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The ultimate call center checklist

There are many different components of a call center that need to be monitored and managed. If you’re new to the industry, it can be hard to figure out what needs to happen.

To help you get started, we have written this list of items that should always be on your call center setup checklist. Read on to find out more.

What is a call center checklist?

A call center checklist is a document that outlines the steps and procedures necessary to manage a call center. It can include everything from setting up phone lines and computers to training new employees and dealing with customer complaints.

The importance of a call center checklist

A call center setup checklist is essential for ensuring that all aspects of your call center are running smoothly. In addition, it can help prevent problems and identify potential issues before they become bigger.

Who can benefit from a call center checklist?

  • Call center teams

Call center checklists can be extremely helpful for call center teams. They can be used as a reference to make sure that all tasks are being completed, and they can also help new employees learn the ropes.

  • Call center agents

A call center checklist can be a valuable tool for both new and experienced team members. For new employees, it can provide a basic overview of the steps they need to take to fulfill their responsibilities. Experienced team members can use it as a reference to ensure that all aspects of the call center are taken care of.

  • Small business owners

Small business owners can benefit from a call center setup checklist if they want to set up their own operations but do not want to invest in an in-house call center or outsource the work anywhere else. It helps outline all of the necessary tasks and ensure that no steps are left out.

  • Customer service managers

Customer service managers can also benefit from a call center checklist. If you are responsible for managing an outsourced team, the last thing you want is to be stressed over whether or not all tasks are being completed. A comprehensive list of items will make your job significantly easier.

Explore the call center checklist

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The ultimate call center checklist

The first thing to determine is your call center business goals. Ask yourself what you are hoping to accomplish. For example, do you want to increase the productivity of your agents, or is your primary goal to reduce customer complaints?

Why is determining your goals important?

By determining your long-term goals, you can ensure that everything else is focused on achieving them. This will also help you decide what tasks are most important to focus on improving first, second, and third.

How to determine your goals?

You can create a goal-setting exercise with your team and go through each call center function to determine how it can improve. You’ll want to take into account which changes will have the most significant impact and pinpoint what you think needs immediate attention versus tasks that can be done in phases over time.

Call Center Templates

Which tools should you use to determine your goals?

  • A call center flowchart to identify pain points
  • A process map to get a big picture of how the call center works
  • Goal tracking platforms such as Asana or Leapsome

The next thing to set up is choosing the type of contact center. Each has its own unique challenges, so it has to be selected from the beginning.

Why is choosing the type of contact center important?

It is essential to know what type of contact center you have in order to manage it correctly and check whether the one you want to choose is the best option for your business needs or not.

How to handle choosing the type of contact center?

Ask, read reviews, and stay up-to-date. Today’s market offers a variety of new solutions, including cloud-based call center software that can automate calls and manage them more effectively.

The ultimate ^call center^ checklist

Which tools should you use to choose the type of contact center?

  • Forums
  • Capterra
  • G2

Work out how much money you need to set aside for equipment, salaries, and other associated expenses by estimating the budget.

Why is calculating the budget important?

It’s important to have a realistic idea of how much money you’ll spend to set up and run your contact center. This will help you make informed decisions about, e.g., what type of technology to purchase and how many employees to hire.

How to handle calculating the budget?

There are a few key things to keep in mind when calculating your call center budget:

  • Equipment costs – the price of phones, headsets, computers, and other technology needed to run your contact center.
  • Labor costs – salaries and benefits for employees.
  • Miscellaneous costs – office supplies, rent or mortgage payments, and other expenses.
  • Marketing costs – money needed for advertisements and trade show attendance or participation in industry events.
The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
source: workflowmax.com/blog/small-business-9-tips-for-creating-an-effective-budget

Which tools should you use to calculate the budget?

There are many different tools and calculators available online, such as

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Google Sheets

You will need to test out several different call center tools and software before deciding on a solution that works best for your business.

This includes phone systems, interactive voice response (IVRs), automatic call distributors (ACDs), and more.

Why is it important to test out different call center tools?

To find one that fits your business needs. Each tool will have its own set of features and benefits so it’s crucial to find the right one for your team.

How to handle testing out different call center tools?

Most offer a free trial or demo, so take advantage of those before investing. Consider such factors as:

  • The size of your business, to help you determine the type and number of tools needed.
  • The type of calls you’ll be handling, to help you determine what features are needed in a tool.
  • Your budget, to help you determine which tools are within your reach.
Call center in help desk software - LiveAgent
LiveAgent call centrum

Which tools to test out?

  • Call center software (e.g. LiveAgent)
  • A communication tool (e.g. Slack)
  • Helpdesk software (e.g. LiveAgent)
  • A workflow management tool (e.g. Asana)

Many businesses find that integrating call center software with other tools can help with managing calls.

