Call Center - If You Want The Right Partner, Consider These Ten Factors
Outsourcing your incoming calls to a call center service is a very important business decision. The call center service staff will be the primary point of contact for majority your customers. The right call center service partner can significantly influence peoples' perception of your company, positively shape your brand and customer satisfaction.
Following are the top ten factors you should consider before hiring a call center service:
1. Experience and track record: Experienced call center service providers have a good knowledge of your industry, potential problems and the ability to cope with them. Find a provider who has experience in your industry and an excellent market reputation. Ask the provider for references and call them to find out if they are happy with the service.
2. Price: Call center service prices are based on actual usage. Get quotes from different providers that include details regarding basic call charges, training and setup. Do not get enamored with ultra low cost providers unless they can provide great service. Poor service quality at a bargain price can result in loss of customers and brand value.
3. Location: Ask the call center service provider about the location of the call center that would handle your calls. Many providers may send calls to multiple locations - offshore and within your country. Make sure such an arrangement satisfies your business requirements.
4. Infrastructure: The efficiency of a call center service depends on its infrastructure. Ask the call center service providers about their phone systems, computers, and software.
5. Customer Service Reps: Inquire about the training, English speaking skills and attitude of customer service representatives and the turnover rate of customer service agents. Do not select a call center service if the average tenure of an employee is less than one year.
6. Reporting: Detailed accurate reports are a must for evaluating the performance of the call center service. If finished reports are insufficient, ask your vendor to provide raw data to facilitate your own analysis. Call duration, calls per unit time, total revenue, average speed of answering a call and call handling time are some of the metrics you should use to measure service performance.
7. Call monitoring: Your call center service provider must allow you to monitor calls to assess their effectiveness. Ask the provider to allow you to listen to a few live calls through remote call monitoring facility from time to time.
8. Call Volume: To have the most effective business relationship with the call center service your call volume should account for at least 5 percent of the provider's call volume.
9. Special Needs: You call center service provider should have appropriate resources to handle all your scripting and training needs. The provider should also accommodate other special requirements such as 24x7 or multiple language support.
10. Account Manager: The account manager responsible for your company should have good understanding of your business and appropriate experience.
Hiring a call center service for your business is a major decision. If done right, it can result in a productive partnership, lower costs and improved profitability.
Before you hire a vendor, compare price quote from multiple call center outsourcing firms at a Business Network. For further information, please refer to detailed buying guide to hiring a call centers services firm.
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