Choosing a Call Center Outsourcing Company in 2013
January 07, 2013
When companies began outsourcing their call center functions a few decades ago, it was usually about cost. Call centers cost a lot to run, and dedicated outsourcers who handled many clients were able to attain better economies of scale. While the costs did come down, the quality wasn’t always there. Companies often chose outsourcers arbitrarily and didn’t understand how to ensure that service levels and quality goals were met.
Today, it’s not only about cost. Miles of column inches have been written about the customer relationship, the voice of the customer and many other topics concerning quality. Research has shown that a single bad call center interaction can induce a customer to flee forever, and that customers today are becoming even more demanding as the media channels available to them to contact companies proliferate.
This demand for quality shouldn’t eliminate outsourcers, however. Call center outsourcers are still in an excellent position to provide high quality service (after all, it’s the reason they exist). Companies choosing a call center outsourcer, however, need to add a few more criteria to the checklist when considering candidates, according to Customer Think’s Kevin Bottoms. It’s about choosing the “right sized” company for your needs.
“Identifying both the right-sized partners (not necessarily the big name, tier one providers) and the right number of partners will become increasingly important in the years ahead,” writes Bottoms. “This ‘right-sizing’ is needed to ensure that companies get the necessary attention and investment they need from their providers.”
Size isn’t the only consideration, however. It’s critically important to find a call center outsourcing company that matches your own corporate culture. If you sell video games or laser tag (News - Alert) equipment, obviously, you’re not going to use the same customer service tone and approach as you would if you were selling or supporting financial services. (“What’s up, Dude?” might be an ideal way to address a customer of the former, but probably not the latter.) It’s also critical to ensure that the call center outsourcing company you hire has the correct level of tech savvy (depending on how tech savvy your customers are), offer any foreign languages you might require and be willing to meet your service levels and quality demands happily.
It’s not an area where you can afford trial and error: a single disastrous outsourcing engagement can alienate more of your customers than you can easily replace. For this reason, it’s important that you understand precisely what you’re looking for before you go looking.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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