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Call Center Operation: Design, Operation, and Maintenance
by Duane Sharp,softcover, 303 pages, 2003, $58.95



Every customer-facing corporation has at least one call center. In the United States, call centers handle a billion calls per year.  Call Center Operation gives you complete coverage of the critical issues involved in the design, implementation, organization, and management of a customer call center.  Sharp provides information on advanced technology tools for work-force management, workshop examples for training call center staff, and an analysis of the significance of the call center to overall corporate customer relationship strategies.  A special feature of the book is its focus on call center case studies, describing a number of successful call center strategies and best practices, selected from various business sectors - financial, retail, healthcare, travel, technology, and others.  These case studies provide useful guidelines based on successful corporate call centers that will guide you in establishing and maintaining the most effective call center operation for your enterprise.

  • Presents key concepts and techniques, including a formal development process, in a real-world context

  • Provides extensive management guidelines

  • Stresses the importance of staff selection and training

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Call Centers
    • Overview
    • Analyzing call center requirements
    • Vendor solutions
    • A 10-point call center development process
    • How to use this book
  2. Call Center Technology
    • Computer telephony integration (CTI)
    • Network structures and CTI servers
    • Basic CTI services
    • CTI in the call center
    • CTI implementation guidelines
    • Automatic call distribution (ACD)
    • The Internet in the call center
    • Database management technology
    • Summary
  3. Organizing and Managing the Call Center
    • Overview
    • Management guidelines for a productive call center
    • Twelve characteristics of the best-managed call centers
    • The incoming call center
    • Call centers-corporate business hubs
    • Service level-a core value
    • Creating value through workforce optimization
    • Disaster and contingency planning in call centers
    • Outsourcing the call center
  4. Selecting and Training Call Center Staff
    • Overview
    • Staff selection criteria
    • Training CSR staff
    • Recommended topics for CSR workshops
    • Tool kits
    • Advanced CSR training
    • Training supervisory and management staff
    • Summary: meeting objectives
  5. Call Center Case Studies
    • Communications
    • Energy
    • Financial services
    • Government
    • Health care
    • Real estate
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel
  6. Building Customer Relationships with Call Centers
    • A rationale and methodology for CRM
    • Strategies for managing customer information
    • Technology and business tools to support CRM
    • The CRM planning phase
    • A 12-stage CRM strategy
    • Applying the CRM strategy
    • CRM issues and tactics
    • Customer input to CRM
    • Managing the CRM program
    • CRM solution: the value to the business
    • Call/Contact center: driving force behind CRM
  • Appendix A: Call center Vendor resources-Product and Service Offerings
  • Appendix B: Glossary of Call Center and CRM Acronyms and Definitions
  • Appendix C:  References and Bibliography

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Last modified January 9, 2012