Call Center Requirements Checklist: How to Construct and Use It?

What is necessary for a successful call center setup and future development? Properly selected call center model? Well-chosen call center infrastructure? Thoughtfully determining call center software requirements?  Call center implementation is a complicated, multilevel, and effortful procedure that requires permanent attention, wise goals and objectives set, strategic planning, the anticipation of possible problems, and, surely, the step-by-step solution to all challenges.  The best thing you can do is also the simplest tip: divide one task into smaller missions and solve them one by one. This approach transforms into the document that is called a call center requirements checklist, the ultimate guide that contains what you have to do, how you have to accomplish it, what rules should be followed, what is the order of closing tasks, and other important guidelines that move you nearer to the final target - set up a successful and efficient contact center. But what should be on the call center checklist? It’s easy to say that it ought to cover your needs and necessities, but how to determine them? Are they universal, or personally discovered by every organization? Is a call center checklist a must-have and what benefits does it offer to not be ignored?  Let’s find out.

What is a call center checklist? 

The call center requirements checklist is a rudimentary document that is designed before setting up the contact center and includes all necessities and vital tasks which have to be done to ensure future success. Call center requirements include such policies as software requirements, workforce management model, hardware needs, tools and features that must be implemented, SLA, training policy, customer service principles, and so on. 

This document is the map to determine where you start your path to creating a contact center, which stages it bears, and how it completes. Thus, the quality of the document and how it fulfills all needs and call center requirements determine the final result and success of the department itself.

Why should you create a call center requirements checklist?

Firstly, it is the wisest path to determine your essentials, necessities, and potential issues and challenges. On the other hand, this approach will let you stay focused on the main objective and avoid jumping from one task to another. 

Secondly, the call center requirements checklist creates time frames and an exact list of what should be purchased, done, upgraded, mentioned, and taken into consideration. Thus, if during the organization procedure you discover that something is overlooked, you will understand it immediately thanks to a precise inventory of tasks.

Finally, you see the budget and can track how everything is going on. Some tasks may be delayed, or you may face unexpected troubles, but thanks to guidelines you will be able to see the destination and make needed adjustments and decisions. 

Benefits of the call center requirements checklist

What exact and measurable benefits are offered by operating the call center requirements checklist? First of all, you have to understand that you are not the only party who achieves benefits. Employees and management are also winning with a satisfactorily developed strategy, as they know their commitments, awaited outcomes, and the list of resources and instruments you furnish them with. 

But in order not to be too loud, let's look at the list of real benefits of using the call center requirements checklist:

  1. Wise and efficient budget planning - as you have a precise plan, you will not face unexpected costs, excessive financial outlays, and other problems that may greatly harm your budget.
  2. Exact time frames - when deadlines are arranged, you become additionally focused, concentrating on what you ought to reach until the chosen moment comes. This approach also eliminates the chance of putting crucial tasks on the back burner.
  3. Clear needs - when creating a plan, you follow the rules that help to determine your real needs and don’t spend time, effort, and resources on unnecessary purchases or tasks. 
  4. Employee engagement - thanks to the precise criteria of hiring, you build a team of people who know what you await from them. Such old troubles as high turnover or low qualifications are almost eliminated if the right strategy is chosen. 
  5. Better outcomes - when you set the goal from the early beginning, make thoughtful steps toward it, and do everything in accordance with properly selected rules and guidelines, you get what you want.

As you could guess, this list could be much longer, but what is the value of describing benefits if we don’t know precisely what we are discussing? To make things clear, let’s move to the actual template of what should the call center requirements list look like. 

Checklist paragraphs

Universal contact center software

The first and vital part of contact center setup is selecting the appropriate software that would include all necessary features, appropriate security level, easy interface and ability to be personalized for your essentials. 

Call center solution becomes the world for staff, as it is the place where agents work, managers measure rates and performance scores, all communication channels are gathered, and all additional contact center operations happen.

Prefer the correct solution for business by comparing various offers, packs of features, customer reviews, and the proficiency to adjust to your call center requirements. 

Main tips that determine the quality of software:

  1. List of features, both for inbound calls and outbound calls
  2. Review scores - preferably customers’, but such things as the overall background in the enterprise also matter
  3. Approach to you and readiness to offer personalized solutions
  4. Opportunity to scale up
  5. Price

Look for customer review scores on Trustpilot or others, and ask for advice from people who have experience in developing such units. 

