Call center and BPO services may seem alike on the surface, but specifics can vary. Asking questions and researching options among companies can make the difference. Finding the right BPO vendor to fit your businesses needs, start with the following criteria and questions.
International vs. U.S.-Based Call Centers
Where is the call center BPO company headquartered, and where are its agents located? Offshore call centers are typically more cost-effective, but they offer fewer services and their agents typically have accents that some of your customers might have a hard time understanding. Domestic call centers tend to offer a wider range of services for example, lead generation for building a larger customer base, but English-speaking agents and Software/Hybrid models often mean their prices are higher.
International vs. U.S.-Based Call Centers
A primary role of call center BPO services is as the voice of the company, to answer customer questions about your business’s products or services. Call centers often provide information or technical support, as well as take orders and process payments over the phone. Call Dispatch in the event a customer needs to speak directly. All of these services fall under the umbrella of inbound services. Call centers offer outbound services, which include lead generation, such as cold calling and compiling survey data. These services can also include follow-ups with previous customers to ensure their satisfaction or to further encourage a successful conversion. Some call centers conduct feedback surveys or engage in customer retention. Traditionally, call center BPO’s were viewed as an expense to service existing customers, but when you consider these additional functions, call centers can actually grow business thru to commitment to satisfied customers. Not every business needs both inbound and outbound services, so Review the differences in the providers offerings respective of each. The best call center BPO services offer both dedicated and shared agents. Dedicated agents are assigned only to your account, giving your company their full time and attention. This is best for businesses with specific, detailed needs that demand familiarity and consistency from their agents. For companies with more general needs, a shared agent might be more appropriate. These services are often cheaper and still effective for companies that don’t require specific attention day in and day out. Some companies offer a semi-dedicated model, which blends cost-effectiveness with specialized attention.
If your business is international, you’ll want to partner with a call center BPO that has fluent speakers of multiple languages on staff. Many call centers offer Spanish-speaking services, and others even offer a wide array of languages. If you need a multilingual service, ask upfront which languages or translation services the call center can provide for you.
A call center BPO deals directly with your company’s customers, which relates directly to how your business is perceived. Reporting provides you a management tool to evaluate the day-to-day operations of the call center service. Reporting options can vary in level of detail. Some companies only offer basic summaries of how many calls they made or received in a given time period, while others give you access to real-time data analytics, as well a record the audio of calls for review. Before you sign up with a call center service, it’s important to know how transparent and forthcoming it will be and what you can expect from the company’s self-reporting.
Call Center Availability
Another important question to ask is how often agents at the call center BPO are available. Full coverage services have 24/7/365 availability for your customers. Some companies have selective availability requirements based on volume and hours or of operation. All of these needs can be specified when choosing a call center.
Minimum Monthly Call Volumes
Some call center BPO services require a minimum call volume. These services might not be suitable for a small companies which don’t intend to make many outbound calls. For a larger company or one that relies heavily on phone contact with customers, these services might make more sense. Try to accurately gauge your call volume and estimate how many agents you might need before searching for a call center BPO service. This will play a role in pricing, since some call centers charge by minute instead of monthly.
Downtime and Outages
Call center BPO’s are an integral component of many businesses. Downtime can hinder your business if your customers can’t get through to the call center. Partner with a call center that is dependable, with reliable redundancy and a solid disaster-recovery plan.
Contact an Experienced BPO Professional
One of the most valuable tools in your search for a call center partner is to seek guidance from experienced BPO advice from professionals which know the ins and outs of your businesses requirements and and is experienced in finding the right call center BPO resources to offer a seamless extension of your company.