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Nowadays, call centers have evolved to business process engineering from mere calling services. They’ve moved beyond traditional ways and have adopted new-age trends so as to enhance customer experience.

This has developed an emerging need for call center solutions. Call centers that aim to provide any technical assistance regarding a product or service could be termed as technical support call centers.

It involves outsourcing the technical voice and/or non-voice process from a company. We could also term call centers providing technical support services as Customer Information Centers (CICs).

Yiu might be wondering, Do people even use call centers now that it’s so easy to connect via email, chatbot, and social media?

Stats show 73% of customers still phone companies to address questions and concerns.

Call center agents provide an immediate, personalized response. This helps companies boost customer experience and customer satisfaction, no matter the reason for the call.

But gone are the days of outsourcing to mega call centers in foreign countries.

The call center industry is currently thriving in the virtual space and showing no signs of stopping. That’s why the demand for US-based call center agents is at an all-time high.

This article will help us see how call centers Earn their money, and also provide tips of you are looking at a career in the industry.

  • What is a call center?
  • How does a virtual call center work?
  • Call center positions and responsibilities
  • Skills of a Good Call Center Representative
  • What Do Technical Support Representatives Do?
  • How Much Does a Technical Support Representative Earn
  • How do Technical Support Call Centers Earn Their Money
  • Tips on Starting a Call Center
  • What happens during a typical day at a call center?
  • What is the growth potential for a call center?
  • Tips for jump starting a call center?
  • Some Basic Call Center Tools

What is a call center?

Companies run call centers or contact centers to give their customers a way to get in touch. Call center employees may handle both inbound and outbound customer interactions. This includes phone calls, emails, social media messages, live chats, and more.

Read Also: Make Money Online Becoming a Virtual Assistant

When customers call to ask a question, voice a complaint, or request help, call center agents guide them on the best course of action.

During their eight to 10-hour shifts, team members use a:

  • Phone and headset to answer inbound calls and make outgoing calls hands-free. They speak on the phone and enter data at the same time.
  • Computer to access CRM call center software. These tools give team members a single system of customer information. When customers call, agents have everything they need to provide a resolution.

In-house call centers generally experience high turnover rates. But remote call centers are a different (and better!) story for companies, employees, and customers.

How does a virtual call center work?

A virtual call center consists of a team of work-from-home customer service agents. Reps work in different time zones all over the world to give companies 24/7 customer support.

Agents don’t take calls via landline or cell phones. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology sends inbound calls to agents over the internet. Then they answer the calls and record the information in a CRM software.

This centralized platform organizes customer data in the cloud. So agents have access to callers’ updated account history from anywhere.

Call center positions and responsibilities

Since you don’t need much work experience, call center jobs make excellent entry-level and first jobs. Ever deal with customers? Know how to use a phone and a computer? You’re already qualified!

Dedicated call center employees also rise the ranks and advance their customer service careers fast. So you can take your pick of these popular call center jobs:

1) Outbound call center agent / telemarketing

Outbound call center agents mostly make outgoing calls. They usually work through a list or spreadsheet with a few goals or quotas to meet each day/week/month.

Job duties may include cold-calling and pitching new leads. You may also conduct market research or upsell current customers. Candidates with a sales background are a natural fit here. And people who don’t deflate in the face of rejection.

2) Customer service representative 

Inbound call center agents answer calls that come in to the company. They’re the first point of contact for annoyed, frustrated, and angry customers. But their calm, cool demeanor and killer customer service skills help defuse situations.

Customer service reps may also handle account details for customers. They may help them place and track orders too. These relatively easy, good calls outweigh the negative more often than not.

3) Technical support agent

Tech-savvy contact center agents troubleshoot product or service issues remotely. Sometimes they must access a caller’s computer or device screen to resolve issues from a firsthand perspective.

4) Team leader

Prove your competence and leadership ability, and you’ll receive a promotion to Team Leader. These team members are the go-between call center agents and management. They schedule adequate coverage across all time zones, train new hires, and track call center metrics.

5) Quality Assurance

Quality assurance (QA) employees help improve operations. They listen to live and recorded calls to watch the behavior of call center agents.

QA also monitors call center data to ensure the highest level of customer service. You’ll need an eye for detail and attention in this role.

6) Call Center Manager

Using call center software, the call center manager monitors global call metrics. They watch stats like the number of calls each agent answers versus how many they transfer, for example. Then they create strategies to improve these numbers for their company and customers.

Skills of a Good Call Center Representative

Call center employees are the front line when it comes to customer service. Customers expect each agent to go “above and beyond” to provide the ultimate customer experience.

Bad news? Excellent customer service isn’t always easy, especially over the phone. So if you’re not comfortable speaking with customers, working in a call center may not be your happy place.

