Call Center Questions Who, What, When, Where and Why
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If you want to drill-down on the details of a complex process or program you ask Who, What, When, Where and Why — right? It may also make sense to start from the forest-view and work toward the more specific. You formalize the parameters of a call center sales, marketing or customer service campaign by defining it first and refining it second. This is particularly true if you are contemplating working with one or more outside vendors.
Below are call / contact center question clouds we’ve compiled to help you frame your project considerations. If you need help or clarification when working through the question clouds, please feel free to reach out. We may not be a perfect fit for your needs; but we’ll be happy to connect you with teleservice industry contacts that have good answers.
Purpose(s) – Client acquisition, Inquiries, Customer retention, Informational calls, Customer care, Help desk/Technical support, Answering service, Callback verification, Collection, Lead generation/qualification, etc.?
Scope ‘“ geographic, relationship, transactional, etc.?
Past endeavors (direct or similar) review outcomes (frequency and duration)?
Skills, Budget, Environment, SWOT, program design analysis, Executive Summary, Flowcharts, Forecasting, Fulfillment Services?
Value and importance of building call/contact center costs into project?
Corollary Sales & Marketing
Incorporate cross & up-sells into process/scripting? Pre-notification mailer? Request further contact information at all opportunities? Post contact follow-up(s)? Utilize call project to data mine / improve data base for current and future projects/marketing/sales? Strategic alliance for post call additional sales/product offerings to increase SPH (sales per hour)?
On Shore, Near Shore, Off Shore
Legal compliance? Complications of losing positive customer experience vs. temptation to reduce costs? Loss of control / responsiveness? Variance of expectations/service levels because of cultural differences (even if outlined contractually)? Concerns about confidence with the English language? Ability to deviate from the script? Accents? Time zone differences? Oversight capabilities? In-person facility visits?
Opportunity / Response Coverage
Available 24/7, evenings, weekend? Call Overflow/extended hours? Project / seasonal specific considerations?
Lead Time / Back-up
Scalability and Responsiveness by provider vs. inhouse (expansion & contraction of project)?
# of agents (part & full time)? Turnover / Tenure?
Technology / Channels
Needed ‘“ time to implementation? Covering all channels of customer access ‘“ phone, click2call, e-mail, text-chat? Route and track based on application or agent groups? Auto-attendant / IVR? Down-time, troubleshooting, $ for service technician? Backup? Disaster recovery? Order taking and tracking? Security and access? Call load? Unified communication system for clients at all touch points?
Inbound / Outbound
Both needed ‘“ will an outbound program necessitate an inbound one? Implement IVR to handle off-hours calls? Marketing (mail / email / text drips) followed by chaser calls or inbound call acceptance? Welcome call / retention program to reduce churn and increase customer retention?
Scripting & Training
Comprehensive descriptive documentation? Periodic revisit to refine? Tiered support levels? Quick knowledge base for reference and customer reply? Customer controlled routing?
Measurement / KPIs
Annual call volume (# inbound vs. outbound per year)? Contact rate? Speed answer? Avg. wait time? Avg. talk time? Benchmark other centers? Abandonment rate? Data entry error rate? Reports generated? Conversion rate?
Compliance / Legal
Opt-ins / consent? Authentication? Wire-tapping statutes? Call spoofing (# formatting)? PCI compliance? CAN-SPAM? Fair Credit Reporting Act? Preemption? Registration requirements? Safe harbors? FTC telemarketing sales rule regulations? Third party verification?
Monitoring / Customer Satisfaction
Training? Opportunity/need? Phone/e-mail follow-up? Stay on top of best practices? How measure? Calculate the $ cost of poor performance? Error rate? Will careful tracking streamline, improve service level, reduce total program costs? Active solicitation of customer feedback? Prioritize established business relationships (lifetime value customers)? Silent & remote monitoring? Side by side? Record and review? Agent netiquette? Adherence software? Key stroke/screen monitoring?
Prospect / Client sample (the Contact List)
Audience narrowed down? Freshness of the Data? Data been through NCOA (Change of Address) process? Accuracy of Data? How was it compiled, where was it obtained, has any other company used the data with success? RPC (right party / prospect contact) to insure campaign success? Provider updated throughout campaign? List manager/broker? List penetration/fatigue? List suppression? Merge-Purge? Value segmentation? Residential vs. Business? All contact info complete? Need to clean or append data? Need to segment (land line vs mobile)? Do Not Call scrub? CRM management?
In-house vs. Outside Vendor
All-in cost (technology, physical space, salary, benefits) to bring on new Customer Service Rep? Cost per call? Agent turnover create work and/or liability? Available internal staff resources? Lack of expertise / technical tools? Law of diminishing returns (decline in service level improvement per additional agent)?
Vendor responsiveness? Maturity? Experience? Account managers have personal relationship? Out sourcing? Home sourcing?Stable, trained dedicated staff? Provider incentives (success sharing)? Cost Neutral contracts (does not cost you anymore than your internal costs)? Outsource to deconstruct or focus on your company’s core competencies?
Customer Service Representatives (CSR’s)
Right butts in the seats? Demographic characteristic preferences? Compensation structure? Supervisor vs. agent ratio? Workforce management? Skill-based assignment & routing? Shared Environment / Blended Agents (how many projects their time will be split between)? Cost / Incentive sharing? Blended pricing? Value of a tier 2 or higher skilled industry CSR?