One of the first steps in setting up a contact center is identifying a location that presents plenty of benefits for the business. There are several strategies that investors can use to come up with the best locations for their new business, such as smart sourcing or multi-sourcing. Despite these options, however, it’s still crucial to come up with a set of standards from which one can base the attractiveness of a certain city or area. Here are some of the primary factors you should look into when considering a location for your contact center:
- Competitive Human Capital. The level of communication skill, which is one of the most important aspects of assessing the talent in an area, can be attributed to English fluency and cultural compatibility of the customers and the employees. Aside from affecting the quality of service a contact center can provide, the level of communication skill can also have a large role in the management side of the business, especially when it comes to establishing expectations and business relationship among all stakeholders in the company.
There are various ways to measure the talent pool in a given location. Many international criteria include the number of college graduates within the city and immediately around it and the percent of the workforce that has undergone training in disciplines that are related to a specific industry, such as Lean Management and Six Sigma programs. Consider the saturation level, too, and if the business will have enough talents to support its staffing requirements as it continues to grow.
- Capable and Stable Infrastructure. Evaluating the infrastructure in a particular city involves taking a closer look at its physical and technology infrastructure. It’s important to check the quality of roads in the city, for example, as well as the presence of hotels and domestic and international airports in the area. Ensuring the reliability and stability of the power and telecommunications infrastructure is a must, too, as downtimes caused by power or network outages can cost your business. Another thing you should look into is how prone the area is to natural disasters like storms and earthquakes, and social unrest such as strikes and civil upheavals, as these can also potentially disrupt operations.
- Business-enabling Environment. Major changes in a given government can result in major setbacks in establishing and running a contact center. The same can be said about corruption and civil unrest, high crime rates, and travel advisories issued on specific destinations. On the other hand, special economic zones are a favorable location for setting up a contact center. These areas may offer initiatives such as special tax rates, exemption from various duties and taxes, or reduced fees for certain expenses. It is also beneficial to look into areas with active information and communication technology (ICT) organizations as these offer valuable assistance in setting up and running contact centers.
- Low Cost of Operation. The cost of running a contact center is dependent on both payroll and non-payroll expenses. While it’s advantageous to settle in a city that offers skilled workers at a low cost, the benefits of such a setup can be reduced by high taxes, poor telecommunication networks, or unreliable power supply, just to name a few. Consider the cost of living in a given city, as well as the real estate cost, power rates, tax rate, and bandwidth costs.
In addition to gathering information that’s relevant to these factors, it’s equally important to come up with a structured methodology for evaluating these criteria. This entails a lot of work, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to have a strong foundation for your contact center. It’s a good idea to consult with government bodies, local groups, and outsourcing services companies that offer assistance in terms of compiling, evaluating, and comparing the information that you need in setting up a business. But more than that, these organizations can help you establish a contact center that’s primed for growth and long-term success.