By Kelli Barabasz, Senior Operations Manager
Are you considering outsourcing your inhouse customer care? There are many key steps and factors that come into play when considering outsourcing. How do I pick the right outsource partner? What should I be looking for? How long will this take? There are so many questions that need to be answered where do I even begin? So, how do you Successfully Outsource your Inhouse Customer Care? First and foremost, you need to have a clear outline and expectations.
There are 6 key steps that you need to look at when preparing to outsource.
- Define the scope of the project
- Find your outsource partner
- Define your deliverables
- Create an implementation & execution plan
- Identify your roadblocks
- Complete end to end testing
Define the call center outsourcing project scope
There are many key factors to consider in your project scope. First you must create a project scope description so that all your partners clearly understand the full scope of the project. Next you need to identify the needs, goals, expectations & known roadblocks. Finally, you need to get acceptance from all involved partners. This may change your scope and many key factors within it.
Find your outsource partner
When looking for the right outsource partner you must consider 5 key components of the outsourcer.
- What is the outsource partners culture and values (vision and scope of the outsource partner)?
- How is the company’s financial stability?
- What are the company’s capabilities (technologically, people, process, size)?
- Is the company credible (ask for client reviews)?
- Most importantly how is the communication and client management practices handled?
Define your call center outsourcing deliverables
What deliverables are you really looking for? First you need to make sure you have the right people in the room. Identify your stakeholders so together as a team you can identify the deliverables and reasonable deliverable dates for the key components of your project. Document every requirement and deliverable date along with the owner of each. Make sure to include a sign off piece to this process where at least 2 stakeholders sign off on the completion of the deliverables.
Create a call center outsourcing implementation plan
You will want to include your stakeholders in all meetings to ensure that all partners are involved in creating the proper implementation & execution plan. The plan needs to include milestones, tasks, budget expectations and timelines. You will need to include an evaluation process at the beginning of all of the meetings to evaluate the progress of each of the above-mentioned criteria. Keep these meetings at a high level and schedule subset meetings to ensure the plan is staying on target.
Identify your roadblocks with call center outsourcing
Roadblocks can derail your project so identifying potential roadblocks up front is critical. Even after identifying the potential roadblocks you will have other roadblocks that come up throughout your entire implementation. Don’t let the roadblocks stop your progress include all stakeholders and come up with alternatives or work arounds.
Complete end to end testing for successful call center outsourcing
Once you are ready for your implementation and execution it is time to start your end to end testing. In the end to end testing The entire application is tested in a real-world scenario such as communicating with the database, network, hardware and other applications Having a great plan in place is key to being successful. Be sure to include your back-end reporting in your end to end testing to ensure the data being transmitted is coming across appropriately in the outsourcers reporting.
Now that you have followed the 6 key steps to Successfully Outsource your Inhouse Customer Care it is your outsourcers responsibility to manage your account. You will want to establish the right management team to be the outsourcers main contact. In this model the manager changes from what they did before. They now become the manager that is managing a service provider not service delivery.
If you are looking for a great outsource partner look no further QCS has the everything you want in an outsource partner. Give us a call at 1-800-963-2889 and press 1 for sales. Or email me at [email protected] We’d love to help!
Kelli Barabasz is a call center industry leader with over 25 years of experience and success with call center startups, client management and implementations. Currently serving as a Senior Operations Manager for QCS, Kelli’s detail-oriented approach is used to analyze existing operations and to implement best practices, new strategies, processes and efficiencies, enabling her clients to achieve better outcomes. Throughout her career, Kelli has worked on both inbound and outbound B2B and B2C programs. With expertise in call center operations, training, workforce management and client services, Kelli has an unmatched ability to get results for her clients which have included PBM SXC Health Solutions (now Optum RX), Verizon Wireless, Figis, Vermont Teddy Bear Company & Demarini Bats. At PBM, Kelli’s underlying clients EUTF, Cigna, Health Spring, TennCare and PharMerica. Kelli speaks at call center seminars around the globe to share her industry knowledge and insights with her peers.