But if you want to save time on research, just look at VoipTime Contact Center Solution, which is highly appreciated by customers and reviewers - you can quickly check it. 

Hardware and kit 

Here we come to such irreplaceable tools as headphones, PCs or laptops, and Internet connection. While technical equipment is needed to ease contact center representatives' life and make their job more comfortable both for them and clients(no one wants to hear annoying noises on their phone, do they?), stable web linkage is vital for business continuity and avoiding breakdowns and unnecessary problems in communication with buyers. 

Select the suitable model of payment: leasing, purchase, or monthly subscription. Desire a kit in accordance with the company’s essentials and prices, and reviews - you need reliable and socially proven technology tools. 

Now let’s switch to Internet linkage - select a vendor in accordance with the suggested pace of linkage and amount of proven breakdowns - the fewest is the most promising. The overall speed should be never less than 100 Mbps. 

Features

Customer expectations of client service permanently grow, and your main goal is to assemble these anticipations and deliver the service that would overcome competitors and fit industry first-class standards. 

Some call center features have become already prominent and appreciated by most clients, while others are unique and can give you an advantage over competitors. 

Call center solution tools include self-service instruments, intelligent routing algorithms, up-to-minute statistics, and other features.

But the first stage where you should focus is to pick up only a cloud-based model, that works via VoIP. It is the only model that saves you money and offers a permanent, geographically independent, and stable linkage and monthly subscription with a price that relies on the list of options and accounts which are operating. 

Other must-have features from the feature list includes:

  1. IVR - well-developed IVR system will not annoy callers and offer them self-servicing opportunities instead of making them angry before they reach an agent. Check this article to check recommendations for IVR business requirements document and reasons for absolute hate of it. 
  2. Call monitoring and recording - features that open wide agent training and performance monitoring opportunities. 
  3. CRM integration - the main tool to offer personalized service, track the customer journey, and build customer loyalty. 
  4. Omnichannel approach - while most people want to reach you on the platform they adore, you ought to submit such an approach. The omnichannel model can fulfill all communication channel preferences of your target audience. 
  5. Live stats - up-to-minute dashboards and insights help you track call center performance and make changes when needed. 
  6. ACD - will help the IVR solution route calls to relevant and skilled operators who will resolve client problems faster and with higher quality.
  7. Skill-based routing - the algorithm that assists ACD to connect callers to relevant agents. 

Personalization

Only a personalized approach is loved by customers, who desire you to take into consideration that they anticipate faster, more efficient, and additionally comfortable assistance. Such metrics as customer satisfaction and client experience are the primary scores for all market players, so your concentration on their improvement would be highly appreciated by the target audience and prospects. 

Personalization makes the customer journey additionally comfortable, opens cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, extends customer loyalty and retention, and enhances brand image. 

Personalized service starts from the fitting CRM settings, as the info you collect has the only goal - enhance customer persona understanding and create chances for delivering customer service that would meet their expectations, such as offering them products that they need before they would start searching for them, coming with personalized special offers, reminders, reaching your leads via distinct contact channels and other tricks that would show care of customer satisfaction. 

Tools and tips to offer personalized services:

  1. Omnichannel assistance 
  2. Greetings and gratitude announcements
  3. Discounts and personalized offerings
  4. Dividing operators and clients into groups, such as “high-net-worth clients”, “skilled operators”, etc. 
  5. Reminding customers of their position in the operation

Wise workforce management strategies

Here we come to another fundamental element of the call center setup checklist. No matter which type of contact center you desire to organize - cloud-based solution or on-premise contact center, remote, hybrid, or office-based, your business goals can be achieved only by gathering and training strong and skillful call center teams - technical, sales, support, and other units.

Some contact center owners think that hiring one-horse employees are cheaper, easier, and less effortful. This approach can cause nothing but a total failure, as employees will dismiss during the first three months, provide awful customer service,  cause customer churn, and other unpleasant consequences. As the result, your performance targets will never be reached. 

So, as we have discovered, you require a proper training and hiring strategy and a detailed plan that would include the exact characteristics, skills, and qualifications of your future employees. 

For diverse scheduling modes, you’ll need dissimilar workers. Some people are unable to work in remote mode, while others hate working in an office, and making them do it can cause conflicts, low productivity, burnout, and other troubles. 

How to deal with hiring the ideal team members? 

