How do you select the best partner to work with you when it comes to your outsourced customer interaction center opportunities?
The task is definitely a daunting one—not to be taken lightly. The Requests for Proposal (RFP) we receive for new opportunities come in many different formats based on the potential opportunity. There are usually some common elements we see among RFPs—mainly surrounding company processes, experience, etc.
What are some questions you can ask to learn more about your potential partner?
Learn About the Process
First, process questions are great for common processes like quality, education, etc., but make sure you inquire about how it’s used within the organization. As an example, it’s great to understand the education process for a potential partner, but even better to know how it gets administered, and what is used to determine successful education of an associate for a particular program. Practical application is important.
Without processes such as role-play to insure the associate can apply their knowledge and critical thinking skills, their learning curve in the “live” environment can be much more extensive than necessary.
Learn What Your Potential Partner Would Do With Your Program
Second, experience questions are great to understand the past, but an even better approach is to overview your program with sufficient detail, then ask how the partner would approach your program/project. Programs are unique by customer, so experience is a good indicator but the best indicator is to understand what the potential partner would do with YOUR program. At GCS, our team understands that not all programs “are created equal” and each requires specific, customized solutions. We stand ready to develop each program to meet the needs of our clients.
Consider Who You Will Be Interacting with on a Daily Basis
A third area to consider is your daily interactions. The individual selected to manage your program(s) is a critical piece of the puzzle to understand. We see a variety of questions here, with requests for everything from resumes, to experience, to requesting interviews of the individual in advance of the partner selection.
Here’s what’s important to consider—do take time to understand who your selected Client Services Representative would be. Asking to interact with that individual in advance of selection is a great idea, but also ask for a conversation to discuss your specific needs. Taking the time to describe what you need either in the proposal or prior to selection ensures a solid match and great working relationship.
Know Your Technology
One last area to consider—technology. Confirming specific technology is available as expected is great; however, we’d recommend spending more time on understanding the technology you need. There are so many common expectations, such as data analytics, detailed reporting, etc., that any partner should be expected to meet those needs. Understand how that technology can help create stronger processes, and improve the results for you. Understanding this will give you great insight into what you can expect over the long-term as your program matures.
In summary, we understand each opportunity is unique and must be approached in a manner that meets the individual needs of our clients and provides value. Asking the right questions of any partner is critical to your selection process. At GCS, we can build a program for you based on an experienced team, strong processes to achieve the best results and technology that will deliver for you today and into the future!