For those who are not familiar with term inbound call center, it is supposed to be an arrangement for a business to receive calls from customers/potential customers for variable matters, for instance, support, after sale support or pre-sale queries. Similarly outbound call Center means an arrangement where agents can make call out of your system to pitch for sales.
Now let’s discuss on scenarios and options if you have any such demand.
Call Center is usually taken as a night shift work environment, where hundreds of agents are sitting in a hall and making or receiving calls in a non-stop manner. But not really is the case, a company can have a 2 agent inbound call center for providing support to customers, or it can have a 3 agent outbound call center for pitching sales and so on.
During this hard economic time not every business can afford IP telephony system, or those sophisticated call center solutions that costs hundreds of thousands dollars. So in this series we will start with call center solution for three kinds of businesses
- Small Businesses
- Mid Sized Businesses
- Large Sized Businesses
Call Center for Small Businesses
Before setting up a call center and asking for quotes from various companies for the setup, you need to closely analyze your needs. You should clearly know the amount of agents, if they will be making outbound calls or getting inbound calls and so on.
In this post, we will primarily focus on small businesses; however, in latter posts we will discuss Mid Sized and large scale businesses.
Let’s consider this case study, a small sized software house that has 10 customers in USA, 3 in Egypt and 1 in Middle East. Customers do need the support on regular basis – thus they require a phone number to contact you.
As it is obvious there is a need of inbound call center, with maybe not more than 1 agent or 2 at most. In this case, you don’t need to do anything; just one or otherwise two Skype accounts will do the wonders for you.
You are supposed to have a business skype account, yes that’s different from ordinary account – with a business Skype account you get a Business Control Panel, where you can add as many skype accounts as you want.
So ask your agents to make their Skype accounts (regular way), and you can make their Skype IDs yourself.
Now you may need to add those Skype IDs in your Business account through Business Control Panel. Once done, you can allot those agent IDs with credit, Skype In numbers, you can have an eye on their activity, logs and much more.
I used a term called Skype In also called as Online Numbers – is going to be a virtual number of USA or any other country you select from, and all calls made on this number will land on your Skype Phone.
You can have online of various countries, including Australia, Malta, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Netherlands, Denmark, New Zealand, Estonia, Poland, Finland, Romania, France, South Africa, Germany, Korea, South, Hong Kong S.A.R., China, Sweden, Hungary, Switzerland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, United States and Japan.
So get an online number of a country where your customers reside, so that they get a local number to dial you. You can have multiple online numbers mapped with an agent, meaning that he/she can receive calls from multiple online numbers.
One online number for USA costs not more than 10$ for three months, so that’s not expensive.
That’s it – you are done, give out this number to your customers and update it on your website, and you got a working call center.
In case you need an outbound call center, you can add unlimited calling plan to your agents – with this monthly plan your agents can make unlimited calls at a fixed monthly rental…!
Check out this page for countries for monthly subscriptions
You can tweak around with your account to get the best out of your budget. Here you see you can setup a fully working call center, with keeping track of calls, you can even setup voice recording of your Skype Calls, call forwarding and other similar useful things with this solution – and all this comes with 6$ per agent per month for outbound calls and 10$ per agent per 3 months for inbound calls.
Give us your feedback, and wait for call center solution for small sized and large sized businesses in coming days…!