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  Call Center FAQ

What do call centers do?
A call center is a facility that handles a large volume of inbound or outbound calls for a particular company or a number of companies. Call center agents manage a call center's calls. Large businesses normally have some type of call center setup. The British spelling is "Call Centre", and Indians typically use this type of spelling as well. Call centers normally handle not only telemarketing and tech support, but live chat, and email support. Each agent will get a computer, and perhaps a cubicle or work station to work at.

What is a contact center / contact centre?
A contact center is a venue that large businesses use to interact with customers. Help desks, sales support, and retail financial support would be at a contact center or customer interaction center.

What is speech recognition?
Many call centers and large companies have computers answer the phone that are capable of speech recognition. These computers can guide you to the right department by asking questions and being able to interpret your answer. Unfortunately, these computers often don't offer the choices that you understand or want, leaving the user frustrated which is why humans are so important!

How do I get a job at a call center?
Do you have good communication and phone skills? Do you sound professional over the phone? Do you communicate clearly and concisely? If so, then, you might be acceptable as a call center representative! Call center agents also need to be competent at microsoft word and excel to manage word processing and database tasks. Most U.S. customer service call center jobs require you to be able to type 35-40 words per minute. Are you multi-lingual? As a call center agent, your calls will be crossing linguistic lines, and you need to know a few language including English and Spanish if your calls are targetted in the United States. You can find Indian call center jobs on the various search engines which serve India.

How do I start a call center?
Plan on spending well over half your entire revenues on labor. Its wise to start small, and "learn" your way to the top. Starting big without knowledge can cost you more than what you have! You can find labor by advertising in newspapers or hiring a temp agency. But, hire good staff or you will be out of business soon. Being too nice in an unwarrented way will be your demise! Its best to segment your staff into specialties. Some will be good at sales, while others will be better at tech support or chat. Having one person do all is not a good idea unless they can really gracefully handle all types of work. You might want to specialize the whole center if you are starting small. The bottom line is to be good at what you do so you can get referrals which is survival in business.

What is an outbound call center?
An outbound call center specializes in making outbound calls to customers. Tasks involve telemarketing, sales, fund-raising, calls for updating, renewals, and surveys for verification services. In the U.S., citizens can add their names to the do not call list if they wish to not be bothered by outbound call centers. Try Click India as a first site!

How long does it take to break even in the call center business?
This varies from business to business. If you are really worried, starting small and being very dedicated is the fastest way to break even. If you hired many individuals, it might take a year or more just to break even. If you love this business, you will have the patience to do what is necessary, otherwise you are doomed for failure! You need to keep your center open as many hours per day as possible, so please whatever customers you have, and put your emphasis on keeping and gaining clientele.

Inbound call centers, what are the advantages?
There are less prejudices against inbound call centers, and less regulations too. Its also easier to maintain an inbound call center workforce. Its also easier to have a predictable revenue stream with inbound services. Outbound call centers might be okay if you are very specialized at the sales techniques necessary to sell the products and services being offered.

How can my call center find work?
There are many classes for marketing call centers, as well as companies that you can call. Contacting medium and large companies in the United States can land you accounts. Its difficult to get accounts, but if you do a good job, you might keep those accounts indefinately and get referrals which are worth gold! Advertising on the various call center directories such as 123outsource.net is another great idea!