Outsourced Call Center Services - Top 5 Features You Must Understand Before Hiring
Much has been talked about making the right choice of a call center vendor to be able to get the maximum out of the outsourcing process. As a prelude to reaching an optimal decision in this regard, it becomes important to understand the vital characteristics of call centers.
It should, however, be kept in mind that outsourcing does not mean surrendering accountability. Appropriate metrics should be adopted right from the start to monitor and evaluate the outsourcing process and make necessary adjustments to improve its effectiveness. These measurement standards also can be fixed in view of the characteristics of the call center services.
Described below are five salient features of call center services:
Outbound and inbound call centers
Call centers may specialize either in making calls or in taking calls. Outbound call centers primarily offer telemarketing services, trying to make sales to the customers or to gather customer information. Inbound call centers, on the other hand, are devoted to customer services, taking customer calls, handling their queries or complaints or just receiving orders. So, companies need to specify the kind of services they expect out of the call centers.
Offshore and homegrown call centers
Call centers may either be located right next door to your business head office or in an altogether different country. While offshore outsourcing is the most cost-effective option it may not always be the most efficient way of outsourcing. Despite the anonymity that call centers cultivate, there have been instances when companies have faced massive customer backlash because of cultural issues or the very idea of being served by agents sitting in such remote destinations. Hence, it is important for companies to ascertain that service providers at the call center match up to the preferences of the company's customer base.
Priority level customer services
Low-cost call center services can prove to be counterproductive while catering to high-end clients of the company who might be totally put off if they do not get adequate attention from the call center agents. Companies that have various levels of clients ranging from the very high-end to low-end customers have to take care to create service tiers and route the calls from priority level customers for specialized treatment.
Integration with in-house drives
In case of outbound call centers where telemarketing is the primary area of focus, the hiring company should make sure that the call center operations are properly coordinated with in-house marketing efforts of the company. Even if the company decides to have control over most of its marketing initiatives it could approach call centers to carry out certain peripheral marketing activities like e-commerce and advertising.
Call centers have varying levels of systems and technology in place that companies can choose from in accordance with their service requirements and evaluation criteria. Companies can either go in for call centers that offer one-stop solution for all their customer relationship management issues or they can opt for vendors who specialize in certain segments of customer services.
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