Outsourcing a major part of your business is never an easy decision, but operating a contact center requires a significant investment in technology and staffing. BPOXchange works hand in hand with companies to determine their outsourcing requirements providing unique solutions for your businesses specific needs.
The choice of whether you even need to outsource calls is a big change to the culture and operation of your business. If your company is struggling with call center efficiency, outsourcing some or all of your call center operations can help to accommodate growth or free up your in-house agents for certain types of calls, such as those requiring specific expertise. In this case, routing calls to the right agents will be an important component. The following 13 factors are key to consider when choosing a call center.
1. Understand what services are available
“Most call center service providers categorize their offerings into outbound and inbound calling services. Outbound is ideal for businesses that need assistance reaching customers. Inbound services provide customer assistance and technical support for programs and software.
With any type of marketing campaign, tracking success is a must, and thus, you’ll want a reporting feature. Seek out companies that offer call completion and refusal reports.
When the reps you hire answer the phone, you need them to be able to provide support and be helpful. Look for quality help and support services.
2. Choose between dedicated or shared agents
The best call center 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 agents handle multiple clients of the call center and don’t necessarily answer your business’s calls 100% of the time. These services are often cheaper and still effective for companies that don’t require specific attention day in and day out.
3. Understand how a call center service integrates into your business
You can begin integrating a call center with your own business once both parties have made an agreement and are ready to proceed. The integration process can vary wildly, depending on the service that the call center is being hired for and its approach to that service, but many of these companies’ representatives are experienced in integrating with your business. This should make it easier to unite any software, hardware or information-sharing technology as needed. Meeting the personnel with whom you’re working can also be beneficial.
4. Call center services do help with flexibility
“Outsourced call center employees work for your company when needed, rather than as full-time employees. Whenever a company has shifting needs, they can quickly and easily assign outsourced call centers to meet those needs, knowing that they don’t need to upcharge for changes or pay overtime. Instead, these employees will just continue to be paid for the hours they spend on the phone.”
5. Know their volume limits (and the traffic you’ll send)
“Depending on your company and its size you’ll have different needs when it comes to serving your customers. Many call centers will have a minimum volume required of businesses before they’ll be available to work with your company.
You need to be sure you know how many calls you’ll be expecting to receive each month. Take the time to make your best estimate.
If you’re a smaller business that is looking into call center services, make sure you find a company that will work with you and a lower amount of calls.
6. Will this service help accomplish your business goals?
Different businesses have different types of needs. You have your own set of needs that you want from your customer service center. You need to be very sure of your needs and present them to the services. Before you start interviewing, make a list of your needs and tally with what they can provide. Only if they can fulfill all your needs and requirements, you can shortlist them. Special needs can be 24 hours service, answering via email, calls and even online chat representatives to attain customers etc.
7. Understand how well a call center communicates with your business
The best business relationships start with open and honest communication. When you are transparent from the very beginning, both parties can start to align their expectations realistically and begin to build trust as those expectations are fulfilled.
Your outsourcer should be clear about the issues they identify in meeting your contact center program requirements. Likewise, you need to be open about the causes of any frustrations and any contributing factors. Your relationship, and the solution will be stronger as a result.
8. Determine if the call center fits into your business culture
Most call centers would offer a tour before signing a contract with a business. It is an important opportunity for businesses to understand the culture of the call center and gauge how well it will blend with the business’s vision and mission. A few observations, like how engaged are the people while dealing with a call, the executives’ body language, and how the project manager is managing the team, should be good indicators of the outsourcing company’s culture.
9. Understand that outsourcing calls can make you more competitive
If your competition has a phone number customers can call, and you don’t, many customers will go to the competition instead. If your competitors have certain office hours, and you provide 24/7 call center coverage, it will make your company a more attractive option.
“Not all customers can call during business hours, or don’t want to call during business hours. It tells customers that your company will be there for them when they want to speak with someone.
10. Can the call center scale with your business?
Some people talk about scalability of a call center. Can they help you as you grow yet still scale back if needed? Peak focuses on being flexible an agile for a companies growth outlook. Do they take the time to understand your specific business cycle and needs. Some centers do a great job with this while some will set minimums. Make sure you have a comfort level here.
11. Will the call center reduce your overall operating costs?
A reliable 24/7 call center provides a cost-effective communications solution that saves your business time and money by seamlessly executing many of your company’s routine responsibilities, such as sales, customer support, data entry, appointment-setting, after-hours dispatching and more. The call center handles everything from staffing and training call agents to providing, software, technology and an off-site call center – so you don’t have to. As a result, your employees can perform their jobs more efficiently and focus on what they do best.
12. Use the call center to help your business grow
“Every business owner wants to see their company grow and succeed. So when you are ready to grow, it is important that your call center can grow with you. Out of house call centers are more flexible and scalable than those in-house. They already have the size and the staff to easily deal with the lows and highs of changing call volume, or to keep up with a developing company.”
13. A call center can give your business a professional tone and feel
“If your company is relatively young, or relatively small, it may not have the experience and expertise to provide high levels and volumes of customer service. If you outsource your customer service call center to a company that you’ve researched and trust, then you take that responsibility off of yourself and put it in the hands of professionals, with the ability to scale the team without sacrificing quality.
For more information or if you are considering outsourcing, contact us at bpoxchange.com