Archive for October, 2007

Are You Going to Set Up a Call Center?

Any industrialist getting into the call center business today should be aware that he is entering a commodity-like business. Anyone claiming that they will offer innovation with niche practices is clearly not in the loop of the industry. One should accept the fact that this is not an innovative business. Given this how does one go ahead and make it a good proposition of investing in this pretty capital-intensive foray

Infrastructure: After having finalized that you would want to get into the call center business, it is imperative that you have the required infrastructure in place, the core team to propel the business and around ten call agents fully trained and capable of taking up a pilot project.

Hire Experience People: One has to make a mark in the call center business; the focus should be based on high-end quality and experience people at the helm to drive this extremely intense business. Accent neutralization and training in various situations should be absolute and the message should be pretty much clear on how a call should be handled. The business is in real time and there is no getting back after a call is messed up.

Register Under STPI: Next to this is to register under STPI so as to get the benefit of duty free imports for all the required hardware.

Collection of Assets: In addition to this the important requirements are carpet area, equipment, communication and manpower. The carpet area depends on the number of seats. It can range from 55-155 sq feet per agent, depending on the services rendered by the center. Based on this, and the space planned for facilities, amenities and support areas, you can estimate the total carpet area. Communication/connectivity depends on the volume of traffic and services rendered from the center.

A 200-seat call center will usually invest in a 2 Mbps international private leased circuit for inbound services, comprising two half circuits-one in India and the other in the US or UK through an international carrier.

Manpower deployed in a center falls under two broad categories-operations or agents and support or management. The ratio between the two varies depending on different parameters based on organization, services deployed and client requirements.

Technology needs: In terms of technical resources, a voice witch/EPABX, multiplexers (for data and voice transport), modems, routers and RISC/ CISC servers, headsets, desktops, E1/T1 circuits for the connectivity, IVR, CTI and ACD (Automatic Call Distributor) are needed.

The essential is to have a core team who has gone through the learning process in a call center and the essential team of HR, Finance, Trainers, and Operations in place.
If the business is managed efficiently, the entrepreneur can look at breaking even in around two and half years.

One more crucial aspect that one should accept and work it in the business plan is that the attrition levels in this industry north of 35 per cent. One should have a proper recruitment plan in place for such attrition levels and should not try to swim against this tide.

10 Reasons – Why You Should Be Work in a BPO

BPO industry that grows at high double-digit rates for two decades; provides massive foreign exchange gains; generates direct employment at levels way above the per capita income; catalyses the creation of four times the jobs in other industries (Source: Nasscom Strategic Review, 2007); becomes the basis for development of new suburbs and cities; spurs migration of people from smaller towns in huge numbers; and, in short, lifts an entire economy. 

Finished college and planning to join a BPO? BPO jobs in fresh graduates, post graduates and final year students very popular. The most important thing about BPO jobs, they give very handsome salary, from this money students can peruse their further studies, improve themselves by academic, professional courses something like this, if not then they save the money for their future etc. 

BPO is offering jobs in large numbers. Moreover, it’s hard to get the pink slip if you are working for the BPOs. If employees don’t perform well, they are simply shifted to a different process or sent back for retraining.

Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of joining the BPO sector as a career.

Ten reasons why you should join a BPO

1. One can earn a quick buck and lots of it. The companies provide excellent remuneration packages compared to other industries.

2. No technical qualification required but if you have then it would help you understand the technical part of process quickly.

3. No investment needed to upgrade you unlike many other professions.

4. One’s communication skills can be greatly improved. Many shysters end up as articulate dudes. The call centers run Personality Development Programmers free of cost along with regular voice & accent training.

5. You can actually imbibe a lot of knowledge depending on the industry you are working for, i.e. insurance, finance, accounting, telecoms, auto, computer hardware etc. The companies also provide international certifications for the industry trainings.

6. You may be made to undergo the six-sigma and other quality control programmers hugely in demand in the corporate world.

7. You get good food for free and lots of recreational activities like gym, swimming pool, billiards, Internet for free. Also, one gets free home pick up and drops in AC cabs.

8. The work environment of most of the international call centers is truly world class. Also, most of the international BPO firms insure their employees for free. Plus, there are parties and get together at excellent hotels and discs on weekends all paid by the company. Camping tours are also arranged by the companies at hill resorts.

9.There are open feedback sessions during training which help you to know your strengths and weaknesses. You also learn team building skills and management.

10. Working in a BPO also helps while applying for a Visa to a foreign country. It gives you added points and helps if you are planning to immigrate as you are already familiar with their culture.

Smart Way To Get Information From Call Centers

Most customers call to the customer care when they get any problem in their purchased products or if they want to take some useful information from the call center. They dial the company’s phone number expecting that someone from the company will respond to their needs. Indeed, someone would take the call. But too often, that someone does not originate from the phone company office.

The person at the other end of the line answers from a call center.

If your approach to get the information for your damage products is not right then remember that the customer service representative will most likely hang up the phone.

To get the accurate and full information for your desired query, here are some good manners for customer.

1. BE CALM: When you are calling to customer care stay calm and do not shout. Realize that the call center agent did not manufacture the defective product you just purchased. They are lowly employee paid to answer the calls of the customers. If you come up with angry attitude then you are just dialing a wrong number. So remain calm.

