How To Scale a Call Center: What You Should Know

At some point—if business is going well—you’re going to outgrow things that once made sense:

  • manual processes
  • all-team standups every morning
  • ad hoc marketing

The same is true for your call center and customer support services. A few in-house employees may have been sufficient at the beginning—but what about when customer demand increases? Or you’re gearing up for a busy holiday season? Or expanding into new markets?

As you grow, your call center needs to grow with you. But scaling a call center is easier said than done. To do so effectively, you need to be able to:

  • accurately identify when you need to scale
  • understand what scaled support will look like
  • determine the most effective ways of scaling

In this article, we’ll walk through each of these steps so that you can effectively scale your call center, at the right time, and with the right techniques.

Understanding Call Center Scaling

What exactly does it mean to scale a call center?

In short, call center scalability involves increasing the number or rate of services or experiences you provide while maintaining quality. The more “scalable” a call center model is, the more flexibility and resources it has to adapt to new capacities and increasing demands, while still delivering a high level of quality and customer satisfaction.

With that definition in mind, a call center that:

responds to increasing demand, but lowers quality of service to do so,
maintains high quality in experiences but struggles to match increasing demands 

is not scalable, and would need to develop call center scaling strategies to manage their operations and improve customer satisfaction.

Of course, there are different reasons you might need to scale—which, as a result, creates a variety of ways to scale effectively.

Some reasons call centers may want or need to scale operations include:

  • higher call volumes: This is the most obvious and common reason for scaling. An increase in calls, tickets or overall communication—whether due to audience or business growth, product launches, or something else—will create a need for scale.
  • adding communication or support channels, or developing omnichannel support: As you grow your customer support capabilities, either by adding new channels or creating stronger support connections, you will likely need to increase resourcing to support the additional communications.
  • seasonal demand: Scaling doesn’t always mean increasing your team size or resources—it can also look like scaling back during off-season, as well as scaling up for new product launches or holiday rushes.
  • reaching new markets or offering new language support: When your business expands, you may need to offer customer support in new languages, regions or hours—all of which require you to scale your operations.
  • expanding support: Similarly, you may need to expand support in other ways, such as offering after-hours support, creating overflow or backup channels for peak periods, and offering new types of service (such as VIP service or tech support).

Identifying why and when to scale support will help you determine the most effective means of scaling (hint: you don’t always need to hire more agents) as well as understanding—and overcoming—challenges of scale.

What Influences Call Center Scalability?

When it comes to scalability, not all call centers are created equal. Some call centers are much easier to scale than others. For example, some factors that influence your call center scalability include:

  • regular call volume
  • seasonal peaks
  • business growth
  • expansion plans
  • call center design
  • technological infrastructure
  • resource capacity

Any of these things—among others—can influence how effective and efficient your scaling can be. For example, your technological infrastructure, as well as the operational and organizational structure, of your call center will greatly impact how quickly you can scale. With better technology, you can scale more effectively and reduce workloads for your employees without having to always hire new staff.

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Similarly, your team structure and business growth can impact scalability as well. Is your business growing steadily, but slowly? If so, scaling will likely be a bit easier than if your business undergoes a rapid period of growth, creating backlogs and an urgent need for scale as a result. In-house teams are also much slower to scale—and more work to do so—than working with an outsourced team.

Creating a more scalable call center—even before you need it—can have many benefits for your business. The more you’re able to scale your call center, the more flexible and agile you can be for whatever comes your way. Being able to scale your call center quickly allows you to address many aspects of customer satisfaction and call center KPIs, including:

  • faster answer times / shorter queue times
  • quicker AHTs
  • increased FCR rates
  • more seamless experiences
  • increased CSAT and NPS
  • reduced backlogs
  • and more.

Scalability Strategies and Best Practices

With that in mind, what are the best strategies and practices for scaling your call center—or increasing your call center scalability?

Many call centers jump first to hiring new agents, but there are a variety of other ways to scale your call center. Here’s some you may want to try, whether you’re actively scaling or just improving scalability for the future.

