If you’re setting out to hire an outsourced call center services provider, you probably feel it’s a daunting task. This is equally true if you’re seeking an inbound call center customer service company or an outbound call center that offers B2B lead generation, appointment setting and customer win-back. For today, let’s look at critical success factors when selecting an inbound call center services company.
Here’s a list of the key factors that should be kept in mind when conducting your search.
1. Your Brand Is Their Brand
The call center company you select should be a partner, not just an outsourced vendor. Its agents should treat your customers with care and respect because, as a partner, the call center is an extension of your company. You should feel confident that your customers are treated with courtesy, and that the call center's agents are knowledgeable about your products and can express your brand. So when you’re considering a call center, call some of their client’s customer service phone numbers. See how the outsourcer handles your call, if they represent the client effectively and give you a good sense of the client’s brand.
2. Program Customization
Many call centers use a program template – they’ll fit your program into a standard, one-size-fits-all approach. But a good call center tailors its services to your company's specific needs and situation. The call center’s senior managers will work closely with you to understand your business goals and your brand, and make sure they are incorporated into the call center services strategy they provide you. And they’ll encourage frequent meetings to update you on the progress of the program and any shifts in your business strategy or market messaging.
3. Order Size Maximization
Every time a customer calls your call center, it's a great sales opportunity. You want call center agents who do more than just take orders. You want agents with the skills to expand customer orders – by suggesting complementary products and calling attention to items on sale. For that, you need call center services agents who have been trained in cross-selling and upselling sales techniques. Ask your prospective call center about the advanced training its agents have been given.
4. Measurable Results
Require your call center services provider to deliver detailed, frequent reports and hold the call center to high performance standards. This means fast response time, low abandonment rates, high first-call resolution, shorter average talk time and improved average order size. And your call center should lower your business costs, because an optimized call center operates at maximum efficiency. Set up a metrics measurement system so you can track your call center’s performance, and expect continual performance improvement.
5. Premise-Based Agents
Make sure your outsourced call center has the kind of agent supervision that delivers high-quality results. Beware of virtual call center agents working from home. In almost every case, agents who work at a call center facility deliver higher level performance. This is because the premise-based agent model ensures closer work performance monitoring, stronger teamwork, better reinforcement of lessons learned during training sessions and more knowledge sharing.
Use these five essentials when selecting an outsourced call center for customer service, order processing, order taking and help desk. You’ll maximize your likelihood of forming a fruitful and long-term call center partnership.
Mark Fichera, CEO
Call Center Services