I would first look at some data over the last few months.
What is the average length of your calls?
How many do you get per month?
How many minutes do you use per month?
All this is on your phone bill.
Average Call Length ( 4-5 Minutes )Quote:
Originally Posted by drakke
Calls Per Month ( Around 200 - 250 )
Minutes Per Month ( Used 550 last month, but most were just 1 minute
because we miss about 60% of calls )
One thing that I would think about is you may get more sales because of the call in system... but since they will be making more money by keeping them on the phone you could be looking at paying them over 1000.00 or more.Quote:
Originally Posted by RB4580
Well, its all up to you to decide ...
You are providing 24/7 support which is a very significant service. Some virtual office services have the systems to offer a real person answer your phone in your companies name but the ones I know do not do this 24/7. They will just take a message or forward it to your phone. You can offer 24hr email/callback response.
Why not analyse your requests and put up some form of web-based knowledge base. This may reduce the number of simple requests.
You can also test the call center for a few months and see.
Personally, I would not because I ran a call center for about five years. I know what goes on behind the scenes.
You might consider locating some airmen who work the swing or grave shift and see if they want to earn a little extra income. I know when I was in the Air Force, that extra income was always appreciative. I worked graveyard myself for the first year and had a lot of spare time in the day.
Originally Posted by Corey Bryant
Corey, could you speak more on the operation of things?? Also, have you heard of Answer Connect?
I have heard of Answer Connect yes. But after I got out of the call center business - I never looked back. That industry - well, the operators are way underpaid and you have a very high turnover. Stress is very high as well on that job. You are not only running your own business (the call center) but the business of your customers.
Of course you can find companies that will dedicate one person to your business and yes you will pay for that.
And it might even be cheaper for you to locate someone in another country & use VOIP to get the calls to that individual. Unfortunately, it is cheaper to route the call to that individual than for a call center in the United States to even pick up the call.
As far as operations - ever heard the expression, what you don't see, can't hurt you? Totally the opposite in this type of business. The first call center I worked at - had operators (two females) get into a fist fight at their work station. If the operators could not get a word in, the caller would conveniently be disconnected.
Sure - these are some horror stories and I doubt they happen at all call centers. I have attended a few conferences in the past for call centers and a lot admited that it is one of the worse businesses to ever be in. After about five years - I got out. It was way more stressful than anything the Air Force put me thru even.
Wow, thanks for the input...
Is there any way you can speak more on the VOIP with another country aspect of things? Or can point me in the right direction to maybe make that happening?
Have you considered hiring one person on a salary to handle the calls between those times when you can't be there to answer the phone?
You would be paying someones salary, the call forwarding fee's, etc... But you would have to train ONE person.
Make part of thier salary dependent on competency and you have the makings of a dedicated solution. You would have a fixed cost, with a portion being dependent on their dedication.....a powerful motivator.
My wife and I do a little of this for one of my old companies. We cover every 3rd weekend for them so their weekend dispatcher can get a break.
Be glad to talk to you about it, just PM me here.
We actually use http://www.voicepulse.com for one person who is overseas. And we have been pleased with their services. At home - we use Vonage. Also - pleased with their services.
VoIP is still pretty new right now and we have had a few problems with echos, etc but that is understandable.
Interesting services you have there. I'll be in touch.
i think am replying a bit late as am a new member..but i can add some important points.I represent an outsourcing business management consulting firm and i know very well how a call center works.I agree on some points with Corey but not full i agree.He has told some personal experiences that does'nt mean everywhere the same thing happens.Also i must tell you thatall the big Companies are outsourcing their work to India,as India is the best destination for outsouring your business.With cheap work force,quality assured,educated and well spoken people you will not get anywhere else.
We cater to lots of western clients who came to us to help them outsource their work,so i as a Team member of an outsourcing consulting Firm i can assure you about the advantages,although there will be some disadvantages also but those can be easily given a blind eye.
I don't mean offense but going cheapest isn't always best. A lot of call centers in India are staffed by people who don't really seem to have strong English skills. They're just reading off a screen and often don't seem to understand the words they are reading. When you ask a question, they usually just repeat what they just read.Quote:
Originally Posted by priyanka1
For a call center to be effective, people staffing the center need to be able to effectively answer the questions rather than just read from a script.