Successful, productive call center representatives have the qualities is skills mentioned below:

1) A Customer-focused outlook

Customer service representatives have an overwhelming desire to help customers all the time. You make memorable experiences and loyal brand ambassadors out of each call. You’re not happy unless the customer is happy.

2) Basic computer literacy and typing skills

Roughly 25% of call center job duties consist of post-call data entry and computer admin work. So you’ll need experience with software, mobile apps, and other systems.

Rule of thumb: as long as you can access screens of customer information and type fast, you’ll be golden.

3) Stellar communication skills

Prized communication skills include the ability to:

  • Speak clearly. You’ll need a strong, clear phone voice that conveys trust and understanding to build a rapport with callers.
  • Listen attentively and ask questions, rephrasing them if necessary, to get to the real issue.
  • Respond patiently. You can’t get frustrated with angry customers. Let them vent, don’t take it personally, and they’ll be more likely to cooperate. Then you can come up with a solution that pleases everyone.
  • Document accurately. You must record customer interactions in CRM software for record-keeping. Your answers should be free of major typos and grammar errors.
4) Efficient, speedy problem-solving

Callers want their issues resolved ASAP. You must leap into action when your line rings, reduce hold times, and figure out a resolution before callers get annoyed.

But working in a SaaS call center can be unpredictable. No two calls or callers are ever the same.

Sometimes you can’t follow the protocol for certain out-of-the-box situations. So you must be quick on your feet and able to come up with solutions that help callers on-the-fly.

5) Organized multitasking

Call center agents may need to juggle many outreach channels at the same time. Be prepared to switch between live chat, email, phone calls, and more.

You may engage with over 50 customers per day. So you need laser-focus and keen organization to keep it all together.

6) Company and product knowledge

You don’t need to memorize everything about how a company’s products or services work. But you should know how to look up answers quickly if you don’t.

Outbound call center positions require an understanding of a company’s unique selling points, for example.

And tech support must familiarize themselves with the front- and back-end issues of their company’s product/service lineup.

7) Flexible scheduling

Working in a call center may mean working outside of regular business hours. Shifts may include overnights, weekends, and major holidays.

You may also work overtime hours if the company experiences a recall or significant event and needs all hands on deck.

What Do Technical Support Representatives Do?

Technical support representatives, also known as tech support reps, are responsible for providing customer service to individuals or companies and helping them troubleshoot technical difficulties.

Technical support representatives can vary in location, but many work in call centers. Those who take incoming calls assist customers in resolving problems with their computers, Internet, phones, networks, etc.

Other technical support representatives not in call centers may visit the customer directly

  • Help customers identify and resolve problems with products by phone, through e-mail, or in person.
  • Escalate complex problems to appropriate staff member or department.
  • Guide customers through the installation and updating of software and hardware.

How Much Does a Technical Support Representative Earn

The top respondents for the job title Technical Support Representative are from the companies Apple Computer, Inc, Cablevision Systems Corporation and Comcast Cable, Inc.. Reported salaries are highest at Cablevision Systems Corporation where the average pay is $21.27.

Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Jack Henry & Associates Inc (JKHY) and Verizon Wireless, earning around $20.43 and $19.39, respectively. Xerox Corporation pays the lowest at around $11.24. Apple Computer, Inc and Wave Broadband also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $13.36 and $13.42, respectively.

An entry-level Technical Support Representative with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $14.31 based on 84 salaries.

An early career Technical Support Representative with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $15.75 based on 491 salaries. A mid-career Technical Support Representative with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $17.38 based on 181 salaries.

An experienced Technical Support Representative with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $18.81 based on 126 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $23.

How do Technical Support Call Centers Earn Their Money

Call Center works in two ways. One is an outsourced company giving services to the particular industry and customers. They are following the best practices and regulations provided by the IT service management jointly created by both contractors and customers. Customer pay the outsourced service company for their tech support.

Next is the industry created their own department of call center. A director or head of department is assigned and the call center is also a part of the organization itself.

Tips on Starting a Call Center

You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state.

We have put together this simple guide to starting your call center. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Plan Your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What are the costs involved in opening a call center?

The cost of opening a call center can be quite high, and 33 states also require a license to open one. Licenses may be free in one state, and several thousand dollars in another, so be sure to check with your state.

Lease agreements may be as high as $12 per square foot, and workstations can cost up to $1,250 each to update with the right furniture, cables, and equipment. Annual costs for taxes and utilities will likely be around $6 per square foot.

The good news is there are hundreds of abandoned call centers throughout the US, and they typically come with (sometimes heavy) discounts for new start-ups. You can often use the equipment that’s left behind too.

