Making sure the design is right

CALL centres are driven by their people and, to make the journey a whole lot smoother, the centres are designed for the maximum comfort and operational efficiency.

Good call centres are set up in an area with open floor space. The space does not have to be big, just comfortable for the number of employees that will be housed in its confines. The really good call centres use this space to coordinate sales teams, making use of flowing design and layout to segment teams within the centre.

John Vanderende, past president of the Australian Telecommunications and Call Centre Association, said being creative with the internal structure of a call centre gave managers better scope to motivate staff.

“You have to set up in a barn-like structure,” he said.

“You can be very innovative and manipulate the style to suit team building by having sections or circular teams or snakes.”

Call centres are among the few places where all employees are housed in one room and those who have mastered its design can reap the benefits in high levels of staff morale.

JCorp call centre manager Jenny McClelland said she often used staff fun days to make the call centre an even better place to work.

“The advantage with a call centre is everyone is in one place, so it is very easy to put motivation and team-building practices in place,” she said.

But before getting to this stage, companies must ask themselves where they want to place their call centre. Again, the employees are important in this decision.

B Digital call centre manager Steve Mitchinson said many people were surprised B Digital opened its call centre in the high-rent district of the CBD.

“You have to ask yourself, where will I get my workforce from?” Mr Mitchinson said.

“The CBD is accessible from the whole metro area, which attracts a large staff base. We could have set up in Rockingham for much much cheaper but how do I staff it?”

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