start a call center logo  
home
divider
overview
divider
frequently asked questions
divider
action plan
divider
glossary
divider
links
divider
about us

 

 

All users of this Website agree and understand that information contained herein is not intended to be, nor is represented to be, of a legal or binding nature and agrees to the site's terms and conditions and privacy statement.

2003-2017 Peter DeHaan Publishing Inc.

Contact Us

FAQs - For Outsourcing Call Centers

Q: Is this a good business for an absentee owner?

Q: There is no call center in my community, is this a good sign?

Q: Should my business plan be to offer better service for a lower price?

Q: How many accounts do I need to break-even?

Q: How long should it take me to get to break-even?

Q: How about friends and relatives who will work for free?

Q: Is there a market for call centers with limited hours of operation?


Question: Is this a good business for an absentee owner?

Answer: No. For any outsourcing call center or teleservices agency to be successful, there needs to be a dedicated leader who is there on a regular basis, ensuring that the staff is providing exceptional service, the labor is kept in check, and the billing is accurate, timely, and collected. It is rare to find anyone without a vested interest in the business who will consistently handle these tasks for the long-term. Lacking this leadership, even a well run call center can crumble in a matter of weeks.

back to top


Question: There is no call center in my community, is this a good sign?

Answer: There is probably a good reason why there is no call center in your area. Quite simply, the labor market may not big enough to support it. This includes not only a labor pool of sufficient size, but also one with which has the skills and work ethic that you need and with reasonable compensation expectations.

back to top


Question: Should my business plan be to offer better service for a lower price?

Answer: It is never a good idea to compete on price alone. There will always be someone else who will offer the same service for less. Remember that the client who choose your call center based on price, will leave you just as quickly for price. The best strategy is to focus on providing high quality service. This can be done either at a competitive price or a premium price. (For many people, the more they pay for something, the better they believe it to be.)

back to top


Question: How many accounts do I need to break-even?

Answer: This, of course, varies with the size of the accounts. One large account may be enough for you to break even. Of course if that one account leaves, your call center is left with no revenue. Although you will not want to limit yourselves to certain sized accounts, the ideal size on an account will be one that provides about 10% of your needed revenue. In that way, ten accounts will bring you to a break even point - plus if one leaves, you will still be left with a account good base.

back to top


Question: How long should it take me to get to break-even?

Answer: This depends on the effectiveness of your marketing, the tenacity of your sales, and the condition of your competition. Start-ups always drastically underestimate how long it will take to break-even, be able to pay themselves, and then earn a profit. If you are not in a position to run your call center for several months or even a year at a loss, then you probably shouldn’t be considering starting one.

back to top


Question: I have some friends and relatives who will work for free to help me out, doesn’t this solve my labor liability?

Answer: This is the quickest way to lose a friend or permanently alienate a relative; it is also not a good business decision. If others are working for free, then they should be given a portion of the ownership (this is often called “sweat equity”). Any such arrangement needs to be detailed, documented, and formalized, because misunderstandings and differences in opinion are bound to occur. The last thing a fledging business needs is to be sued.

back to top


Question: Is there a market for call centers with limited hours of operation?

Answer: Scaling back your hours of operation, greatly lessens your labor liability, but also significantly reduces your perspective market. In today's market few clients will accept anything less then 24x7 coverage (that is, continuous operation); you will find some clients that will accept scaled back coverage, say 16 to 18 hours a day, but clients needing only daytime coverage are rare.  

There are two possible strategies that some call centers use to provide 24 hour coverage without staffing 24 hours. The first is to revert to 100% automation for third shift (when the fewest calls are typically received). With today’s modern systems, containing voice mail and automatic dispatching, this is a viable option – assuming that your clients accept it. The other strategy is to outsource your slow times to another call center. There are many outsourcing call centers who can handle your calls for you. Generally, it is good to outsource to someone who uses the same type of equipment you do.

back to top