Alternately, you may want to convert a standard retail space, which will save up to half on rent. However, it will cost you more to equip (up to $2,000 per workstation). Generators can also cost up to $200,000 if your building doesn’t come with one.

Average wages for call center employees are around $9-12 an hour, but you may want to consider investing more, as the quality of the workers will reflect heavily on your company and on the image of your clients. Labor will likely be about 80% of your budget.

What are the ongoing expenses for a call center?

Much of your spending will be done at the beginning, but you should keep the following costs in mind:

  • Employee salaries
  • General office supplies (including equipment replacement)
  • Utilities and building fees
  • Travel costs to persuade new clients
  • Upgrading equipment (e.g., VoIP technology, etc.)
Who is the target market?

Call centers are looking for companies who don’t have the resources to start a call center on their own. Between equipment costs, hiring employees, and managing high call volumes, most companies aren’t prepared to run a call center the way it needs to be run. Their needs are best left to a company that specializes in providing high-quality service that will boost their revenue and retain their customers.

How does a call center make money?

Call centers need to determine whether to charge per staff hour or per call. Because call times can be erratic, it may be best to structure it per staff hour. A call center company may take the wage of their workers, and multiply that number by four to estimate the cost of equipment, lease payments, etc.

Typically, international companies may charge $.35 per call or $8 per staff hour, while US companies may charge closer to $1 per call or $25 per staff hour.

How much can you charge customers?

It depends on the type of industry you’re targeting. General customer support for a clothing company will require a very different skill set than selling high-end equipment to orthodontists. You can charge more for highly specialized labor, and you can justify your rates if your company is effective. Do not necessarily look to undercut your competitors if it means sacrificing on quality.

How much profit can a call center make?

According to firstresearch.com, US call centers bring in a total of approximately $21 billion annually, with an average revenue of $4 million.

This exact numbers are based on the margins of the contracts you bring in, but typically you can expect to start building profit after you’ve secured several major clients. Remember that this is a competitive industry, and you will need to be able to offer something special in order to gain a competitive edge.

How can you make your business more profitable?

Adding more services is the best way to bring in profit. Consider selling further services to clients, such as video, targeted campaigns or additional support calls.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is very important. Read this detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.

Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your call center is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC’s, and DBA’s.

You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free!

Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

33 states require a special license to operate a telemarketing / call company. To find out more about licensing requirements in your state, check out the Telemarketing Laws page from sba.gov.

In addition, certain local licensing or regulatory requirements may apply. For more information about local licenses and permits:

  • Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office.
  • Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Service Agreement

Call center businesses should consider requiring clients to sign a service agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions, service level expectations, and intellectual property ownership. 

Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional service agreement for your call center business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.

Certificate of Occupancy

Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.

  • If you plan to lease a location:
    • It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
    • Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a call center.
    • After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
  • If you plan to purchase or build a location:
    • You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
    • Review all building codes and zoning requirements for you business’ location to ensure your call center will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
Get Business Insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers’ Compensation Coverage.

Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

How to promote & market a call center

Make contacts in the circles where your clients are likely to be, and establish trust and continuity there. Call centers operate on their efficacy, and many call centers fail because they can’t establish themselves quickly enough.

Owners should focus on what makes their call center different. If a call center is more about pushing contracts in clients’ faces than it is about showing off their assets, then they’re much more likely to go under.

How to keep customers coming back

The best way to attract new clients is to increase either sales or your customer satisfaction levels. When talking to potential clients, use real-world examples when speaking of your accomplishments. You can even let new clients listen to previous calls, to see how agents handle complex situations without relying on transferring the call to the manager.

Establish your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

What happens during a typical day at a call center?

At first, owners will likely be heavily focused on advertising and finding new clientele. There will be a decent amount of cold calling and networking. As clients build up, owners will be able to focus more on ensuring clients are happy, hiring the right managers and agents, and looking for cost-effective ways to hit goals.

  • Find and maintain an inexpensive space
  • Buy all relevant equipment
  • Write scripts for agents
  • Handle client complaints
  • Listen to calls for quality assurance
  • Create schedules for employees
  • Determine what markets to target next
  • Stay ahead of emerging technology

What is the growth potential for a call center?

Call centers have the potential for unlimited growth when they provide valuable service to customers. Call centers may choose one particular niche of the market (such as high-end shoe sales), or they may open themselves up to something more general, like healthcare marketing.

A call center business must establish their name as the go-to source for educated agents who can handle tough questions and situations.

Tips for jump starting a call center?

Owners should already have some ties to the industry they’re hoping to break into, as networking will be crucial to the business’ success. Many call centers fail because they’re venturing into a saturated market. There will likely be a lot of slammed doors at first, so having a strong sales mentality is really necessary to survive.

