Any business that takes pride in being customer centric needs to have a call center to keep their costs in check. Of course you can have a call center in-house but that will be counter-productive to your efficiency and productivity because there is an obviously better option available of outsourcing. Furthermore, such call centers also ensure that your communication with your clients – existing and potential – will be much better, smoother, and effective since it is being done by trained professionals.
Sometimes, smaller businesses prefer to avoid indulging into outsourcing, not just because they are not sure on the costs, but also because they are less well versed in the potential pitfalls of hiring an external partner. This article is written to resolve just that. Following are the guiding principles for choosing a BPO company for your call center needs.
The first and foremost factor to consider is the performance record of the business process outsourcing company you are evaluating to partner with. A company with a couple of years under its belt, some testimonials from satisfied customers, and an overall market reputation for being hard working and sincere to their clients is always better than a company without all this. You might want to do some leg work on your own and speak to some customers of those companies to make sure on that company’s experience.
Diversity and Geography
Any BPO company that deals with more than one industry has broader knowledge and deeper understanding of customer behavior and therefore more adept at handling the call center services. Likewise an outsourcing company that does not restrict itself to one or two counties is a better bet, because your own customers might not be limited to a single area either. The underlining point here is experience again, but these factors come above and beyond the number past clients and years in the market. Location is also important for where your BPO partner itself is situated. You can have an international outsourcing company taking care of your needs, and more often than not at a much lower cost. Just make sure it is not somewhere severely at the risk of instability, power shortage or any other factor that can hamper the consistency of their operations.
Call center is not a new innovation but the technologies in play are fairly recent. Now it might not be a problem under regular conditions if the phones or software in play are older, but what if your clients are internationally located the potential static in the calls alone could make your clients very angry. Then there are automatic calling distributor software, voice loggers, and other technology that not only keeps records of the clients’ calls but also allows for data collection and interpretation of customer responses. Such data is invaluable and can impact your future business strategies phenomenally. You ought not to miss out on such options, so keep an eye out for this.
An outsourcing partner needs to be a company that performs as an extension of your business and offers performance based results. This means that should be willing and able to do related tasks and not just making calls. This means that their basic portfolio should also come with such additional services. The more comfortable the initial contract, higher the chance of a fruitful and productive partnership over the long run. A good call center outsourcing company will offer both in-bound and out-bound services. These might include sales, customer acquisitions, after sales services, technical support and so on.
Finally what you need to consider the most basic of all things – the training and skill levels of the employees of the outsourcing company you are looking to hire. Usually the employees are well trained and know what they are doing, but then again dealing with customers requires a lot more than skills taught in schools and academies. This is one area where interviewing previous customers of the outsourcing companies can give you a fairly good idea of the company’s call center skills so make sure to do some leg work here too. A business hires an outsourcing company vary from aiming to reduce costs to improve efficiency. Sometimes, these said companies find it difficult to deliver quality services to their customers, are overloaded with other responsibilities, or simply wish to grow their business and choose to focus on core and revenue generating activities while letting an external company take care of the auxiliary activities. But the best kind of partnerships between a business and a BPO company are inclusive of several benefits. Some BPO companies provide you with periodic reports of calls and other modes of customer communications with customer, while others record phone calls and provide you with complete overall data to interpret it as per your wishes. The bottom line is to do your background research when you are deciding to hire an outsourcing partner on board.