If you’re in the midst of designing or developing a call center, you already know there’s a lot to consider.
As with most things, though, if you get the foundation right, the rest becomes much easier. That said, the foundation—or infrastructure—supporting a call center is not easy. Not only is there technology to consider, but also the workforce, resources, location, organizational structure, strategy and security to sort out.
With so many factors involved, how do you design a call center infrastructure that can give you the results you want while also growing with you?
Sometimes, the easiest way to learn is by looking at what you ought not to do. With that in mind, we’ve compiled five common call center infrastructure pitfalls to avoid when developing your call center—and some tips on how to do so.
Pitfall #1: Inadequate Technology
It’s not necessary for your call center to have the latest and greatest of every form of call center technology (though that certainly won’t hurt). But a call center without adequate technology will hurt your results and your customer experience.
So, what technology is really necessary for today’s call centers? At minimum:
- basic call center software, like Five9
- a modern IVR system
- advanced call routing capabilities
- a modern CRM
- and, ideally, software that supports omnichannel solutions
This software and technology is a must whether your call center is managed in-house or outsourced. However, keep in mind that it can be expensive and time-consuming to manage and maintain these technologies in-house, which is why many larger companies outsource their call centers. With an outsourced call center provider, you get access to best-in-class technology for a fraction of the price.
Alternatively, cloud-based technology and CCaaS solutions are a lot cheaper (and faster!) to get up and running. As such, they’re more manageable for remote teams, though you’ll still have to optimize and organize everything.
In addition, ensure that all of your technology—from in-house software to your contact center platforms to third-party integrations—integrate seamlessly. Disconnected or fragmented systems not only slow digital transformation, but they create gaps in the customer journey and customer data, breaking down the connected, omnichannel experience that customers expect.
Pitfall #2: Insufficient Staffing and Resource Allocation
An often overlooked part of call center infrastructure is the staffing. While it seems obvious, optimizing staffing and properly allocating resources is more difficult than it looks, something any call center manager knows all too well.
It’s tempting to try to optimize resourcing by reducing the number of staff on call—that way there’s less inactive time among agents. However, doing so can lead to insufficient staffing, which reduces the quality of your customer experience. On the other hand, not optimizing your resources can lead to wasted budgets.
The solution? Workforce optimization and forecasting tools can help you accurately forecast call volume, schedule agents efficiently, and allocate resources effectively to optimize budgets and the customer experience.
With ROI CX Solutions, our workforce optimization solutions are a critical part of our call center infrastructure. In addition, we regularly work with clients who have opposing seasonality to allow our clients to scale up and down effortlessly—further optimizing staffing and resources by having access to a larger team when needed, and then scaling back as soon as demand does.
Pitfall #3: Lack of Training and Development Programs
Are training and development programs really a part of call center infrastructure? Consider this:
A lack of employee training and development can lead to low employee engagement and performance, which in turn leads to increased turnover and employee attrition. Higher levels of employee attrition mean fewer experienced employees, creating lower-quality customer experiences. In addition, high employee attrition means your team spends more time on recruiting and hiring, which takes away time and focus from more critical initiatives, like digital transformation or optimizing the customer experience.
As a result, focusing on training and development programs for your employees is a critical part of maintaining and developing your team’s infrastructure. Not only will this support your call center, but also customer service more generally.
Focusing on employee development also gives you a chance to set yourself apart from the competition. According to a recent survey, 62% of customer service agents said that “more skills-based training would improve their performance.” If other companies are overlooking this essential infrastructure support, companies who pay attention to it stand to significantly improve their customer experience.
Conversely, proper call center technological infrastructure and processes supports your team as well. Shawn McCormick, senior director of the Salesforce practice at Saggezza said in an interview, “Proper contact center infrastructure reduces turnover among customer-facing teams. Not only does a system that’s easy to use and easy to learn require less investment in employee training, but it also drives longevity and loyalty because employees are happier and more successful in their jobs.”
