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How to Effectively Outsource Your Start-up Business's Contact Center

August 28, 2012
By Amanda Ciccatelli, TMCnet Web Editor

When you start your own business, you will most likely have absolutely no idea how many customers will call you or what questions they will ask. To alleviate this challenge, outsourcing your contact center can take away that uncertainty and even save money.

Siobhain Goodall, head of business development, outsourcing at mplsystems, shared with Call Centre Helper tips for outsourcing your contact center. To explain her tips, Goodall used an example of a start-up business in the telecoms sector, Ovivo Mobile. Goodall’s tips for contact center outsourcing can help a brand new business in virtually any industry.

Ovivo Mobile launched a phone service giving its customers free data and voice usage in exchange for targeted adverts to their devices. The company needed an affordable way to ensure that all calls were answered, at any time of day, and by agents knowledgeable of the sector. So, Ovivo chose to outsource its contact center based on the following tips provided by Goodall:

First, Goodall suggests to choose an outsourced service provider who can provide flexible service and contract terms so if your business grows, you can change your requirements.

Next, start with a pay-per-usage model as you track demand for your business’s product. “Using a contact center outsourcer who can provide an on-demand agent resource means you will not be paying for wasted resource and your customers will not be frustrated having to wait,” Goodall told Call Centre Helper.

Also, look for a contact center outsourcer that offers bureau agents as a bureau service, especially in the beginning, allows for higher volumes of simple enquiries to be managed effectively. “As you pass complex tasks to your outsourcer, you will have a base of experienced agents ready,” she explained.

Then, find an outsource partner who has experience of your sector and in other industry types too. The broader the experience of the agents, the more flexible they will be in handling a range of tasks.

Lastly, manage your own expectations by starting with the simple stuff, according to Goodall. An outsourcer can help you get off the ground quickly if your start with the high volume, run-of-the-mill enquiries, passing complex queries back to in-house experts. “As you begin to understand the make-up of your customers’ enquiries, gradually expand the scope of your outsourcer’s remit to so they can take more of the load,” she said.

These days, contact center outsourcing is an approach that start-up companies are increasingly adopting. For many it seems unusual at first, but when they accept that they can outsource their marketing, IT and finance requirements, it becomes less of a leap of faith. Since an outsourced contact center is an expert service, the new business can focus on the other challenges that arise when starting up.

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Edited by Rich Steeves

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