Setting up call center contracts is an important part of establishing a call center business. Contracts bring in new clients, and satisfactory customer service will keep existing clients on. 

Setting Up a Call Center Business

For those looking to start their own business, a call center can be a viable endeavor from which to make money. Follow these steps to set up a call center business:

  1. Determine what type of call center business you want. Options include call centers that handle the following: 
    • Inbound Calls — Receiving orders, answering customers' questions, providing tech support
    • Outbound Calls — Selling a product or service, setting up appointments, performing surveys
    • Telemarketing — Advertising and sales, relaying product information and discounts
    • Web-enabled — When clients hit a website's “talk” or “call” button and are connected to a live person to get more information, ask a question, or request support
  2. Determine what the local and state governments' requirements are to start a call center. Start by reaching out to your respective state's Office of Finance and Taxation. 
  3. Fill out and file all paperwork and pay filing fees.
  4. If you're starting a call center in your home, verify there are no zoning restrictions in your neighborhood.
  5. Prepare a business plan that is tailored to the type of call center you plan to start.
  6. Purchase equipment like computers, headsets, telephones and lines, internet, and necessary office supplies.
  7. Do not forget to factor in the cost of call center software, which can be expensive. It's a good idea to research ahead of time to compare options. Some options include:
  1. Consider purchasing a separate telephone line that is used only for the call center. If you expand, you may need multiple lines.

Marketing and Expanding a Call Center Business

Start by contacting other call centers and businesses who outsource their work. Find out their specific rates and requirements. Reach out as well to the sales departments of local businesses that sell a large variety of products. Search online for call centers who need assistance. Some search terms to use include telephone sales, tech support, survey takers, work-from-home customer service. You can also search for companies who use at-home help like Working Solutions, Arise, and LiveOps.

Be sure to invest money in advertising, and network with others. You can set up a business page on Facebook and place ads in local business publications and journals. You can also expand your network via professional organizations like the Chamber of Commerce. 

Advertise for additional employees through the local paper, job sites, and websites like Craigslist. Relocate to a bigger space. Working from your home is impractical once you have enough clients that you need to hire more staff. Consider narrowing your focus and becoming a call center that specializes in specific client types like software companies or doctors' offices.

Reducing Value Leakage in a Call Center

Call centers are the front lines of a business and are directly linked to customer satisfaction. Businesses that use call centers expect to get the most value from their providers. Challenges with contracts, operations, and relationships are factors that create value leakage. The most common forms of leakage to watch out for include the following:

  • Not meeting key metrics and SLA agreements 
  • Lack of innovation deployment 
  • Not utilizing emerging technologies
  • Failure to leverage service provider's talents or not meeting goals through lack of compliance with regulatory changes
  • Industry or regulatory changes that make contacts unusable

Triggers include the following:

  • Organizational challenges
  • A change in control procedures
  • Rigid contract terms
  • Employee retention
  • Instability in various roles

Things to Remember When Starting a Call Center Business 

  • To advertise as being open 24/7, someone needs to be available to answer a phone or email at all times, even at 4 a.m. Determine call volume after hours and overnight. If you don't receive nighttime calls, you may not need a 24/7 call center.
  • Consider a two-month contract to start; then, you can go monthly or have the client sign a longer-term contract. 
  • Devise a multi-dimensional plan and tools to help assess the provider relationship and value of the business exchange.
  • Design a reliable fact-based reporting tool that goes beyond basic metrics.
  • Spot signs of leakage early on by conducting reviews at regular intervals.
  • Be open to feedback on things that impact the contract, like operational elements.
  • Share reports with involved parties and stakeholders.

If you need help with contracts for call centers, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel only accepts the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.