Skip to main content

What is the hardest thing about running a call center?

http://hubpages.com/hub/MindMapping-Description-and-ToolsI was recently asked this question in one of the forums that I am active on and its actually a surprisingly difficult question to answer.  Here's what I said to the Questionaire ... if you have a similar question, take a read through the points below but pay special attention to the extra info section.

***********

What is the hardest thing about running a call center?

Well I guess this answer varies depending on if you're running a Customer Service Call Center or if you're running a Help Desk/Support Call Center. However, in either case probably your first challenge would be determining the appropriate KPI's that need to be measured.

You need to know what services are important to your customers and ensure that your teams are in the right place with the right knowledge to provide those answers to your customers to minimize any service disruptions or service impacts.

Then you need to be hiring and sourcing the right candidates - local or external - to ensure that your customers are getting the information they need. Once you've found the bodies, you're going to be looking at initial and ongoing training.

Appropriate teams and methodologies need to be in place to ensure that information flow and tools are available to your front line staff so that customers get the appropriate answer as quickly as possible - things like FAQs and Knowledgebases are great, but they need to be kept up to date. You must also ensure that you have a robust and effective system to track customer interactions.

Given you quite a bit of building and running a call center ... your question though ... the hardest thing ... really depends on what step of the process you're in. If just starting out, then getting the right people is probably going to be your biggest challenge - as a hint, hire for Customer Service skills and experience vs. Technical ... its easy to train/teach technical skills but a lot harder to do the same for Customer Service.

If your service is already well established you probably want to look at your KPI's and metrics as well as training and tools to ensure that your customers are getting the best answer possible. 

***********


Extra Information - 

As you can see, as much as I would have liked to, I was unable to give a complete answer to this question as it is a bit too vague.  I would have liked to have known the following for a starting point to get into more depth.
  • Service Provided
  • Size of Company/Team
  • Size of Customer Base
  • Customer Service Call Center or Technical Call Center
  • Volume of Contacts
  • Current Customer Satisfaction Level & KPI's in place
  • Current Knowledgebase
  • Current Toolset
  • Insourced or Outsourced Customer Service

You may find these related links of interest:



    Post a Comment

    Popular posts from this blog

    The Difference Between Incident Managment and Problem Management

    Incident Management and Problem Management are both key components of the ITIL service model and have been defined and created in an effort to provide a better and more streamlined service to consumers.
    ITIL itself stands for the - Information Technology Infrastructure Library - and comprises of the following books:
    ITIL Service Strategy ITIL Service Design ITIL Service Transition ITIL Service Operation ITIL Continual Service ImprovementIncident Management and Problem Management are both elements of the fourth volume - ITIL Service Operation, which tries to define the best practice for dealing with interruptions to a customers service. What is an Incident? An incident is a single - unique - issue impacting one specific customer and their service. While there can be many similar incidents impacting multiple customers, each of them are in their fashion unique and need to be logged and treated as such.
    An example of an incident is you losing your home Internet connection. While the underly…

    What is PRINCE2

    PRINCE2 stands for PRojects IN Controlled Environments and is a very popular method for effective Project Management.  PROJECT MANAGEMENTWhile PRINCE2 is one way of managing Projects, it is worthwhile defining what exactly a project is and why it needs management in the first place! 


    A project is specific task/role that needs to be completed to meet certain objectives. In a managed project, you would have a defined beginning and end and certain "check points" throughout the process itself to ensure that you were on target to meet your overall objectives.

    These checkpoints are referred to as "gates" and at each gate, you would have certain deliverable and targets to check your progress against. By managing a project in this fashion, you are able to ensure that you stay on track and that any issues or concerns are identified and dealt with at an early stage of the process versus waiting till the end.

    The defined "end" to a project is necessary as it creates …

    THE 4 P'S OF SERVICE STRATEGY

    Competition is extremely fierce in the world of business, only a handful survive, and some can barely keep up with the demands of the times. That's why it is necessary to have an idea of what it takes to be successful and an integrated strategy to help maintain excellent service results.

    ITIL discusses at length the four “Ps” of strategy- perspective, position, plan and pattern, each of which represents a different way to approach your service strategy. Brief summaries are provided here: Perspective - This is basically the vision statement of an organization.  Why is it in business, why is it doing what it is doing?  What are the plans and ideas for the future and how does the organization interact with its customers?  A perspective cements a service provider’s distinctiveness in the minds of the employees and customersPositions - What is the competitive landscape and how will the organization compete with other similar providers?  What is the key distinction between them and oth…

    8 RULES OF GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE & 8 STEPS TO DEFINE A SERVICE

    In a similar fashion to interviewing and hiring people - the hardest and most expensive exercise is getting the right employee - getting people back into the door is exactly the same.  You want that repeat custom as that is what will save you money in your marketing and advertising.  One of the key components to this in addition to the quality of the product itself is the customer service that you provide to the customer in their purchasing and ordering decisions.  You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won't be profitable for long. Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy - happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers. 
    Good customer service should be thought of as re…