Flexible workforce management and staffing approaches. Implementing flexible workforce management strategies can actually increase scalability. For example, having flexible overflow teams and agents who can move across roles, channels or operations allows you to nimbly adjust staffing to meet demand, regardless of where it’s coming from.

Increase cloud-based solutions. For easier and on-demand scalability, cloud-based solutions can open up your call center in a number of ways. Cloud-based technology allows you to hire remote agents, or integrate your systems with an outsourced team, allowing easier hiring for agents to cover increased languages, regions or time zones. Cloud-based solutions also make it easier to implement omnichannel solutions—which can make agents more efficient and improve customer service.

Improve agent performance. Sometimes a need for scale is really a need for more agent training. By providing agents with support and ongoing training, you can level up the whole team, allowing your agents to get through more customer communications in less time. Ask your highest performers to share their best practices with the whole team. In addition, creating knowledge bases so your team can easily and quickly access product knowledge, processes, policies and so on will improve performance, service and efficiency.

Upgrade your tools. With better tooling, you can often do more work in less time, without additional stress or workloads on your agents. For example, with agile call routing and queue management tools, you can more effectively route callers to agents who will be best able to help. You can also use modern technology to automate repetitive tasks, integrate data and information, improve self-service and more.

Leveraging Technology for Scalability

Technology and tooling is such a big factor in modern call center scalability—as such, it’s helpful to consider some of the more specific ways call centers can leverage technology for scalability.

Implement intelligent and skills-based call routing. Intelligent call routing uses a cloud-based software to identify and sort callers. Instead of simply routing them to the next available agent, it routes them to the most appropriate agent or team based on their needs, location, or other identifying info. Doing so not only creates a better customer experience through improved FCR and fewer transfers, but it also speeds up handle time and makes customer service more efficient.

Create self-service options. Self-service options are an extremely effective way to scale your call center without hiring new agents. In the best case scenario with self-service, customers can find the information and solutions they need without ever having to speak to an agent. Of course, this greatly increases scalability, since self-service solutions are essentially infinitely scalable—but it’s also something customers appreciate. According to research from the Harvard Business Review, 81% of customers attempt to resolve problems on their own before reaching out to customer service. As a result, providing self-service is actually speeding up their solutions and giving them more valuable service.

Automate when helpful. With today’s technology, automation is at every turn, and you can—and should—use it to your advantage. Whether that’s creating chatbots for live chat solutions, integrating AI support for agents, automating recurring tasks, or using advanced automation for data analytics, you can speed up many processes and workflows using automated tools.

Integrate your CRM and contact center software. Finally, integrate your technology as much as possible. The more seamless your technical experience—for users and agents—the more seamlessly you can scale your call center. Ideally, you should be able to integrate your CRM, your contact center software, your metrics and your knowledge base. By doing so, your agents will always have the information and tools they need at their fingertips. Technology is not just about having the latest-and-greatest, but about using effectively the technology that you have. If you’re working with an outsourcing partner, they can help you leverage the technology you have, give you access to best-in-class technology and efficient tech workflows, and help you integrate the tech you’re using.

How to Overcome Challenges in Scaling Call Centers

Of course, even with the right strategies and technology, scaling a call center can be challenging. Some of the biggest challenges we’ve seen with call centers trying to scale include:

  • ensuring consistent quality and performance
  • maintaining efficient training and onboarding
  • trying to hire too quickly instead of exploring other options
  • addressing communication and coordination processes

Ensuring quality and performance can be difficult to do at scale, as well as as you scale. As you scale your call center, your quality or performance standards may change—a bigger team or different channels often need different metrics or quality standards. In addition, monitoring and ensuring quality can become more difficult. Re-evaluating your quality metrics before you scale, and finding ways to track and monitor them efficiently is key.

In addition, adequate and efficient training can help avoid quality issues. If you’re hiring many new agents at once, it can be difficult to prioritize effective onboarding—and to do so effectively at a larger scale. Outsourcing can help with this, ensuring proper hiring and effective onboarding even when you’re scaling up quickly. That said, many outsourced contact centers have large teams with agents who are already trained—meaning they just need to be trained on your specific products and services, and scaling can happen much more quickly.

