Fundamentals of an inbound call center budget

What are the fundamentals of an inbound call center budget and what goes into creating the departmental budget?
Call center budgeting can vary greatly, depending on the internal accounting and organizational structure. There are several fundamental elements to consider first in terms of what costs are allocated to the center. Labor - CSRs and supervisors - is a given. These should be loaded costs, including all benefits. Then you need to consider technology, network, facilities, utilities, HR (e.g., training, recruiting), real estate, and other overhead costs. Often there are charge backs for technology, and sometimes other areas. Once you know what elements are the responsibility of the center, then you can develop the budget line items in each of those areas, or determine the chargeback costs. There are tools, such as Primary Matters "The Guide" to help with financial analysis and budgeting.
This was first published in December 2004

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