You may want to offer potential clients the chance to see what your agents can do by staging fake calls. Give your best agent a day to learn more about a particular company, and then let the owner pretend to be a general consumer who has some fairly difficult questions. This is no doubt time-consuming for everyone, but the payoff can be worth it.

Finally, choose software that is fluid in case you decide to offer further services. Your programs should aid in general tasks, like note-taking and call-making, but also be customized to do everything from general sales to highly specific surveys.

How and when to build a team

The best way to attract new clients is to increase either sales or your customer satisfaction levels. When talking to potential clients, use real-world examples when speaking of your accomplishments. You can even let new clients listen to previous calls, to see how agents handle complex situations without relying on transferring the call to the manager.

Read Also: Actionable Tips to Manage Projects And Offer Client Support

In short, no one can run a call center alone. Your strength as a company will rely largely on the quality of your team.

Some Basic Call Center Tools

A typical call center handles a large number of calls every day. Unfortunately, a basic phone system can’t handle such a large volume of calls. To manage this call volume, you’ll need to invest in a dedicated business phone system.

Here are your best options:

1. PBX (Private Branch Exchange)

These systems operate through physical phone lines and traditional handsets. This is a good option if you’re running an on-site office and renting office space on a long term basis.

IP PBX (Internet Protocol Private Branch Exchange)

This system handles communications through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). This allows your agents to use phones that are routed through an internet connection instead of traditional phone lines. This system is lighter than PBX; as the server can be placed in-house or even remotely.

Virtual VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

Virtual VoIP is currently the most popular business phone system. It requires no hardware setup as every call occurs through an app on your desktop. You only need a pair of headsets to operate, and the server can be accessed remotely. This is the perfect option for a virtual call center.

2. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System

Call center agents need an easy way to store and access customer records. This makes it easier for them to interact and engage callers.

Think about it.

If you have all their details available on call, you’ll be able to address their concerns better, right?

Through a CRM.

A CRM stores all your customer data and presents it to your agents whenever they need it. With a CRM, you can manage thousands of contacts with the click of a button!

If you’re using a VoIP system, look for a CRM that integrates with it to make it easier on your agents. As it’s integrated, whenever a customer calls, you’ll instantly have all their details pop up.

3. Internal Communications System

Internal communication plays a huge role in your call center’s success. Your agents need to be able to communicate concerns with each other and reach out to supervisors when they need to.

Many business owners think investing in an intercom will do the trick – and while that may help in-office employees, it’s not useful to virtual teams.

If you’re managing a virtual call center, consider using instant messaging apps like Slack or Fleep. They allow your agents to collaborate over calls and tasks to get things done quickly. These apps also have channels/groups that you can use to communicate with specific people such as client-specific teams.

4. Performance Monitoring Tool

Call center management isn’t a piece of cake.

You’ll have to:

  • Look for new tools.
  • Manage finances.
  • Oversee client onboarding.
  • Implement your business ideas.
  • And tons more!

As you have so much to oversee, you can’t afford to spend hours manually monitoring your employees, right?

But at the same time, you can’t afford to leave them unsupervised. This could lead to productivity nosedives and lower customer satisfaction rates.

So what do you do?

You invest in a performance monitoring tool like Time Doctor.

Time Doctor is a powerful monitoring tool used by Apple, PwC, and Verizon. It will:

  • Monitor what your employees are doing during work hours.
  • Track the time they spend on calls and tasks.
  • Help you bill clients for work done with accurate work records.
  • Identify time-wasting activities.
  • Help you separate your productive and unproductive employees.


VoIP technology is transforming the call center industry for the better. Now call center employees can work from home and climb the ladder to a lucrative customer service career in no time.

With tons of businesses looking to outsource their help desks and call center operations, setting up a call center can be a very lucrative business decision.

However, running a call center is not easy.

You’ll need to plan it carefully, hire the right people and use the right tools to keep things running smoothly.

You can gain experience in problem-solving, conflict resolution, and so much more. And you never have to commute again!

Next time you call a contact center, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for all the hard work they do. You may even want to join their team. So strike while the market is hot!

About Author


MegaIncomeStream is a global resource for Business Owners, Marketers, Bloggers, Investors, Personal Finance Experts, Entrepreneurs, Financial and Tax Pundits, available online. egaIncomeStream has attracted millions of visits since 2012 when it started publishing its resources online through their seasoned editorial team. The Megaincomestream is arguably a potential Pulitzer Prize-winning source of breaking news, videos, features, and information, as well as a highly engaged global community for updates and niche conversation. The platform has diverse visitors, ranging from, bloggers, webmasters, students and internet marketers to web designers, entrepreneur and search engine experts.