Communication challenges are another process that can be managed best if it’s managed early. Clearly addressing any communication challenges you encounter, or expect to encounter, from the beginning—especially if you’re working with an outsourcing partner—is crucial to scaling effectively and getting the most out of your increased resources. Try to pick a call center that has a similar work and communication culture to your own. In addition, keep in mind that the further away your call center is—and the more time zones you have to cross to communicate—the more difficult things will be.

Planning for Future Scalability

As we discussed above, scaling a call center becomes easier when you implement scalability strategies in advance so you’re ready when the time comes. Planning for future scalability is always a good idea.

For example, every call center should be conducting regular capacity planning and forecasting. Accurate workforce management solutions, when used regularly, can provide your team with predictive analytics to preemptively understand when and if you’ll need to scale up (or down), and what your most effective means of doing so are. You’ll be able to understand how seasonality, new products or other annual changes affect call volume, and plan for the future effectively, rather than having to adapt on the spot.

Continuously monitoring KPIs and other valuable metrics is also an essential scalability strategy. By doing so, you’ll be able to determine what affects your core KPIs—and notice declining service levels before it becomes a major problem. This can also help identify how to scale a call center while maintaining consistent quality.

For many companies, scaling with an outsourcing partner can positively impact service levels within the first few months of the partnership—allowing you to scale quickly while maintaining, or even improving service levels. But if you’re not already tracking those metrics, you won’t know when they’re declining, when you might need to scale, or how you’re scaling is affecting your quality.

As always, these strategies will need to be adapted as business needs—and customer expectations—evolve. However, whether you’re building a call center in-house or relying on an outsourced team, planning for flexibility and scalability from the start—or as early as possible—will help make your operations more agile as your business grows.

Can Outsourcing Help You Scale Call Center Operations?

One of the easiest solutions to the question of scale is outsourcing.

Whether you rely on an outsourced team to manage your entire call center operations, or simply have an outsourced team on backup for call overflow or busy seasons, outsourcing is a quick, effective and affordable way to scale up your team.

Many challenges of scale—such as quickly addressing rapid growth, flexibility for seasonal demand, adding new channels or languages, or adjusting coverage for extended hours or different time zones—can be alleviated or avoided altogether by working with an outsourcing partner. In addition, nearshoring and hybrid models give you access to more employees, more quickly, allowing you to scale last-minute, catch up on backlogs and do so affordably.

At ROI CX Solutions, we’re used to scale—and we build flexibility right into your contracts. With one client we worked with, we helped scale their training, processes, quality management, and team in order to meet growing—and exceptionally high—customer demand.

We fielded a team for them in under six weeks—below the target window our client had set—and maintained quality and sales-per-hour rates while growing the team and implementing more effective processes.

Can we help you scale your business, grow your reach and improve quality and customer satisfaction while we’re at it? Of course. Connect with an expert from ROI CX Solutions today, and we’ll show you how we can help effectively scale your call center.


Many Tunisians are multilingual, with call centers frequently offering service capabilities in English, French, German Italian and Arabic. Of course, this varies by call center, so you should double-check with each potential provider.

Tunisia supports a strong international outsourcing market, which means that their privacy and data standards tend to be aligned with EU or US standards. After all, they’re used to working with European and US audiences, so they have developed the infrastructure to support that.

Yes, Tunisian call centers frequently offer technical support services. With a growing technology sector, the Tunisian workforce is well-trained on technological solutions and support, and has the infrastructure to support your Tier 1 and Tier 2 tech support needs.

Tunisia offers high scalability, especially when you work with established call centers like ROI CX Solutions. With an established call center, there will be established teams ready-to-go for you, and easier options for hiring and recruitment when you’re ready to scale further. If you’re establishing an independent call center in Tunisia, there’s still ample workforce and room to scale—but it will, of course, take more initiative and bandwidth from your team to recruit, hire, onboard and train new agents.

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