If you needed to change the tire on your car because it was flat and you didn’t know how to do it, what would you do?
- Pullover and check to see if the owner’s manual is in the glove box, and cross your fingers that there are step-by-step instructions (with pictures) that you can reference?
- Watch a couple of quick YouTube videos to get the gist and give it a go yourself?
- Call someone who has done it and ask for help?
- Take a chance and drive on the flat and hope your car makes it without it being destroyed from driving another 20 miles?
I think most would choose 1, 2, or 3. If you happen to think 4 is a solid option, hopefully, I can convince you otherwise.
Changing a tire isn’t too difficult if you know how to do it. Sure, it requires some muscle, and you’ll likely get dirty, but you can do it with a bit of instruction. If you didn’t know how to change a tire and didn’t have access to any resources to learn how quickly, you *may* be able to figure it out if you’ve seen it done before. However, it will likely take longer, involve way more effort, and probably a bit of trial and error before it’s done.
It’s not any different if you’re trying to find an inbound call center outsourcing partner. It’s way better to have an ‘owner’s manual’ to help guide you through the process or learn from someone who has firsthand experience.
Finding an inbound call center outsourcing provider doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. You don’t have to start from scratch or figure it out on your own.
Here are seven inbound call center outsourcing tips for finding the right partner to support your business.
- Customer Profile – Provide documentation on the profile of your customer base. Why do they call? Is it a sales call, customer service, or a technical support call? What are the common issues? Are there time-zone considerations? Is there a need for multi-language support?
The more information you can share with the inbound call center outsourcing partner, the better. The details will help the call center management determine the skillsets required to build the best team to support your customers.
- KPI’s – Know what key performance indicators are essential to the program’s success and be sure the prospective inbound call center outsourcing partner understands and can measure them. Consider metrics such as average speed of answer, abandon rate, utilization, talk times, first call resolution, etc.
It is also worth noting that it’s best to compare the formulas that make up each metric. You want to ensure alignment so there aren’t any potential issues down the line.
- Dedicated vs. Shared – To determine what will adequately support your needs, be sure to share and discuss things like call type, call length, call volume, ASA requirements, etc. Have a conversation with the prospective inbound call center outsourcing partner to review peak/non-peak hours, seasonality, if you’re anticipating any call volume spikes, if your preference is dedicated or shared agents, etc. The more information shared means they can present you with the best solution.
- Technology – Not all call center technology is created equal. Find out if there may be any limitations to the solution the partner uses. Are email, text, and chat support required now or in the future? If so, the inbound call center outsourcing partner you choose will need to have the technology to support your requirements.
- Call Quality – Call monitoring and coaching are such a vital aspect of ensuring your customers are getting the correct answers and excellent service. Regularly held calibration sessions between the client and the outsourcer are essential, especially at the beginning of the partnership. The purpose is to ensure alignment and course-correct as needed.
- Training – Understand at a high level the training the outsourcer provides. Is it solely product-focused? Is skills training offered such as de-escalation, customer service, or sales skills? Is there continual training or is it a one time event? How does the outsourcer ensure their agents receive training relevant to their role?
- Team Size – consider the ebbs and flows of your program, like seasonality. Does it expand and contract with large ramp-ups? How much lead time can you provide to ensure proper staffing to maintain service levels? Can the outsourcer handle that? What is the growth potential of this outsourcer, or are they at capacity?
Since you may be meeting with several potential inbound call center outsourcing partners, make it easier on yourself and thoroughly document all requirements. It’s also beneficial to provide the documentation to the prospective partner to review and ensure they can deliver what you need.
Working with an inbound call center outsourcing company that treats you like a true partner is such a difference from a company that doesn’t want to engage. A great partner will act in the best interest of you as their client and work tirelessly to achieve your goals.
Tina Lisell is a Senior Operations Manager for Quality Contact Solutions. Tina has over 25 years of call center experience with both inbound and outbound B2B and B2C programs. Tina is a strategic thinker and loves digging deep into the data to determine the appropriate levers to pull to positively impact performance. She is a true professional that makes things happen with intelligent urgency. Most importantly, she loves winning