How to Go About Call Center Outsourcing
Research is essential before you enter into a contract.
If you are at the stage where you think call center outsourcing services might be useful for your business, you might find that it can be a daunting task. Where do you start? Have no fear; help is here. We have some tips that will make the process of finding a provider easier.
The very first step is to determine the kind of service that is needed:
a) Inbound Services – Customer Service, Help Desk, Sales, Taking Orders, Technical support
b) Outbound Services – Sales, Setting Appointments, Surveys, Collections, Fundraising,
c) Automated Services – Interactive Voice, Political Calls, Fundraising, Blast Messaging, Market Research.
After determining the type of service you require, you will want to research the various types of companies available to meet your business needs.
If you do not want to do the research yourself, or simply do not have the time or the resources to devote to that task, there are consulting companies that have done the research for you. Worldwide Call Centers Inc, for example, is a clearinghouse that can point you in the right direction. Headquartered in Colorado,
WorldWideCallcenters.com and similar companies do not necessarily send you to an overseas enterprise where you will have little or no control over the work product.
“When choosing a call center outsourcing service company, make sure that it has a good reputation and that it has been in business for more than a week”
American consumers using North American (the US or Canada) companies have the advantage of being able to check with the Better Business Bureau to verify a businesses’ reputation. Of course, there are many other avenues for checking a businesses’ viability, but the BBB is a great place to start.
This assistance, of course, is not available for overseas outsourcing companies.
In the end, first-time call center users will probably be best served by using a clearinghouse or placement company. After that, you can look around and see if you find a better deal. Probably not.
The placement companies make a commission for bringing the user and the provider companies together. It is in the best interest of these placement companies to find the best fit.
If you decide to find a call center outsourcing company on your own, here are some things to consider:
Whether we like to admit it or not, most North American clients do not want to deal with someone with a strong accent and/or an incomplete grasp of the English language. Sometimes even dealing with someone from a different part of the US or Canada (a Southern State and New York, Boston and Texas, or Quebec and BC) can be frustrating.
“If your clients are going to be angry, anxious or frustrated when they are calling in, then language and language skills should be a major consideration when you are choosing where you want your outsourcing to take place”
If your call center outsourcing company cannot offer verified “accent neutral” services, then they probably will not be useful to you.
2) The fine print
Many companies will offer what looks like a great rate – until you take a look at the fine print. The hourly rate may be reasonable, but then you find the quoted rate is not “all inclusive.” There are extra charges for ancillary services, reporting, billing, etc.
3) Too good to be true
If a company offers a rate that that is way below the going rate, proceed with caution. This may be a start-up company with no proven track record. They will probably either raise your rates in a month or so, after you have signed a contract or, worse, they will disappear, taking your client lists and/or your intellectual property with them.
Be sure that the call center you are using meets the ethical standards of your company. Many well-known companies (and people) have had their reputations damaged when it was revealed that they were affiliated with sweatshop establishments. This is probably not a situation in which you wish to find yourself.
In the end, call center outsourcing might be the right move for your company. If you do your research, exercise caution and due diligence, it can be a profitable move.