Small business owners are often in search of cost-effective but professional call centre solutions. Call centres no longer require small business owners to acquire expensive network or equipment. With virtual call centres, small business owners can use web-based predictive diallers through call centre hosting companies. This method of hosting is cheaper and more efficient than traditional solutions. Small businesses limited start-up capital can sign up for hosted services and save money. Costs may be as low as $49 per agent monthly.

How to Get Started

Even with web-based predictive dialers, some equipment and services will be required. Here are a few tips on what to include when setting up a call centre from scratch:

Find a Hosting Company. Find a reputable hosting company with 99.9 percent up-time, exceptional support and affordable pricing. Though the call centre solution will be hosted off-site, the servers should be state-of-the-art and unlimited bandwidth should be available. Security will also be a major concern when selecting a hosting company.

Use VoIP Technology. VoIP technology is recommended for modern call centre solutions. VoIP offers the most affordable pricing for long distance calling. Traditional call centre solutions are more expensive. VoIP is preferred for call-routing benefits.

Purchase Displays. LCD displays are recommended to reduce eye-strain. These displays should be large to show the web-based applications.

Purchase Headsets. The headsets should be light weight and comfortable. The headsets should also possess noise-cancellation technology. Detachable components are preferred. This helps to promote good hygiene.

Purchase Keyboards. Keyboards should be ergonomic to prevent repetitive-motion injuries. The keyboards should also be adjustable to reduce strain.

Select a Location. With virtual call centers, business owners have the option of allowing employees to work from home or setting up an office. If business owners choose to have an office, the office size should be established based upon the number of agents needed. Office space can be rented to host the call center.

Design a Floor Plan. A floor plan will be required to arrange desks, phones and displays. Space requirements will be a major issue. Aisle spaces should be adequate to allow agents to walk through freely and to prevent conversations from blending. Sound-proofed cubicles will also reduce external noises that diminish call quality and professionalism. All equipment and furniture should be arranged to provide the best call quality available.

The supervisor desk should be set up to have a view of the floor. Clear visibility of employee interaction is necessary for the success of a physical call center. This will not be necessary if all aspects of the call center will be remote.

If clients choose to work from home, the costs will be reduced significantly. There will be no cost for office space, storage cabinets, chairs, meeting tables or cubicles.