With more businesses relying on virtual call center to handle customer service and product issues, creating a virtual call center can be a lucrative business. The work can be done from home, although you can opt to lease a building and hire staff. The easiest option is to start small, and just with you and possibly a couple of other employees.
One of the advantages of a virtual call center is that it can be expanded without having to obtain new premises, your employees can be located anywhere and work from their own homes.
- Develop a simple business plan that includes business objectives, profit projections, cost analysis, equipment purchases, employee salaries (if applicable), and general sources of financing, small business microloans or bank loans, for example. Also include any pertinent accessories, such as the local costs of issuing business licenses or insurance for your facilities or equipment.
The most effective business plan will be consistent, easy to follow, and designed to keep you focused on your goals and deadlines. Consider consulting with a CPA, financial planner, or business attorney if you’re not sure where to start.
- Determine where your virtual call center will be located. If you’re going to be working from home, make sure you have a quiet room and uninterrupted time to handle calls. Lease a space if it is more appropriate for your plans.
Starting a large business may require you to obtain financing, such as taking out a small business loan, while home-based operations can typically be started for a few hundred dollars.
- Select a virtual call center software. There are endless options, and each software program will have advantages and disadvantages over its competitors.
Overall, the software should allow you to easily manage incoming and outgoing calls, track data, and keep a call log. Also, purchase quality equipment that is compatible with your chosen software, including a phone system and headsets. Have a dedicated telephone line and a high-speed Internet connection with your telecommunications provider of choice.
- Advertise your business and acquire customers. Use the phone system you already have by calling your potential customers and provide sales pitches to those responsible. Be brief and value your time. Pushy sales tactics can cost you customers. Consider joining a trade organization, such as the Call Center Network Group (CCNG), to find industry professionals with whom you can network and exchange ideas.
Target your potential customers, especially if they are focused on a niche service. For example, if you’re going to run a doctor’s answering service, send brochures to local doctors’ offices listing your services and taxes. Consider offering a sign-up special for new customers,
Don’t underestimate the value of word of mouth. Please your current customers by generating new customers. You can also hire a marketing company, if your budget allows. There are several ways to advertise, so be creative and try out various methods. Constantly assess what type of advertising is generating the most customers, to make sure you’re spending your advertising dollars efficiently.