Designing the Best Call Center for Your Business: A Complete Guide for Location, Services, Staffing, and Outsourcing

by Brendan Read, softcover, 362 pages, 2005, $44.95



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Designing the Best Call Center for Your Business examines all key aspects of opening and expanding a live agent call center, with in-depth coverage on facilities and workstation design, site selection, communications and power backups, finding the right property, and staff recruiting, training and retention. It covers domestic and international call centers and those that handle online as well as voice interactions. It also looks at technology, outsourcing, and teleworking call center alternatives and call demand.

The book also explores what functions and value call centers can offer businesses, including outbound and inbound sales, customer service and help desk support. It examines and suggests how to cope with hot issues that could affect the center such as the CRM trend and growing consumer hostility to outbound cold-calling and unsolicited e-mail.

Table of Contents

  1. What is a Call Center? People
    • Defining Call Centers and Call Center Employees
    • How Many Call Centers Are There?
    • People Are What Make a Call Center
    • Lessons for Internet Companies
  2. Why You Need a Call Center
    • What Do You Need a Call Center For?
    • Major Call Center Functions
    • Going From Small to Large Call Centers
    • Justifying a Call Center
  3. Call Center Alternative and Adjuncts
    • Your Choices
    • Why Alternatives Should Be Part of Your Call Center
    • Self Service Advantages
    • Self Service Downsides
    • Teleworking Advantages
    • Teleworking Downsides
    • Outsourcing Advantages
    • Outsourcing Downsides
    • Remote Agent Contracting, Pros and Cons
  4. Laws and Trends That Shape Call Center Functions
    • Think Twice About E-mail, OVM Alternatives
    • Watch for Business-to-Business Outbound
    • Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Right for You?
    • CRM Risks
    • Segmentation and Privacy Concerns
    • Don't Annoy the Customers
    • Legislation and Regulation
    • Outbound Telesales
    • Outbound E-mail and Privacy
    • Laws and Regulations in Other Countries
  5. Designing Your Call Center
    • Pre-Planned Sound Design Saves Time
    • Size of Call Center
    • Do You Need a Big Call Center?
    • Effective Design Elements
    • Economics Regulations
  6. Call Center Technology
    • Switching and Routing
    • IVR and Speech Recognition
    • Computer Telephony Integration
    • Call Management and CRM Software
    • OUtward Dialing
    • Network Routing
    • What to Watch Out For
    • Online-Enabling Your Call Center: Owning or Leasing the Technology
    • Buying Alternatives
    • Does the Technology Pass the "Split-Broiler" Test
    • Installation Advice
    • Buying Carrier Services
    • When Considering Technology, Remember the Customer!
  7. Site Selection
    • The Lifespan of Your Center
    • Understand Time and Monetary Costs
    • Site Selection Steps
    • The Three Key Site Selection Criteria: Labor, Labor, Labor
    • Other Site Selection Factors
    • Location Strategies
    • Working With EDAs
    • Finding Space Quickly
    • Incentive Tips
  8. Real Estate
    • Call Centers' Unique Property Requirements
    • Property Types
    • Explaining Office Property Classifications
    • What to Look For When Examining Property
    • Compromises and Options
  9. Staffing, Training, and Retention
    • Staffing
    • Training
    • Supervisors: Your Call Center's NCOs
    • Live Versus Technology-Based Training
    • Unions (boo!)
    • Agent Retention
    • Accents and Dialects
    • The Pros (and Cons) of Prison Labor
  10. The End (Literally)
    • Community Reactions
    • Strategies for Closing a Call Center
  11. Resources Guide

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Last modified January 9, 2012