Do you currently outsource your call center – or are you considering outsourcing as a way of saving money? If so, you’re not alone. Many enterprises rely on outsourcing, and it can be a good way to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
However, saving money cannot, in our opinion, be the only metric you consider when evaluating call center outsourcing providers. After all, your call center’s performance and efficiency are a direct reflection on you. Your reputation can be directly impacted by lackluster call center service.
With that in mind, here’s our take on what you should look for in a call center outsourcing provider – and why it matters.
The High Cost of Poor Service
Saving money might be your primary reason for contracting with a call center outsourcing provider. Every organization worries about the bottom line and in some cases, outsourcing provides the opportunity to trim your budget without much fuss.
The important thing to remember is that saving money by outsourcing only helps you if it doesn’t make your current and potential clients think less of you. Customer service is still a priority for consumers. The last thing you want is to have outsourcing turn into a loss leader for your company.
The quality of outsourcing should be your top concern. If you can find a call center outsourcing provider that will provide top-notch service and still allow you to save money, that means outsourcing is worthwhile. In the long run, it will cost more than you save if you don’t provide the kind of service your callers expect.
What to Look for in a Call Center Outsourcing Provider
What qualities and capabilities should you look for in a call center outsourcing provider? Here are the most important considerations as we see them.
- The ability to handle complex inquiries is a must for any call center. While outsourcing to an offshore center might be less expensive than using a domestic provider, you’ll need to consider whether dealing with reps whose English is heavily accented or who lack the ability to comprehend complex queries that might fall outside of their scripted responses will be frustrating to your callers. A service provider with a commitment to service excellence should help guide you to the appropriate balance of offshore and domestic resources, based on your technical and linguistic requirements.
- Depending on your industry, you may want to seek a call center that will provide dedicated agents. Dedicated agents are assigned to your account and, because they’ll be familiar with your product and most common issues, they’ll be better prepared to handle calls on your behalf than shared agents.
- Call center availability is another important consideration. Do you need a call center that’s open 24 hours a day? If not, you’ll need a center that can accommodate your regular call center hours, whatever they are.
- Some call centers offer standard reporting at regular intervals. Others give their clients access to real-time analytics, so you can monitor what’s happening and address issues as they arise. For obvious reasons, the latter option is preferable because it gives you the most control of the quality of the calls.
- If your clients are multilingual, then you’ll need to find a call center that provides multilingual services. You may pay a bit more for a center with agents who speak both English and Spanish, for example, but your customers who speak Spanish will appreciate that they have the ability to converse with your agents in their native language.
- If you expect your call center to handle payments or discuss sensitive information with callers, you’ll need to make sure that they are compliant with HIPAA regulations and/or PCI standards before you partner with them.
- Finally, you may want to seek out a call center that specializes in your industry. A shared agent with experience in healthcare is likely going to provide better service than one whose primary experience has been in retail or technology.
The call center you choose as your partner must be equipped to maintain the quality you’re getting with your in-house call center. If they can’t, keep looking until you find a partner who can.
Outsourcing your call center can help you save money, but only if you take the time to evaluate the center’s capabilities and credentials before you partner with them.
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