So…. You want to start a Call Centre?

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Particularly since about 2005, there has been a great deal of interest in the South African call centre- industry. Regretfully, in some instances, would-be call centre entrepreneurs have not taken heed of sound advice; many have started call centres and invested vast amounts of capital only to “crash and burn”.

This presentation was compiled by Rod Jones in March 2009 and it was shown for the first time at a breakfast seminar in Cape Town on 24 March 2009 hosted by CallingTheCape.

The main message of this presentation is …

“Yes… Call centres can be viable business opportunities for entrepreneurs …. But … there are many provisos and conditions.”

Also read the white paper called “So.. You want to start a call centre?” on theC3Africa website at http://www.c3africa.com/group/consulting/call-centre-start-up

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So…. You want to start a Call Centre?

  1. 1. The Way to Market So…. You want to start a Call Centre? Think before you leap into it! Monday, April 27, 2009
  2. 2. ABOUT THIS PRESENTATION Particularly since about 2005, there has been a great deal of interest in the South African call centre- industry. Regretfully, in some instances, would-be call centre entrepreneurs have not taken heed of sound advice; many have started call centres and invested vast amounts of capital only to “crash and burn”. This presentation was compiled by Rod Jones in March 2009 and it was shown for the first time at a breakfast seminar in Cape Town on 24 March 2009 hosted by CallingTheCape. The main message of this presentation is … “Yes… Call centres can be viable business opportunities for entrepreneurs …. But … there are many provisos and conditions.” Also read the white paper called “So.. You want to start a call centre?” on theC3Africa website at http://www.c3africa.com/group/consulting/call-centre- start-up
  3. 3. Why? Are there Opportunities in the South African Contact Centre and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Sector?
  4. 4. Yes! Over 50% of the 1,300+ private sector call centres in South Africa have under 50 seats The <50 seat sector continues to grow at a tremendous pace But!
  5. 5. Large numbers of <50 seat call centres fail… Because they…  Lack Expertise • Operational Management • Marketing and Sales Expertise • Financial Expertise • Technical Ability  Lack Experience • All of the above  Over-Investment in Technology  Lack Credibility  Lack Capital • Start-up and Operational Funding
  6. 6. The Most Certain Cause of Failure ….. NO CONTRACTS
  7. 7. What do outsourcers look for when evaluating an Outsource Services Provider? Key Selection Criteria Importance Guarantee of specific Service Levels 91% Proven track record in BPO 90% Specialisation in BPO 90% Maintaining close contact 88% Has vertical industry experience 79% Cost saving guarantees 78% Ongoing training 77% No conflicting contracts 74% Commitment to R&D 67% Centre of Excellence 65% Effective transition HR strategy 64% Source: Compatible corporate culture 60%
  8. 8. Ten Steps to Setting Up a Successful Call Centre 1: Gather as much information as you can Books – Internet – White Papers – Vendors – Trade Association (BPeSA / CallingTheCape) – Dti – Other contact centres 2: Study and Learn Attend formal training – Subscribe to on-line training 3: Develop your Strategic Business Plan Know what you want to achieve … and Why. Concentrate on your SALES STRATEGIES 4: Develop your Operating Model People – Processes – Technologies – Management – Finance - Sales 5: Develop your Financial Model Be Ultra Conservative – Recognise what you can LOSE
  9. 9. Ten Steps to Setting Up a Successful Call Centre 6: Carry out a Critical Skills, Experience & Resource Gap Analysis - What MUST you have to succeed ? 7: Conclude Alliances & Partnerships - Create partnerships with existing local and successful operations - Develop true „skills, knowledge and experience transfer‟ relationships 8: Review your Business Plan with your Strategic Partners - They must feel comfortable to create a Win-Win relationship 9: Secure your Finance - No… You probably will NOT get a contract first! - Budget for a long, slow Return on Investment 10: Now Build & Manage your Call Centre Start Small – Avoid Capex – Keep Costs to a Minimum – Burn the „midnight oil‟ - Keep Learning – Deliver Great Service
  10. 10. Avoiding Call Centre “Crash- and-Burn” 1: Join your Regional/National Association - Listen to their advice - ONLY deal with suppliers and vendors who are members 2: Avoid ALL „Risk Only‟ Contracts - Wait „till you can afford to lose money if things go wrong 3: Local Business is Good Business - There‟s really good money to be made locally 4: Hire the Best People -Inexperienced/Low-Cost staff will be your downfall! (Wait „till you are a large and profitable company to train new recruits) 5: Cash-Flow is King - Finance expansion from profits – NOT more debt! 6: Consider a Franchise - But ONLY one endorsed by BPeSA or a Regional Association
  11. 11. The Most Important Tip of All… South African National Standards Business Process Outsourcing & Offshoring Operations SANS 990-1/2/3:2008 Part 1: Outbound Contact Centre Operations Part 2: Inbound Contact Centre Operations Part 3: Back Office Processing Operations Best Practice – Clear Definitions Will become Vital to have Compliance www.contactindustryhub.co.za go to „Resources/BPO Standards
  12. 12. www.contactindustryhub.co.za
  13. 13. FOR MORE INFORMATION The Way to Market Contact Centre Industry Specialists The C3Africa Group provides a comprehensive range of professional services from consulting to set up new call centres through to call centre optimisation audits, skills development and staff training. Visit www.c3africa.com Also visit our website at www.contactindustryhub.co.za for FREE white papers and articles on how to start a call centre Monday, April 27, 2009

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