Finding a true call center partner can feel like dating. However, it is easier when you know what you are looking for, which is why I have put together a call center requirements checklist to help navigate the process.
Before the call center requirements checklist, allow this quick deviation.
It has been a very long time since I was on the dating scene, but here is my list of ‘potential partner’ requirements that I used before meeting the love of my life!
- First impressions are lasting impressions. Did they make a good first impression? It is hard to overcome if someone is not professionally groomed, has terrible manners, or is annoying.
- Are they interested in who you are and what your goals are? Do they take time to get to know you and show interest in what makes you tick?
- Do you have shared core values? At our core, we all have beliefs that we hold dear. Those beliefs are our values. You cannot compromise your values in the long-term and achieve true long-term satisfaction
- Is it easy or hard? If the relationship is challenging, then move on.
- Do you find yourself wanting to spend more time talking with them or less? Do you have a lot to talk about, or is it uncomfortable? If you have meaningful conversations about a wide range of topics, the chances are that you are a good match.
- Are you better because you’re in a relationship with them? You know how some people help you maximize how much you accomplish because they inspire you, cheer you on, or provide the support you need at just the right time?
- Are they there for you when something terrible happens? Bad things happen. That is life. Can you count on them to help you through it?
- Can you trust them? If you cannot, then move on.
- Do you respect them? If you do not, then move on.
- Do you want to spend the rest of your life with them? If no, then move on. Life is short. Get out there and find your perfect match.
Are you wondering how the requirements for choosing the right personal mate translate to choosing the right call center partner? In my experience, there is a direct correlation, and it is not much of a stretch. Relationships are relationships. People are people.
There are two parts to a call center requirements checklist.
Part 1 is the service and solutions checklist. Part 2 is the relationship checklist. I recommend spending just as much time evaluating how a potential call center partner scores on the combination of parts 1 and 2.
I want to focus on Part 2, the relationship checklist.
For the following questions, answer “Yes,” “I think so,” or “No.”
- Have my interactions with the company been positive and professional?
- Have they asked what my goals in outsourcing to a call center partner are?
- Have they told you what their company values are?
- Are their company values aligned with your company’s values?
- Has it been easy to get requested information promptly?
- Have you enjoyed the interactions you have had with the company? You will be spending a fair number of working hours each week with your call center leadership team. It is more fun (and typically more productive) if you genuinely like them.
- Does the company provide some value-adds that you will not get elsewhere?
- Have they shared their problem resolution process with you? Problems will occur, and it is good to know how they typically address issues.
- Would you be comfortable signing a long-term contract with them?
- Do they return your calls and emails timely? Are they available when you need them?
- Do you trust them?
- Do you respect them?
Tally up the scores.
- Yes = 5 points
- I think so = 3 points
- No = 0 points
Here is a guideline on how to interpret the total score:
- 60 Points: Go for it! You have the beginnings of a great call center partner relationship.
- 50-59 Points: Not every relationship is perfect. However, if you had zero scores (a no answer), carefully evaluate why you answered the question that way. It could be a warning sign that this relationship is not right for you.
- 40-49 Points: Warning bells should be going off!
- 1-39 Points: Move on. Find a company that meets all of your requirements, including the relationship requirements.
If you answered “No” to questions 10, 11, or 12, I recommend moving on to meet other potential call center partners. This one is not a good match for you.
Angela Garfinkel is the President and Founder of Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing services organization. Angela has the pleasure of leading a talented team that runs thousands of outbound telemarketing program hours on a daily basis. Angela can be reached at [email protected] or 516.656.5118.