Hiring a call center services outsourcer for a B2B lead generation campaign is a big step for many companies. But in the end, they decide to take that step because their sales team doesn’t have enough leads in the sales pipeline and because their sales people are too busy to do cold calling themselves.
How to best launch an appointment setting, B2B lead generation or customer win-back program? How do you know if you can trust a third party call center services outsourcer to talk with your potential customers? How can you guard against risking and losing a lot of money (and time) without good ROI?
Here are qualities to look for when selecting an outbound call center services outsourcer:
1. Call recording This gets at a fundamental characteristic you want your call center partner to have: Accountability. That begins with the recording of all calls made by the call center’s representatives and access to those calls for you. Reviewing both the good and the bad calls is an invaluable training and quality assurance tool. Use the recording to assess the call center services provider’s skill level and use them as a teaching tool to emphasize effectiveness. And, generally speaking, call recording is a good way to ensure that your outbound call center services provider is doing its job.
2. Account team access Be wary of call center services providers that don’t give you open contact and communications with the representatives working on your outbound call center program. What are they hiding? Beyond accountability and transparency – traits that are critically important to a successful partnership with an outsourced call center provider – you want to get to know your account team and you want to hold training sessions and then follow-on meetings with them to review program results that focus on what’s working and what’s not.
3. Pilot project Look for a outbound call center that offers pilot projects that limit your financial risk and let you assess their capabilities and your program ROI before making a longer term commitment. A confident call center services provider will be happy to give you a trial run.
4. Detailed reporting Along with call recording, it’s important that your outbound call center captures the results of every call made and provides detailed program reports on a monthly, weekly or daily basis that let you track your results against program SLAs and KPIs.
5. Customizability Your call center services provider should have the skills to configure the program in the way you want. That means training the representatives on your team to pass on a sales lead at whatever stage of the sales cycle you prefer and however you would like (call transfer, email notification, etc.).
6. Agent quality The most important attribute of your outbound call center is the skill and talent of the representatives on your account team. While many call center services provider avoid giving clients direct access to their agents (see above), the best way to assess your representatives is to meet with them and get to know them. You want to assess their levels of education and experience, their skill at conveying a compelling sales message and their overall ability to create a professional experience with your potential customers.
7. References Ask for at least three client referrals and ask them in-depth questions that delve into the particular skills you will require of your call center services provider.
If you find an outbound call center that is on the affirmative side of these issues you’re on your way to finding a good outsourced call center services partner.
Mark Fichera, CEO
Call Center Services