By Megan Hottman, Brand Evangelist
A successful relationship with your call center partner is essential for the growth and health of your business. The way you regard your partner is critical to the outcome and overall success of your project, either short or long term. It’s best to think of them as an extension of your inhouse team(s) as opposed to a standalone entity or even worse “just another vendor”. I use the word ‘partner’ deliberately as I believe it’s critical in any call center and client relationship.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition for partner is: one associated with another especially in an action. In referring to a call center partner, they associate/share your risk and will help enable your success. When a strong partnership is developed, the collaborative nature will help make decisions that are in the best interest of the organization as they are invested in your success and understand your goals and objectives.
As a previous client of Quality Contact Solutions, I was thinking about what contributed to my strong partnership with their team. These 5 elements stood out:
1. Know and share your objectives contact solutions objectives
What are your business goals? What are the priorities? Your contact solutions partner should know who you are and what is important to you. Don’t hesitate to share your company vision, mission statement, and core values. Providing this will help them understand and gain more insight into who you are and what you are looking for. They should understand the scope of the project, the target audience you want to reach, and the goals you are willing to achieve.
2.Define measurements of contact solutions success and plan accordingly
In outsourcing relationships, it is necessary to specifically define each part of the process. It is imperative that from the beginning of the partnership, everything related to the project as far as reporting, monitoring, goals, metrics, scheduled calls, planning, training, etc. are completely clear, and you both agree on the methods to achieve them. It is also crucial that these goals and metrics are continually reported on and communicated. By defining what success looks like and having specific milestones in place, will help ensure that both parties are aligned and tracking towards the same goals.
3. Clear and consistent communication drive contact solutions success
Successful relationships require trust and transparency, where your contact solutions partner is open about potential issues and risks, and one where you aren’t trying to bully them into delivering a Christmas miracle. Concise and frequent communication will help keep everyone focused on the goals and objectives of the project. Through this you will build trust, which will help solidify the relationship. When keeping the communication lines open, you will be able to resolve challenges that present themselves immediately rather than pushing them off until you have a meeting. Documentation is one of the best ways of maintaining consistency and will serve as a point of reference to help keep all parties accountable and focused. Without clear and frequent communication with your outsourcing partner, your priorities can become misaligned, and can reduce your ability to coordinate decision-making.
4. Listen and be open to feedback
Contact solutions outsourcing providers are being asked to infuse more value into their relationships by helping clients utilize and share knowledge and employ various assets in ways that can contribute directly to the betterment of the business. Listening helps build and maintain a great relationship with your contact center partner. They can offer valuable insights about your customers especially that they interact with them every day. They can help you find ways to augment customer experience and identify areas of improvements. Additionally, you can also benefit from their feedback on how you can improve your business processes and tools. Most of all, they feel valued as an integral part of your company when you listen to them and are appreciative of the feedback offered.
5. Be collaborative to build trust
Nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems. One of the most important aspects of any outsourced contact solutions relationship is building trust. Through collaboration, open communication and transparency, trust can be built. Lack of trust on either side of the relationship can lead to an unwillingness or the inability to react appropriately or accept responsibility for potential issues that may come up. Transparency throughout the partnership will help give confidence as they are working towards the same end goal or objective. When mutual trust is established through a partnership, both sides are generally more comfortable and will be flexible towards challenges.
Outsourcing your contact solutions is too important to be left to chance. These partnerships are more likely to be successful when building a solid framework from the start. Most importantly, remember that the relationship should be a collaborative, proactive effort to create a strong partnership from the beginning.
Megan Hottman is a Brand Evangelist for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity and passion the team brings to work on a daily basis. As Brand Evangelist, Megan is a freelance contributor to our website. You can reach Megan at https://www.linkedin.com/in/meganehottman/