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At ROI CX Solutions, your team’s training is handled for you by customer experience experts. Regular, ongoing training ensures that your team develops expertise that will serve both you and your customers—and keep agents engaged and empowered to create the best customer experiences possible.
Pitfall #4: Poor Communication and Collaboration
Poor communication and collaboration can cause an infrastructure breakdown both internally and externally.
Internally, it’s common for call centers to be somewhat siloed from the rest of the company, whether they’re in-house or outsourced. The deeper these silos are, the more collaboration suffers. This doesn’t just reduce productivity and efficiency, though—it’s also worse for customer service.
More than 70% of customers expect companies and internal teams to collaborate on their behalf, growing frustrated quickly when their calls are transferred or they have to repeat themselves. The more siloed customer service teams are, the less collaboration can happen on the customer’s behalf.
This leads to infrastructure pitfalls externally as well. When call centers don’t have the infrastructure to maintain seamless and connected customer communication, it degrades the customer experience and saps any chance of omnichannel support.
Even though customers today expect omnichannel support, 78% say they feel omnichannel support is “rare or never happens.” One of the main reasons why this is such a struggle for companies is due to this common infrastructure pitfall. Without the infrastructure—both technologically and in terms of team structure—to support connected customer data and conversations, agents won’t be able to provide omnichannel support.
Breaking down internal silos, as well as developing technological infrastructure to support connected communication chains can help avoid all of this. Consider too that the location of your call center can make a big difference in both internal and external communication. Companies who work with offshoring call centers may find that linguistic or cultural barriers prevent effective communication, both between teams and between agents and customers.
For many companies, switching to a trusted nearshoring or onshoring provider strengthens communication and collaboration, as well as reduces linguistic barriers between agents and customers.
Pitfall #5: Neglecting Security and Data Privacy
Finally, neglecting to adequately consider and prepare for security and data privacy is a major call center infrastructure pitfall. Unfortunately, with the increased risk of cyberattacks, this common pitfall is only becoming more dangerous.
As a call center, leaking customer data or having customer data stolen is a huge security risk—as well as creates a huge loss of customer (and client) trust. As such, call centers absolutely need to invest in the technology and training to improve security and data privacy for their clients’ customer data.
As a company, it’s essential to find a trusted call center partner that is well-versed in compliance and data security. While you don’t need to manage everything in-house, finding a partner who can help shore up your security is an easy way to improve this area. That is, of course, if you find a trusted partner with security expertise.
So what should you be looking for?
- Basic compliance certifications such as PCI and SOC-2 compliance
- Modern technology with security features
- Ample agent and call center training on secure data handling
- Quality assurance processes that include data security
Finding a partner who follows best data security practices from the beginning is a critical piece of ensuring your call center infrastructure avoids major pitfalls.
Avoid These Pitfalls with the Right Call Center Partner
If you’re setting up your own call center, the risks are massive—all of these pitfalls are highly prevalent in in-house call centers, and can be expensive and time-consuming to avoid.
Alternatively, working with a trusted call center partner, like ROI CX Solutions, can shore up your call center infrastructure and avoid these pitfalls and risks. While many companies are hesitant to outsource, it’s often less risky than managing everything in-house. After all, working with a team of experts means you get access to all of their resources and expertise, ensuring that you—and your customers—get the best service experience possible.
Not only do you save time and money, but you can improve operations, get instant access to a well-trained team and decades of CX expertise, and a fully-developed call center infrastructure that is scalable and ready to tackle any goal or challenge you’re facing.
To find the right team, just be sure to look for the following qualifications:
- positive reviews or testimonials from current clients
- proven results demonstrated in case studies from past clients
- compliance certifications demonstrating a focus on security and privacy
- experienced and highly-qualified agents
- expertise in customer service and CX
- best-in-class technology and omnichannel support
- ongoing training and development for agents and low attrition rates
- communication and culture that fits with your company’s values
Looking for a trusted call center partner that can get your team up and running quickly and provide you with proven results to meet your CX goals? ROI CX Solutions has decades of experience managing call center operations and driving results.
Connect with an ROI CX Solutions expert today, and see how our experience can drive results for your team.