Why is it important to integrate call center software with other tools?

Integrating call center software with other tools can help you manage your calls more effectively.

This can include integrating CRM software to track customer interactions, email marketing platforms to send automated emails after a call, or social media platforms to monitor customer feedback.

How to handle integrating call center software with other tools?

Before investing in any software or tool, you should check which integrations it provides.
Which tools can be integrated with call center software?
There are a number of different tools that can be integrated with call center software.

The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
LiveAgent’s VOIP providers integrations

Here are some common examples:

  • CRM software
  • Email marketing platforms
  • Social media platforms

Once you’ve selected the right call center tools for your business, creating an implementation plan is important. This includes setting a timeline for rollout, outlining who will be responsible for each task, etc.

Why is it important to create an implementation plan?

Creating an implementation plan helps ensure that the rollout of your call center goes smoothly.

How to create an implementation plan?

An implementation plan should include information about what needs to happen before, during, and after rollout. It’s also important to outline responsibilities by department, so everyone knows who they are accountable to.

call-center-management-LiveAgent-badges
LiveAgent’s call center overview

Which tools should you use to create an implementation plan?

  • Spreadsheet software
  • Project management software

Onboarding is a critical step in making sure that your call center runs effectively. Therefore, it’s important to make sure new employees feel comfortable with the process and understand their responsibilities.

Why is it important to onboard agents properly?

Properly training your agents can help them get ready for their first day on the job and be successful in their role. This way, your call center’s learning curve can be reduced and its efficiency increased.

How to handle the onboarding process?

An onboarding process typically includes a combination of training, orientation, and mentorship. It’s important to tailor the process to fit your business, employees, and goals.

The ultimate ^call center^ checklist

Creating an onboarding process can be challenging and requires a lot of planning. Here are some tips for creating an effective one:

  • Define the goals you want to meet with your training program. What do you hope new employees will learn by the end, and how does this fit into your larger business strategy?
  • Outline what your new employees should know and be able to do by the end of their training period.
  • Devise a timeline for the onboarding process, including deadlines and critical events.
  • Decide what each step in the process will look like before you begin so that there is no confusion throughout the rollout.

Which tools should you use to create an onboarding process?

  • E-learning platforms
  • Onboarding software
  • Video conferencing software

An effective agent training program typically includes a combination of classroom-style training, e-learning, and on-the-job training. It’s important to tailor the program to fit your business and employees.

Why is it important to train your agents?

Agent training helps ensure that your customers receive quality service every time they call. In addition, it can help reduce the number of calls that need to be escalated to management.

How to handle a training program?

Proper training should include:

  • Information about your products and services – agents should know what they’re selling.
  • Knowledge of policies, procedures, and best practices for customer service. This will help agents handle calls effectively without escalating issues up the chain of command.
The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
source: counterpath.com/e-learning/

Which tools should you use to train your agents?

The same as in the case of the onboarding process:

  • E-learning platforms
  • Video conferencing tools
  • Tutorials

Furthermore, it’s crucial to create a positive call center environment for your agents.

Why is creating a positive environment important?

Creating a positive call center environment is vital for maintaining employee morale and ensuring that agents deliver excellent customer service.

How to handle creating a positive environment?

  • Allow taking breaks when needed. A tired or frustrated agent won’t deliver excellent customer service and might end up making the situation worse by losing their temper with customers who are already upset.
  • Establish clear rules and expectations. This will help agents know what is expected of them.
  • Offer recognition and rewards for good work. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way to keeping your agents motivated and happy.
  • Don’t micromanage your agents. This can be a source of frustration for employees.
The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
source: empxtrack.com/blog/employee-appreciation-and-reward/

Which tools should you use to create a positive environment?

  • Reward programs such as Nectar or Bonusly
  • Raises and promotions
  • Bonuses

In any customer service environment, there will always be delays and unforeseen problems that arise. To help minimize the impact of these problems, it’s crucial to build "buffer time" into your schedule.

This means having a few extra minutes or hours scheduled each day to deal with unforeseen circumstances.

Why is buffer time necessary?

You need buffer time to deal with any issues that arise without throwing off your entire schedule and manage them faster and more efficiently.
Further, it reduces employee stress, improves customer service, and results in fewer missed calls and upset customers.

The ultimate ^call center^ checklist

How do I build buffer time into my call center?

To build buffer time into your call center schedule, you should include a few extra minutes or hours scheduled each day and be prepared for delays and unforeseen problems. You can also set up the average call time.

Which tools should you use to build in buffer time?

  • Call center scheduling software
  • Time management systems

A call center requirements checklist can help you ensure that your call center is set up for success. This checklist can include things like the types of software and equipment you require and the kind of training agents you will need.

