Business Overview

Call centers are often outsourced by smaller businesses to meet their customer service needs without setting up a new department. Agents must be highly adaptable because call centers may handle multiple companies simultaneously. Call centers can either charge per call or per hour, which ‘bakes in’ the price of all overhead (wages, rents, equipment, etc.)

Who is this business right for?

Those hoping to own and maintain a call center will need to understand the subtle art of customer service, upselling, and straight sales. As more of our communication becomes automated, it’s the human touch that will stand out. However, because call centers are easily outsourced to other countries with much lower wages, there will be a need to balance the rates of each call. Owners must be business savvy and no stranger to networking.

What happens during a typical day at a call center?

At first, owners will likely be heavily focused on advertising and finding new clientele. There will be a decent amount of cold calling and networking. As clients build up, owners will be able to focus more on ensuring clients are happy, hiring the right managers and agents, and looking for cost-effective ways to hit goals.

  • Find and maintain an inexpensive space
  • Buy all relevant equipment
  • Write scripts for agents
  • Handle client complaints
  • Listen to calls for quality assurance
  • Create schedules for employees
  • Determine what markets to target next
  • Stay ahead of emerging technology

What is the target market?

Call centers are looking for companies who don’t have the resources to start a call center on their own. Between equipment costs, hiring employees, and managing high call volumes, most companies aren’t prepared to run a call center the way it needs to be run. Their needs are best left to a company that specializes in providing high-quality service that will boost their revenue and retain their customers.

How does a call center make money?

Call centers need to determine whether to charge per staff hour or per call. Because call times can be erratic, it may be best to structure it per staff hour. A call center company may take the wage of their workers, and multiply that number by four to estimate the cost of equipment, lease payments, etc. Typically, international companies may charge $.35 per call or $8 per staff hour, while US companies may charge closer to $1 per call or $25 per staff hour.

What is the growth potential for a call center?

Call centers have the potential for unlimited growth when they provide valuable service to customers. Call centers may choose one particular niche of the market (such as high-end shoe sales), or they may open themselves up to something more general, like healthcare marketing. A call center business must establish their name as the go-to source for educated agents who can handle tough questions and situations.