Areas and Functions to Plan

Developing or Improving a Contact Center: 35 Factors to Consider*

  • In-house vs. outsourced vs. both.
  • Test first, then adjust and re-test, then roll-out.
  • Type of customer contact or phone call: inbound, outbound; customer service, order-taking, lead-qualification, appointment setting, sales.
  • Type of "sell": consultative, technical, price, delivery date.
  • Type of service: help desk or technical support, customer service, information, order assistance.
  • Inter-departmental procedures and integration.
  • Call volume fluctuations and staffing needs.
  • Labor availability.
  • Compensation plan and incentives.
  • Contact or call center goals and objectives.
  • Management and supervision staff and associated expense.
  • Lead time for start-up and testing.
  • Ratio of supervisors/reps and the productivity and costs implications.
  • Quality assurance including monitoring and recording of phone call audio and screens, and QA web-chats, e-mails and social media replies.
  • Recruiting and hiring.
  • Training.
  • Performance evaluation and compensation.
  • Facilities plan and furniture.
  • Telephone system and adjuncts: ACD, dialer, IVR, voice-recognition andwork force management.
  • Headsets.
  • Call monitoring capabilities.
  • Telephone lines and type.
  • Computer hardware.
  • Computer software such as CRM, help desk/customer service, knowledge base and industry-specific applications (EMR/HER for health care, order and fulfillment systems for cataloguers, etc.)

*These are general recommendations. Specific strategies and tactics should be based on a review of your needs, market and operation. For outside support contact Lieber & Associates.

Two agents at a cubicle discuss an issue

  • Web call back (click-to-call) capabilities.
  • Web chat capabilities.
  • E-mail capabilities - basic or advanced?
  • Co-browsing the web with capabilities.
  • Social media reply capabilities.
  • Outbound list selection.
  • Inbound call volume projections and staffing needs.
  • Call guides or scripts, and FAQs.
  • Measurement of results: key performance indicators (KPIs) and intermediary metrics.
  • Motivation of staff.
  • Disaster recover plan for telephone system/lines down, computer system down and natural disasters.

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