When you face the task of choosing the best customer service call center, several aspects should be taken into account.
During the initial stage of the selection process, your attention may be drawn to advertisements and independent source data for different call centers. Once you collect necessary information, you choose centers whose activities are of interest, then meeting with their managers. And only after the meeting can you make a final decision about whether this particular call center outsourcing partner is right for you.
How to Select an Outsourcing Call Center
It’s apparent that the easiest way to start collecting information is to use open advertising information. It means you browse outsourcing company websites. When you see a convenient and informative website with all the necessary, that is definitely a good sign. A call center website must list all the services they offer, and provide tariff information. At this point, it becomes clear whether the possible partnership should be considered. Whereas tariffs may vary from country to country, USA-based companies would profitably collaborate with Ukraine-based outsourcing call centers and not vice versa. Here, you can get acquainted with tariff data for the best Ukrainian call-centers.
It might be useful to find out how the call center pays its employees (it can be done by browsing the operator vacancy sites). If you compare the achieved data with customers’ tariffing and the average regional services cost, you will be able to draw a conclusion about how well-paid operators are. It’s easy to assume that when the work is not well-paying it can not attract qualified employees, which will eventually lead to staff turnover that affects the process of personnel training and worsens the general company’s culture.
The other keynote is how the services are actually provided: how many languages are used for communication with customers, which regions does the center interact with, etc. Various ways to contact the company are obligatory, such as phone numbers, emails, social media pages, legal and actual addresses for personal visits. The more detailed the information—and the more updates and expansions are made—the greater the likelihood that this company cares for its activity and reputation. Maintenance of the website represents high responsibility for customer projects.
Similarly, any information published by a specific call center cannot be negative—therefore, it’s impossible to indicate hypothetical areas of concern. Such data should be searched for through third party sources, e.g. other companies' comments and reviews on their previous experience with the mentioned call center. Any feedback should be thought through, as untruthful positive comments could be prepaid. Alternatively, a comment added by a real customer describing impressions of the call center is completely subjective. Imagine that the one who left a positive comment had a project with a limited quantity of daily income calls with limited territorial coverage (e.g. within one city), and therefore with few staff members engaged. However, your project implies the involvement of several countries with numerous outgoing calls and a corresponding number of employees. In this case, the fact that the selected call center managed that project well doesn’t mean it would coincide well with yours.
Negotiations with Call Centers' Management
Only personal communication with center representatives (managers) will allow a more comprehensive vision of how things are going.
Which matters should be dealt with?
- What is the largest possible project scope (territorial coverage, operators number, calls per day number) they are ready to manage at the moment? Here you should consider the period during which you plan on using specific services of an outsourcing call center. If you seek a continued partnership along with the expansion of your company's activities you should clarify whether the call center intends to grow to fit your needs (unless it is already appropriate to your most ambitious expectations).
- What is the center’s record of cooperation? What are the companies it has previously partnered, or are currently working, with and for how long? Such data can represent how the call center suited the customer and if it's ready to share information about completed projects without fear of negative feedback. If (ideally) you are provided with information about companies they teamed up with, it won’t be difficult to verify it. You can call the given phone numbers and personally check how operators communicate to see what the actual processing speed is. In other words, what your customers are going to have to deal with.
- Which additional services can specific call centers offer except the processing of incoming and outgoing calls? The processing of the website requests and messages sent to the corporate email address, as well as live support and other additional services should be discussed.
- Which technological capabilities can the call center provide? Are there relevant technical means available? For example, the customer wants all the calls to be recorded and the recordings followed afterward, as well as grouped according to specific features. Or perhaps you need an online queue as you expect a large flow of incoming calls. In such instances, the customer is to be held on the line until the call is redirected to the next available operator. In this event, the call center works with websites to get things straight if it uses chatbots and which (we mean the feature sets).
- Which staff members are responsible for solving technical issues? How experienced are they at troubleshooting at the earliest possible time? Are they ready to maintain the appropriate website and telephone lines? In case of such an experts absence, or service that isn't round the clock, you’ll have to pay extra for hiring corresponding staff. The same applies to software developers.
- What budget should be allowed for the initial project implementation? It has to be figured out in the very beginning, before signing the cooperation agreement with the call center! The best customer service call center’s budget is calculated not only by simply multiplying the cost per minute by the length of the call, but also by counting the additional services, including possible troubleshooting. Ideally, managers assist the customer to draw out the entire project before budget calculations start.
Read also: Call Center Outsourcing Cost
More Tips on Contact Center Selection
It is also essential to understand that objectively the best call center in the region of your interest may not be found. There can be no confirmed rating of outsourcing companies that render telemarketing or phone calls services. In case such a ranking does exist (e.g. considering indicators achievedby the end of 2018), whether by your analysis of a vast variety of companies to detect the finest, it doesn’t mean that you should prefer it at all times.
The customer's company needs to get its priorities straight in order to attribute them with the specific services provided by one call center or another. The subject matter of calls and company’s scope of activity matters, as well. Each call center provider is supposed to be good in your business area while communicating with your clients; he must be effective at answering inquiries.
For that reason, it is sometimes worthwhile to choose a niche call center with staff that is familiar with the specific business-related matters, allowing client contact with experts. In comparison, large and versatile centers usually provide contacts with simple and specific scripts, and are unable to discuss particulars.
The final matte is how the corporate culture of the call center relates to your company’s. It certainly impacts the call center staff and your client communication. The operator represents the company for which he works. No matter how attractive your company and its product, you should choose the call center where your communication style will be accepted and implemented for the clients to feel during the conversation with an operator, or through other correspondence.
Since we have been in business for more than 5 years and worked from customers from a variety of industries (retail, airlines, logistics, etc.), we can help you make the right choice and answer any questions you might have on the topic. Do not hesitate to contact us, we'd be happy to help.