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WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT RUNNING A CALL CENTER?

Customer Service

Customer Service - the simple explanation from Wikipedia (here) is that it is "... is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase."
Now regardless of the type of Call (Contact) Centre you run you are always providing Customer Service. You can call the center a NOC (Network Operations Centre) a Technical Service Desk or a Help Desk but regardless of its name, its purpose is the same. The people that make up that team are their to provide a service to your customer and they are there to do it in the most efficient and useful way possible.

The 4 Types

Depending on the stage of the transaction that you customer is, with your organization, they will be dealing with one or more different types of customer service teams.  At a high level, they fall into the distribution below:
  1. Support: Including dealing with account issues (billing information, new account setup, order taking etc...).  This team ties closely together with the technical team and often provides a first level support function if it is in their remit.
  2. Technical Support: More detailed troubleshooting is carried out by this team.  Often referred to as "after Sales" Support they ensure that existing customers have a useful and worthwhile service and deal with any problems or issues that they may have.
  3. Sales & Marketing:  Inbound and Outbound sales teams, web chats and email responses.  In  addition to this, offsite events, telemarketing, surveys and other events are handled by this group.
  4. Quality Control: Review of customer interactions and problem analysis.  In addition to this, this team would also ensure that the company was compliant with standards in dealing with customers and would perform random audits.

Measure, Do, Act

Now, depending on the type of call center you are running, your first and probably most important starting challenge is determining the KPIs (Key Perfomance Indicators) that you wish to have in place in your organization.
Once you know what you want to measure and why you can then set about ensuring that you meet, exceed and surpass those requirements in short, medium and long terms.  To determine the most important KPI though, you need to know what services are important to your customers so that you can 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. 

Once you've determined KPIs the next step  is determining how you go about achieving and surpassing those requirements.  To do this, you need to ensure that you have the right calibre of candidate with the right skill set available and the right tools in place to expedite a speedy resolution for your customers.

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