2. BE POLITE: You have to give the answer with politeness when agents will ask you certain questions like your name, address, birthday, etc. This is for verification purposes. Call center management requires this procedure. Don’t get irritate by the call center agent. Instead, answer the questions properly.

3. BE SPECIFIC: Give the essential details like the name the product, model number, name of the store outlet you purchased it from, the date and time, etc. Giving this essential information will greatly help and speed up the kind of help you need. Remember you are complaining about a defective product in this instance, kindly state your problem very clearly.

4. LISTEN CAREFULLY: As soon as the call center agents process your issue, they will respond properly. Listen carefully. In this particular instance, you bought a defective product and you either want it replaced or repaired. If you want it replaced, they will give instructions on how to proceed. If you want it repaired, Agent will then set the necessary appointment

5. SAY THANK YOU: After getting all the information on how to proceed, you are requested to confirm what you understand. Most customers simply hang up the phone after hearing the call center agent’s instruction, not knowing the basic information given to them. And when customer will get some problem again then they have to call to customer care and do the same process again. But if you want to save your time just check the details before hung up the call. And when you feel now you have get all the point about the process then at last say thank you to the customer care agent. It will show that you are good person.

Secrets To Choose The Number One Call Center

Every organization now a days looking for the best customer service from the call centers. The customers are the most important person for the organization. To get the infinite growth in the business it’s important to have a good relationship with customers in term of communication and services etc.

Here we are providing some key point to choose the number one in call center.

It is very important to have a good customer strategy to get the larger business. In your strategy the goals and the key points for customer care must be very clear to all agents. We have to see the overall business goals and then it’s important to make the strategy to get the maximum from the customer. It is then important to understand how that customer care strategy fits in with the firm’s overall business goals.

Learning what customers want or expect is critical. Identifying the customers’ needs and expectations can only be done after the good and detailed survey. It will help to determine how customers define a positive service experience. Every organization’s customers are different, even within the same industry and what drives one customer service strategy does not necessarily drive another.

Just as important is using that information in combination with the company’s needs to set realistic customer expectations. “Customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty,” says Bob Furniss, president of consulting service Touch point Associates. “Companies need to work with what they get from their customers.”

Determine the best mix of automated and live-agent support. A company needs to figure out what type of calls are coming into a call center, and find what can be handled by the IVR(interactive voice response)and Internet and what needs to be deal with by a live agent, Customers are always satisfied if the service of IVR will be good.

In the world no body is 100% perfect so to know the benefits and drawbacks of various points of the call center is one of the important part. There is more to choosing a contact center location than costs. Organizations should also consider such issues as infrastructure, follow-the-sun support, and language skills needed. “An American automotive company that sells cars in Germany might want a contact center there, staffed with people who can provide the linguistic support necessary to provide customer support for Germans driving their cars,” says Brian Bingham, global manager of CRM and customer care research at IDC.

“You need to move to the IVR and Internet what you can, outsource what you can to reduce operating costs, and keep internally what needs to be kept,” Furniss says. “The result is lowering your operating costs as much as possible, and maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty, which increases Return on investment (ROI). It’s all about finding that balance.”

Before hand over to call centers must check all the above point to get the best services from your chosen call center for your project. It is depends on you that which company will take care your customer service. Based on finances, quality, core competencies, and other factors, is it better to keep customer service in-house or outsource the operation? Many times the best choice is a combination of the two. Whatever the case, one size does not fit all.

 

 The information presented on this place is believed to be accurate. However, callcentersindia.com takes no legal responsibilities for the validity of the information.

Golden Opportunity in Call Centers (based on survey)

Careers in BPOs and call centers are no longer a passionate choice for urban youth, reveals a survey conducted by ASSOCHAM. The BPO sector, which is already encountering an attrition rate of 25 to 30 per cent, may face a tough challenge of managing with a 30 to 40 per cent shortage in trained manpower in the next two years, a survey says. According to the survey, the apathy is mainly due to uncertainties in job security, coupled with stringent working conditions and the increasing number of people switching over to newer and promising areas of work, namely aviation, hospitality and retail. 

The BPO sector, which is already encountering an attrition rate of 25 to 30 per cent, may face a tough challenge of managing with a 30 to 40 per cent shortage in trained manpower in the next two years, the survey says. Aviation, hospitality and retail sectors are also currently experiencing shortage in workforce to an extent of 25-30 per cent. This phenomenon has created abundant opportunities for urban youth in the above mentioned sectors. 

“A majority of 12th Standard pass outs, who were earlier seeking opportunities for livelihood in BPOs and call centers, are now curious to join other leisurely yet attractive areas of work like animation, journalism, designing, and entertainment, besides aviation, hospitality and retail,” the survey reveals. 

Factors influencing youngsters to explore their rising career graph in above mentioned areas comprise attractive pay package with more incentives than those offered in call centres and BPOs. Secondly, working conditions and lifestyle seem to be more regulated in sectors like aviation, hospitality, retail, and animation, the survey notes. 

The survey reveals that institutes running various call centre courses are facing the warmth and are witnessing a shortfall of 15-20 per cent of student fall-outs in their academic sessions. Moreover, call centers and BPOs are cutting their costs to reduce their operating revenue margin; this is influencing the employees’ salary packages and facilities.


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October 2007
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