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Call Center Companies: 6 Factors to Consider When Outsourcing

By: Greg Alcorn on April 9th, 2019

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Call Center Companies: 6 Factors to Consider When Outsourcing

Contact Center Management

What do you think of when you hear the word “outsourcing”? Many of our clients tell us that while they knew that other companies outsourced some of their services to outside vendors, to them, the practice always seemed impersonal – until they got to know GCS.

Outsourcing can be one of the smartest decisions you ever make for your business – when you choose the right partner. The fact is that not all outsourcing vendors are made the same and not all contact center service agreements are equal.

Whether you outsource all of your contact center activities or only a portion of them, call center outsourcing companies can help you achieve your performance goals, both operationally and with regard to customer satisfaction. Make the right decision for your business by considering the following factors before you contract with a call center company.

The Issue of Customer Happiness

Don’t forget to consider how your customers will react to your adoption of a call center company to manage your contact activities. You want a center that seamlessly represents your company to the customer. The customer should not sense any fall off in service between your staff and the outsource staff.

If you choose a call center outsourcing company that is focused on the bottom-line alone, you could end up with long wait times, calls answered by poorly trained agents and other issues. Simply reading a script or following a call flow that is only applicable to your customers’ situations some of the time isn't enough. If you go down that road, customer happiness will decrease. In fact, customer satisfaction may dip so low that it actually starts to impact your brand image and what people think of your company.

Outsourcing should not be an inherently inhuman or unfriendly business practice. If you choose the right business partner for your call center activities, customer happiness tends to increase. Calls are answered more quickly, and agents are trained to serve your customers with a smile in their voices no matter how upset the person on the other end of the line may be. GCS offers revolutionary and proprietary soft skills training to help our clients make sure their customers are being served well. Then, we take it a step further and reinforce those teachings through our F.E.E.D. (Feedback to Each Employee Every Day) process – but we are unique.


The Complete Guide to Call Center Services

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Access to the Right Technology

Next, consider access to technology. Not every call center company can deliver a GCS level of personalization or flexibility.

Every call center company in the world uses some type of technology to make the magic work. Your customers dial a single number and that call is routed to a call center where the next available agent takes the call. That agent is able to serve your customer because he or she has access to a certain amount of that customer’s information. Technology makes all that happen – but the types of technology in play can differ wildly. Those differences will have an impact on your customer satisfaction and the agents’ ability to resolve your customers’ issues.

For instance, at GCS, we like to blend white glove service with self-service. The right use of technology, at the right time can dramatically improve the customer service experience. We use technology to identify the caller for the agent and pass on previous call information so the customer does not have to repeat themselves during the call. We staff with shared agents in conjunction with workflow management techniques so that the number of agents available on your project at a given moment is directly proportional to the volume of calls you are receiving. Whether that means you need 52 agents or 5,200, we want to make sure that you have enough on staff to meet service levels without breaking your budget.

Additional Services Offered

Likewise, you should make sure that any outsourcing vendor candidates are able to offer the services you want. Decide whether you would like to offer customer service on channels other than the telephone. Some contact centers offer email, text, web chat, video chat, and more. Other call center companies are more limited.

In addition, the vendors that do offer multi-channel options may perform them with different agents or in separate facilities. While the location may not matter, you will want to consider how easily each customer contact is documented. Can you see in one place all interactions with the same customer? This is often referred to as Omni Channel. This can be helpful when a customer has an issue in one channel, say during a chat, and decides to call a live agent for additional support. For the agent to have access to the chat session can be very useful. It also shows the customer the commitment the company has to creating a helpful experience.

The services your contact center offers will also vary in how integrated they are with your other company systems. Often our clients prefer to have agents work within an omni-channel system so that when some piece of information is entered by the contact center, it syncs throughout the organization.

Cost Savings

For many businesses, cost savings is the primary concern when they shop for call center companies. While the bottom line shouldn’t be your only consideration, we know it figures into your decision. Do your due diligence before you commit to an offer from an outsourcing vendor. Shop around and get several detailed quotes from call center companies so that you can compare what you get for your dollar. You should also compare outsourcing in-house services versus a completely outsourced call center and do the math on what contact services if any, you want to provide in-house. The best call center companies will review your options with you and explain how you can get the most value for your money.

The Benefit of Experience

You need an outsourcing vendor that can offer you agents that are as kind and personable as they are efficient, but that’s not the only piece to the puzzle. Ideally, you are going to want a call center vendor that can truly be an extension of your brand. They should be able to become subject matter experts in your company, its products, and its industry so that they can add value to your customers’ experiences with your contact center.

Look for call center companies that have experience working in your industry or that are willing to spend the time to learn all about what it is that you do. Also, pay attention to training programs. Your contact center vendor may be able to offer extended training for the agents that will work on behalf of your company.

Conclusion

When you hire a call center company to handle your contact center activities, you are hiring someone to represent your company to your customers. Choose an outsourcing vendor that is in a position to help you improve customer satisfaction and resolve issues at the first contact. Also, look for companies that offer the right technology and variety of services for your needs. Consider how different contact center services agreements could provide cost savings and the benefits you might gain from hiring a vendor that has experience in your industry.

At GCS, we understand what makes an outsourcer a good fit for a company, and we can help you make an informed decision. Contact us today to see how we can help your company succeed.


The Complete Guide to Call Center Services

What you NEED to know about the different call center services available to you

Learn more