Assemble Your Contact Center Team

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify a qualified team to help you launch your contact center.
  • Assess the security needs of your contact center.
  • Identify the right vendors for your contact center.

The Key Players

Even if you’re a go-getter who does well under pressure, setting up a new contact center is not a solo undertaking. You need a team—and not just any team, but a carefully selected group of key players with clear roles and responsibilities. In this unit, you learn who you need on your team to ensure your contact center is a success. 

Tap Great Leaders

To make your contact center a success, you need people who can lead and people who can help you secure necessary resources. 

Before we set up our contact center at Dreamforce 2018, we assigned someone to take charge of IT, information security, chief (physical) security, customer service, facilities, and HR. As you start planning your contact center, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated project manager who can make sure everyone is coordinating and staying on track. Choose leaders who know how to navigate your organization and work well under pressure, because surprises are bound to come up. Anyone in a leadership position related to customer service should have a service mindset—meaning they understand that the customer is the main reason they have a job in the first place. 

Recruit Your Agents

Contact centers need different types of agents depending on the business and its customers. Some require agents who are adept at specific channels, and others require generalists. At Dreamforce, we had fluid teams. Agents focused on specific channels, but could be pulled into other channels during high-traffic times. To ensure you have the right type of agents, work with your HR lead to clarify your staffing needs first. Consider the following:

  • Do you need agents slated for specific channels? Or do you need generalists?
  • Will the agents come from within your organization or will you have to recruit?
  • How many agents do you need to be fully staffed?
  • What will they be tasked with? (Inbound, outbound, or both?)
  • Are there any partners or vendors with specialized expertise?

Knowing the answers to these questions at the beginning of your process helps you ensure your contact center is ready to go on day one.

Play It Safe

A secure environment is critical for success. Your contact center needs both onsite security and IT/digital security. To understand exactly what you will need, consider who will be coming and going from the contact center. For example, agents might have access to sensitive information like someone’s credit card number or their health history. If there are third parties like vendors or partners in the contact center, it’s important to have strong onsite and IT security that keeps   those third parties from accessing that information. At the very least, make sure those parties are cleared to access any customer information. 

At Dreamforce 2018, customers came in periodically to see how we executed service for the event, and we had to make sure security could accommodate those extra visitors. We worked with security leads to determine how to maintain the privacy of Dreamforce attendees who engaged with service agents. 

Visitors to your contact center should have, at minimum, security badges and screening—meaning they should go through a check-in process and be accompanied by an employee while they’re in your contact center. You also want to be mindful of any personal customer information that may be displayed on screens. For Dreamforce 2018, we planned to let some customers tour our CEC, so we were careful not to schedule those tours during peak times. For in-depth demonstrations, we made sure to show only anonymized cases without identifiable customer information. 

Discuss with your chief security officer (CSO), or whoever handles security for your business, to determine if additional precautions or IT security vendors are necessary. 

Partner with Vendors

Salesforce can provide the core of your contact center, but you may also benefit from independent software vendors (ISVs) or computer telephony integration vendors (CTIs), or any number of other partners, depending on your circumstances. You may not know for sure if you need a partner until you consider your situation fully. Work with your Salesforce account teams to determine if you need a vendor, and if so, what the best vendor strategy is for you. Once your primary vendor starts work, get your other partners involved. Having the whole team identified and working together from the beginning accelerates your contact center set up. You can find specific ISV and CTI partners by attending service industry events, researching online, or reaching out to your Service Cloud representative.  

Conclusion

This is we how we set up our contact center at Dreamforce each year. Every contact center has its own challenges, and whether you’re starting from scratch, expanding, or overhauling your contact center, you need a good team. Follow these guidelines to position yourself for success. 

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