Call Center Services, Outsourcing Services, Outsourcing Projects
Out of all the call centers that usually start in any financial year, majority gets shut down or are on the verge of doing it. The success rate of call center worldwide isn’t quite positive and those who are minting money rely on a team of experts with some outstanding hands on knowledge and business acumen skills. What is it that makes a call center proposition a tough nut to crack? Let’s try and understand it.
1. Inability to bring down cost of operation: While the start up cost is high, it takes some detailed data backed analysis to plan and execute reduction of ongoing running costs. Many times even maintaining the same running cost can also be quite a commendable task. So, what exactly is required to be done? Bring down the expense on unnecessary overheads. Cut the fat pay check of the top management. Make it lean and accountable. Instead of increasing the salaries, give other indirect monetary emoluments. A case in point, Genpact did not raise its entry level salaries for quite some time and the only attraction employees had was wide exposure, experience with a big brand, new learning opportunities and occasional deputation or training at overseas location. Your work atmosphere and learning offered should be good enough to help your employees oversee the salary part. Do periodic financial audits, check the avoidable leakage. Work on it with utmost urgency.
2. Reluctance to invest in latest technology: Technology helps you become more efficient, more accurate and more powerful. It gives you an undeniable edge over your competitors. It always makes sense to invest in the latest technology (of course after careful consideration) be it dialer, headsets, servers, cloud, call recording and live monitoring software. This helps you stay ahead of the industry and builds confidence of a client.
3. Reluctance to invest in training: More than the machines, it is the human resource which is a call center’s biggest resource. They need to refine that resource by periodic training. This needs to take place across the levels be it agent, manager or even the top management.
4. Agreeing to unreasonable delivery targets: In their over eagerness to bag a client, many a time contact centers sign on the dotted line with unreasonably high targets. By doing this they tie themselves up into knots. They pressurize the agents to meet the SLA, when many fail to achieve it, eventually they lose the client, lose the money, lose their face leading to closure of their center. Many times the profit margins are kept so low that it becomes virtually impossible to operate on those prices. They try to sustain the losses in the hope to increase the volume, however, things do not shape up as per expectations and hence heavy losses are incurred.
5. Less focused expenditure on Business Development: Those in Business Development (BD) incur heavy expenditure and do not bring substantial results. Many a time such expenditure goes unaccountable for. Management needs to have a proper strategy, with accountable expenses, which should include investment in social media. Continuation of existing clients is as important as gaining new ones.
If a call center works on these areas their chances of success will multiply. The key to success is - bringing down the cost of operations and keep improving profit margins.