  1. Create a detailed list of duties and responsibilities for every position
  2. Design test tasks to prove candidates’ skills
  3. Hire an experienced HR professional with a proven track record
  4. Be ready to offer a bit higher salary than competitors to interest pros

Tools for boosting agent productivity

Even though qualified and experienced workers make a difference on their own, they still require proper training, equipment, and software tools to show their best performance.

When we talk about agent productivity, we have to say that the only approach that can boost it quickly and without huge investment is automation. When most procedures and operations are automated, operators have more time to resolve complex problems, like difficult customer troubles, repetitive requests, high-net-worth client communication, and so on.

There are two paths to assist operators by automating - furnish clients with self-servicing tools and furnish operators with third-party software integrations and a universal interface with process automation. 

Tools that boost agent productivity:

  1. Interactive Voice Response(IVR)
  2. ACD
  3. Call center tools to control performance
  4. Internal communication contact center tools
  5. Third-party software integrations
  6. Ticket distribution

Supervision and internal assistance

Even the best agent group can’t deal with some issues and perform stable productivity and scores without supervision and powerful team cooperation. Agents should have full access to customer data and, what’s even more vital, access to internal assistance from supervisors or more experienced colleagues. 

To achieve fast resolution of customer inquiries and reach expected Key Performance Indicators, qualified supervisors are a must too. They play a role of a bridge between management and operators to deliver KPI requirements, build a friendly atmosphere, empower agents to perform on a higher level and get escalated calls(in some cases).

Call center tools to implement supervision and internal assistance:

  1. Internal chat and calls
  2. Knowledge base
  3. Onboarding materials
  4. Quality monitoring software
  5. Additional training sessions

Appropriate training strategy

The most crucial stage of implementation of customer service quality is the planning process of your coaching and training strategy. And we don’t talk about agents only - team leaders and managers also require training, if you want to achieve really great results.

It’s a fact that most specialist, who even  have years of experience in the industry, may feel a lack some soft skills, and even if we imagine that their skills pack is full, hard skills, such as product knowledge, is vital too, as they aren’t acknowledged with your products. A good training project has a direct impact on agent productivity, performance and skills gaining. 

Your business continuity plans have to include continuity for training too, as coaching is a permanent process that must never be stopped - both for existing and new workers. Utilize call recordings to discover where agents need improvement or gain new skills, and furnish them with the extra time agent training program. 

Call center tools to organize training program:

  1. Knowledge base
  2. Training videos
  3. Call recordings
  4. One-to-one coaching sessions
  5. Games to learn
  6. Mentorship

Back up plan

Breakdowns aren’t as rare as you could guess. Thus, you have to know what to do in case of emergency, for a sample, software crash, Internet breakdown, and so on. 

Back up plan should cover all potential troubles that may happen and contain necessary advice and rules that will help you save business stability and ability to provide service. This may be reserve software, the option to switch to the landline, or something else, but the main goal is to stay online even when everything around you is failing. 

Contact center tools to implement a backup plan:

  1. Quality monitoring software
  2. Emergency management plan
  3. Emergency guidelines
  4. Special training sessions
  5. Crisis contact list with the phone number and email address of every person who has to be contacted in the event of an emergency

What additional stages do you have to include in the call center requirements checklist: 

  1. Data security - vital information should be under the best security, to avoid any problems.
  2. Law regulations compliance - some call center operations, such as call recordings or outbound calls, or Caller ID use, are regulated. 
  3. Transparency - the atmosphere in the team influences the motivation and emotional conditions of the staff. 
  4. Performance tracking - use popular call center metrics to track performance and discover areas of improvement. 
  5. Access to knowledge materials - agents have to get total access to training materials to have an opportunity to train during non-business hours and find info during work. 

Summary

As you see, the phone system requirements checklist is a big document that requires attention, effort, resources, and a wise approach.

A call center requirements checklist eases your path to setting up a call center, as well as gives you a clear understanding of all the necessary steps toward your dream. 

All requirements should be described in detail, with deadlines, budgets, main principles, and standards. 

But as we have already stated, the main part of your success is selecting the right call center solution. And we have one for you - the ultimate contact center software solution that has all the necessary options and features, a friendly interface, an adorable per-month price, and can easily cover your requirements. We don’t want to take your time to show all the features and conditions, but we leave this link for you to let you get acquainted with VoIPTime Contact Center Solution closer and discover all benefits of modern and well-developed software. 

Interested in ultimate call center software?

Contact us to discuss your needs and see Voiptime Contact Center in action!

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