If you or your employees will be spending a lot of time communicating by phone, there are some essential pieces of equipment that you can use to boost productivity. As you might expect, the amount of money that you spend on each item will dictate the level of quality that you receive. That said, if your budget does not allow for the purchase of more durable equipment, it’s still best to have lower quality basics, as opposed to nothing at all.
Hands Free Head Sets
If you’re on the phone all day long, the last thing you want to do is hold the receiver on your shoulder in order to use both hands to do something else. Not only is this uncomfortable, it can actually lead to injuries in the neck and shoulders. At the same time, if there are other people working in the call center, it isn’t feasible to allow everyone to turn on their speaker phones. Hands free headsets will allow you to move naturally in the call center environment without disturbing others.
Depending on the type of phone in your call center, you can usually purchase inexpensive headsets for under $20 each. More expensive units will produce higher quality sound and last longer. However, considering the importance of being able to have both hands free, you should at least purchase inexpensive sets, and replace them with more expensive ones as you’re able to.
Switchboard Style Phones
Even though a switchboard style phone takes up more space, it makes managing a call center so much easier. Among other things, the advantages of one button call transfers will give an enormous boost to efficiency. You’ll also find that a switchboard style phone offers better sound quality and is much more durable than a non-switchboard based telephone.
Customer Service Software
If you’re on the phone all day, you may find the details of your recent conversations difficult to recall after any period of time. Therefore, it’s essential to have computers and note taking software on hand. As soon as your employees finish a conversation, they can jot down brief notes about the exchange, improving customer service in the future. This is also an excellent place to create check lists and reminders, in case there are any follow up steps to be taken with a customer.
There are an almost endless number of options available today when it comes to computer hardware and software for operating your call center. Depending on the size of your operation, you may be able to purchase out of the box software that will meet your needs. In some cases, you may need to hire a software development team to design a custom program. If budget considerations are important, you may want to consider using a Linux or Unix operating system and open license software.
Today, many business owners are looking to outsource as much of their office staff as possible – including taking phone calls from customers. If you plan to open a business offering call center services, there are some basic types of equipment that you’ll need. Of course, your budget will largely determine the quality of the products that you will be able to afford, but do consider that good quality products will last longer and make your employees much happier!