Why is a call center requirements checklist important?

A call center requirements checklist is important because it ensures that your call center is set up for success.

How do you handle creating a call center requirements checklist?

To create a successful requirements checklist, you should consider including the following types of requirements:

  • Software – the type of software and equipment needed.
  • Staffing – the types of training agents will need.
  • Business – any other relevant information about how your facility will operate.
The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
source: evolveip.net/implementing-an-in-house-call-center-checklist

Which tools should you use to create a requirements checklist?

  • Word documents
  • Spreadsheets

It’s crucial to track agent performance to ensure that they perform well and meet your expectations.

Why is tracking agent performance important?

Tracking employee performance helps you ensure that your team members perform well and meet your expectations.

How to handle tracking agent performance?

This can be done through daily, weekly, or monthly check-ins. You may also want to consider using software that helps you track employee productivity.

The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
LiveAgent’s Agent performance report

Which tools should you use to track agents’ performance?

  • Task management tools (Asana)
  • Call center software (LiveAgent)

It’s essential to look after your call center equipment to ensure that it is working well and not breaking down. Taking good care of your equipment also ensures that you can keep track of any problems with individual items so they can be fixed or replaced if needed.

Why is taking care of call center equipment important?

In addition to reducing stress, regular maintenance of call center equipment can result in lower costs through increased efficiency and productivity and the ability to detect problems quickly and before they cause further damage.

How to handle taking care of call center equipment?

You should clean your call center equipment regularly, typically once a week. However, you may want to consider cleaning more or less often depending on your individual needs.

Call center office with agents working

Which tools should you use to take care of call center equipment?

  • The requirements of operation checklist
  • A spreadsheet or simple word document will allow you to track and update your information as needed easily

Choose at least one person to manage the project on a full-time basis. Such a person will be responsible for communicating with the client about potential problems and delays as well as managing employees and subcontractors who will work on various aspects of the project.

Why is having a call center manager important?

A call center project should be managed by at least one person who is in charge of ensuring that all aspects are completed on time and within budget.

How to handle choosing a call center manager?

To find someone who can manage your call center, you should consider researching and interviewing different people.

You may also want to look for someone who has worked on similar projects before or is otherwise familiar with the process of call center management.

The ultimate ^call center^ checklist

Which tools should you use to choose a call center manager?

  • LinkedIn
  • A spreadsheet to build a candidate database

When setting up your call center, creating a phone floor plan that will allow for the most efficient use of space and employees is crucial.

Why is setting up a call center phone floor plan important?

A well-designed floor plan can help reduce stress and increase productivity.

How to handle creating a call center phone floor plan?

Your call center phone floor plan should include:

  • The location of each phone station
  • The layout of your office space
  • A map of the building or campus.
The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
Call center floor plan example

Which tools should you use to create a call center phone floor plan?

  • Visio
  • AutoCAD

If you’re not familiar with these programs, you may want to consult with a professional to help you create a plan that will work best for your business.

Regular audits can help you identify areas that need improvement and make changes as required.

Why is conducting a regular audit important?

It’s important to regularly audit your call center’s performance to ensure that it is meeting the needs of your business and customers. This will allow you to retain customers, cut costs, increase productivity, and boost profits.

How to handle conducting a regular audit?

You should audit your call center’s performance at least once a quarter.

Check an assessment of customer satisfaction, an evaluation of employee productivity, a review of financial data, and a study of process improvement opportunities.

Check out the second part of our checklist to determine which call center metrics to track.

The ultimate ^call center^ checklist
source: inoria.com/contact-center-audit/

Which tools should you use to streamline the audit process?

  • Excel
  • Google Sheets
  • Call center software

To stay competitive in today’s market, it’s essential to use technology to its fullest extent. Using the right tools can help you increase productivity and efficiency, allowing your call center to grow as needed.

Why is using technology important?

Technology like CRMs can boost your company’s performance by reducing wait times for customers and increasing agent availability during busy periods.

How to handle using technology to improve productivity?

You should consult with a technology specialist to determine which technologies are best suited for your call center. These specialists can help you choose the right tools and set them up so that they run smoothly and provide the most benefit to your business.

Inbound and Outbound Call Center Software
LiveAgent Call center tour

Which technology should you use to improve productivity?

  • CRMs
  • predictive dialers
  • IVR systems
  • phone systems
  • chatbot software
  • Intelligent call routing
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What are the key performance indicators of a thriving call center?

Average handle time

The average handle time for a customer service agent is the time it takes for them to provide a solution to a customer’s query. This includes the time it takes to understand the question, find a solution, and present it to the customer.

Handle time can be affected by several factors including the type of query, the complexity of the solution, and how familiar the agent is with the product or service in question.

