How to choose the right contact center

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Should you outsource your contact center? That depends on the specific needs of your company. If you are looking at global expansion, need a call center solution that is scalable and can pivot quickly, or simply need to keep your staff focused on what is mission critical, the answer may be yes.

There’s also the matter of efficiency and cost. This case study shows how a major online pharmacy reduced contact center related costs by 65% and significantly improved the time it took to resolve customer issues.

If it looks as if outsourcing your contact center is a good business decision, your next step is to find the right contact center. That’s not an easy task.

Ask For References And Follow-up With Them

The question that you need to ask potential contact centers is not, “Do you have satisfied customers?” It’s “Do you have satisfied customers in my industry, and do you have experience meeting the needs of customers like mine?” Then, ask for references that specifically provide answers to these questions.

Verify That The Contact Center You Select Can Feed Your CRM

You don’t simply need a contact center that can meet customer needs at the moment. You also need a solution that can provide you with important customer data. Specifically, you need a contact center that employs a technical solution that interfaces with your CRM. If not, instead of finding a cost saving solution, you’ve created a need for data entry.

Be Sure They Can Meet Your Expansion Needs

Are you anticipating significant growth in the next year? Are you going to be opening up for business in other countries? You’d better make sure that your chosen call center is capable of expanding with you.

Be clear about your future plans, especially how and where your organization is going to grow. A small, cost-efficient call center may seem like a good idea now. However, if you outgrow their capabilities in a year, you’re back at square one finding another solution.

Know Exactly Why You Need to Outsource

If you know why you need to outsource, you will be better able to articulate your needs to potential service providers. It may be good to start with a list that looks something like this.

  • Sales Staff Can Spend More Time on Lead Generation And Less on Customer Support
  • We’ll Need Less Physical Space And Can Adopt Flexible Workspace Solutions Saving Rental Costs
  • We Won’t Need to Cover The Cost of Hiring And Training Bilingual Reps
  • We Can Reduce Call Center Costs in The Areas of Equipment And Salary

You can then glean from this very simple list you need a call center with bilingual representatives, and that you want a solution that removes as much of the work of telephone customer support from your sales team as possible. You also know that by choosing this solution you can expect more lead generation, and lower salary costs.

Have a List of Services That You Need

Before you start searching for call center solutions, you should know exactly what you need. This list should include the services you require immediately as well as services that you need shortly. Will you need 24-hour support now or in the future? What about email or live online support?

Get Clear Terms When it Comes to Costs

When it comes to call center pricing, there are many small details that can have a major impact on costs. For example, you’ll want to know if you are going to be charged for the time that your customers are on hold. You should also ask how rounding is done. Some contact centers charge their clients by rounding up to the next second. Others round up to the next minute. The difference between the two can add up.

Ensure That Staff Has The Right Skill Set

There is no one size fits all set of needs when it comes to call centers. For example, a clothing retailer might simply need call center staff who can answer questions about their products, help customers place orders and make returns, and escalate issues when needed. A company selling app development tools likely needs call center staff that is much more technically astute.

Another significant factor to consider is language proficiency.  If customers are frustrated because call center staff is difficult to understand or cannot understand their questions or requests, that’s going to reflect poorly on your company.

Before making a decision, it’s imperative to know if the contact center employees have the skill set needed to effectively assist your customers.

There are many potential benefits to outsourcing your call center solution. You can keep staff dedicated to tasks that create growth and improve profitability. You can also significantly reduce costs. However, the only way to ensure this is to do the due diligence needed to research and find the best solution for your company. 

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