as well as budget planning for the project (if you haven’t, these are things you need to settle first before moving forward!).
Choosing what phone system, package and materials are right for your center is about more than what the best deal is; should you use a Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or Voice over IP (VoIP) phone system in your center? What about a hybrid system? This is a critical decision to make, which can set the stage for your center’s ultimate success.
Old-school, traditional call center systems are becoming obsolete, and that’s a reality all business decision-makers must face as communication technology enters the cloud.
The best way to determine which phone system will be right for your call center is by assessing what you want your phone system to do. Today’s VoIP systems function as software applications just as much as they do as phones. Cloud connectivity opens the door for a broad range of unique capabilities and functionality that was impossible in yesterday’s call centers.
In deciding what type of phone system is right for your call center, consider the following advantages VoIP systems have over the limited systems of the past:
Real-time call center reporting, including factors such as performance, call details, center capacity and utilization
Optimized agent monitoring and training analysis
Customizable Automated Call Distribution (ACD) and hunt-groups
International local numbers that redirect to main call center lines
More affordability than outdated call center technology; limited equipment investment
Budget for Your Call Center
You’ve probably realized by now that your call center’s going to cost you. Between training new employees, acquiring floor space, purchasing a phone system and monthly phone service, planning a call center budget can get tricky.
Many call center phone service providers offer package deals, based on center size, desired features and phone models, which make it easy to approximate cost for your center (at least, for the phone system component of your cost). Traditional call center equipment typically costs more to set up than cloud-based systems, such as VoIP systems. Older systems are also more complex - and expensive - to manage. It’s for these reasons that so many growing business have invested in cloud-based technology for their call centers.
Another factor you should consider when setting up a call center phone system is any support or training your provider may offer. Several organizations offer training upon installation to help get your center staff up to speed on the new system.
Beyond system management, you must also consider the cost of headsets, routers, coaxial or FiOS cable options and other equipment. When it comes to equipment, you get what you pay for - as is the case with FiOS/coaxial cable systems. Consider your required bandwidth and what you want to be able to do with your phone system when determining how much you should budget.
Whatever system you choose, budget appropriately not only for system installation, but also monthly service and contractual agreements from your provider.
There’s Always Room for Adjustment
Overseeing your call center’s phone system doesn’t end with installation. One of the most important pieces of advice we can give businesses that have recently implemented a new phone system in their call center is to continuously monitor and tweak their systems as needed to get the best possible performance. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) upon installation to gauge your call center’s success, and your phone system’s performance, over time.
Establishing your call center (or modifying it) and bringing it future success depends almost entirely on the decisions you make early on. Do the research, budget carefully and establish performance metrics for your call center phone system, and you’ll be that much closer to ensuring success for your center.