However, most companies aim to keep handling times as short as possible so that customers are not kept waiting.

In some cases, agents may also need to contact other departments or customers to get help with resolving a query. Again, this can add to the overall handle time.

Customer satisfaction score

A customer satisfaction score (CSAT) is a standard metric used by customer service and support organizations to measure how well they satisfy the needs of their customers.

The score is usually expressed as a percentage, with 100% the best possible score.

A CSAT survey is typically given to customers after interacting with the organization’s customer service or support center team. It asks them to rate how satisfied they were with the interaction on a scale of 1 to 10.

Percentage of calls blocked

The percentage of calls blocked is an important statistic to measure for a service because it represents the number of calls that were not answered by your service and therefore disconnected.

In other words, it’s the percentage of calls made to the call center blocked by an agent. For example, this might happen when agents are on break, not in their assigned work area, or just do not respond to incoming phone calls.

The average time in queue

The average time in queue is the average wait time a customer experiences before being connected to an available customer service agent.

This statistic measures how efficiently agents handle customer inquiries and how well your contact center is staffed.
Customers do not appreciate waiting on hold for long periods, so it is vital to keep this time as low as possible.

You can do so by ensuring you have enough customer service agents to handle the number of inquiries coming in and by using technology that reduces the average time in queues, such as Interactive voice response (IVR) systems, queue management software, or automatic call distributors (ACDs).

The average speed of answer

The average speed of answer is when it takes for an agent to answer a customer’s call. This includes the time it takes for the phone to ring, for the customer to be connected with an agent, and for the agent to solve the customer’s query.
This statistic is crucial because it reflects how efficiently your contact center can handle incoming calls.

If the average speed of answer is too high, it means that your agents are spending a lot of time answering customer inquiries instead of resolving them quickly and moving on to other customers in need.

Summary of call center setup checklist

  • Determine your goals
  • Choose the type of contact center
  • Calculate the budget
  • Test out different call center tools
  • Integrate call center software with other tools
  • Create an implementation plan
  • Onboard your call center agents properly
  • Train your agents
  • Create a positive environment
  • Build in “buffer time” for delays and unexpected issues
  • Create a call center requirements checklist
  • Track agent performance
  • Take care of call center equipment
  • Choose a call center manager
  • Set up a call center phone floor (skip if you are remote)
  • Conduct a regular audit of your call center performance
  • Use technology to improve productivity

Call center checklist FAQs

What is a sufficiently low hold time in a call center?

The acceptable hold time in a call center varies depending on the company. However, the company's goal should be to keep the average waiting time under 5 minutes. The on-hold time is important because it can significantly affect the customer's perception of the company. Too long of a wait and the customer may become frustrated and decide to take their business elsewhere.

Which is better, a cloud or on-premises Contact Center?

A cloud-based contact center is a service that lets organizations use the public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide voice and other forms of communication with their customers. An on-premise contact center has all of the hardware and software needed to deliver customer contact services and resides within your company's facilities. The benefits of moving to a cloud-based contact center are many. They include: scalability (the ability to add or subtract agents as needed); reduced capital expenditure (no need to purchase or maintain hardware); enhanced security; easy access to customer data for reporting and analysis.

What is the average response time in a call center?

The average response time in a call center is usually between 60 and 90 seconds. However, some call centers have a much faster response time, while others may be slower. It depends on the specific company and the services that they offer. This can significantly vary depending on the volume of calls coming in and the number of customer service representatives available to help. Typically, the higher the volume of calls, the longer the wait time.

How is call center talk time calculated?

Call center talk time is generally calculated in one of two ways: 1. By the number of minutes a customer is on the phone. This calculation includes both the time a customer spends on hold and the time they spend talking to a representative. 2. By the number of seconds a customer is on the phone. This calculation only includes the time spent talking to a representative, not on hold. Some call centers may use both methods, depending on their specific needs. For example, they may use minutes for calculating overall call center statistics but seconds for billing customers per minute.

At which times is a call center most understaffed?

A call center will be most understaffed in periods of intense activity or anticipation of an event, such as the holiday season approaching. That's when a call center experiences an increase in calls and a decrease in the number of customer service representatives. This can lead to long wait times for customers, which is not what they want or expect.

How to reduce on-hold times in a call center?

There are a few things they can do to reduce on-hold times in a call center. First, make customers aware of your typical off-peak hours. Second, ask them to get all of their account information and questions ready when they call. Third, make sure they are prepared to describe the problem in detail. Finally, keep conversations calm and polite.

What is the setup time?

Setup time refers to the amount of time a call center needs to start working properly. The average setup time in a call center depends on the solution that you choose. Setting up a traditional phone system will take longer than setting up a cloud-based solution.

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