Outsourcing call center operations is a widely accepted cost-saving measure that businesses employ today to shore up their bottom-line. However one must note that it is important to select the right call center service provider in order to ensure customer satisfaction. Like most other things in life, call centers are also quite different from one another even though all of them may boast of sophisticated technology and a host of other services. The fact remains that only a few can really match all the requirements of a specific company and it is imperative to exercise due diligence while selecting one for your business. Let look at some key points that may help you to decide whether a call center suits your company’s needs:
Call Center Capacity
When scouting for an appropriate call center, always check for the manpower the call center is ready to dedicate to the project. Also, and more importantly, check the actual inbound and outbound call volumes of the center. This would give you a good idea of the efficiency of both the agents and the technological tools at the center.
Location of Call Center
While it is not important to have the call center close to your company’s offices, location of the center is important as it will give you an idea of the quality of agents and of telecommunications as well as the corporate culture of that region.
Agreed that you are not out to shop for the latest electronic gadget, but technology forms the backbone of a call center. Without a strong backbone, the body will not work the way you want it to. While checking this aspect of a call center, do not just look at the number of PBX lines that the center has; also consider whether the company has, or is in the position to acquire and train its agents on, the software applications required for the smooth handling of your customers.
The call center’s ability to securely and efficiently handle your client database is extremely important. Access to legacy host processors and relational database capabilities should be given a high priority.
Quality of Service
Please remember the call center agents will be dealing directly with your customers, the same people you have worked hard to attract and retain. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that the quality of service provided by the call center is excellent. In order to evaluate the quality of service provided by the call center, take a good look at the quality assurance procedures and the quality evaluation metrics of the center. You could also ask to see some day-to-day and monthly statistics for call lengths, call abandonment, call handling time, average time on hold, average speed of answer, queue time, etc. Taking feedback from the call center’s existing clients regarding the quality of service provided by the call center would also be a good idea.
Of course, price is the most important criterion for deciding on a call center for most companies. After all, the idea of outsourcing the call center operations is to save money. However, do not let this factor dominate your decision, as customer satisfaction is the key to a successful business. Therefore, try to strike a balance between the price and the quality of service desired.