Outsourcing Call Volume: What You Need to Know About Your Vendor

Call Center Vendor Management

Locating and choosing the proper vendor for your call center demands knowledge.  You need to know what you need from your vendor and you need to know what your ideal vendor can provide.  Consider the following 10 points:

[step_graphics style=”5″ color=”#c52020″][step style=”5″ text=”1″ headline=”Experts.”]%3Cp%3ECall%20into%20your%20vendor%20candidate%E2%80%99s%20center.%20%20Does%20the%20agent%20handling%20your%20call%20sound%20like%20the%20kind%20of%20agent%20you%20desire%20to%20be%20handling%20your%20inbound%20calls%3F%20%20If%20you%20need%20outbound%20service%2C%20go%20through%20the%20effort%20to%20setup%20a%20scenario%20if%20you%20can.%20%20Don%E2%80%99t%20forget%20about%20the%20supervisors%20and%20managers.%20%20Speak%20to%20them%3B%20test%20their%20knowledge%20and%20management%20skills%2C%20especially%20on%20your%20site%20visit.%20%20Testing%20the%20metal%20of%20your%20potential%20vendor%20is%20critical%20to%20having%20expert%20agents%20on%20your%20calls.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”2″ headline=”Reporting.”]%3Cp%3EAbandoned%20call%20and%20wait%20time%20reporting%20is%20important%20for%20inbound%20call%20handling.%20%20Ask%20to%20acquire%20the%20reports.%20%20If%20you%20need%20inbound%20call%20handling%20service%2C%20ask%20for%20reporting%20on%20%E2%80%9Cno%E2%80%9D%20responses%20and%20unreachables.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”3″ headline=”Work%20Experience.%20″]%3Cp%3EHave%20they%20done%20the%20kind%20of%20work%20you%E2%80%99re%20asking%20them%20to%20do%3F%20%20Do%20you%20need%20inbound%20call%20volume%20help%2C%20but%20they%20only%20handle%20outbound%3F%20%20Or%2C%20do%20you%20have%20a%20sophisticated%20sales%20script%20and%20your%20vendor%20candidate%20only%20supports%20with%20customer%20service%3F%20%20Ask%20work%20history%20questions%20relative%20to%20your%20needs.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”4″ headline=”Escalation.”]%3Cp%3EWhat%20protocols%20are%20in%20place%20for%20problem%20resolution%3F%20%20Do%20you%20have%20a%20clear%20hierarchy%20of%20customer%20service%20support%20with%20whom%20you%20can%20appeal%3F%20%20What%20is%20your%20recourse%20when%20immediate%20action%20is%20required%20and%20compliance%20with%20your%20contact%20is%20questionable%3F%20%20These%20are%20just%20a%20few%20questions%20that%20come%20to%20mind%20when%20you%20are%20in%20a%20position%20to%20escalate%20a%20complaint.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”5″ headline=”Training%20Program.”]%3Cp%3ETraining%20agents%20to%20do%20their%20jobs%20well%20is%20a%20baseline%20requirement%20for%20a%20successful%20vendor%20candidate.%20Moreover%2C%20ask%20pointed%20questions%20about%20how%20the%20site%20supervisor%20intends%20to%20train%20his%20or%20her%20agents%20on%20your%20business.%20%20Insist%20that%20the%20vendor%20candidate%20who%20wins%20your%20business%20is%20maintaining%20a%20concurrent%2C%20comprehensive%20training%20program%20for%20all%20agents%2C%20new%20and%20existing%20alike.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”6″ headline=”Staffing.”]%3Cp%3EKnowing%20the%20agent%20turnover%20of%20your%20vendor%20candidate%20is%20important%2C%20especially%20if%20you%20are%20asking%20them%20to%20handle%20complex%20selling.%20%20If%20not%2C%20a%20high%20turnover%20rate%20of%20agents%20might%20not%20be%20problematic.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”7″ headline=”Contracting.%20″]%3Cp%3EAlthough%20vendor%20contracts%20could%20be%20the%20subject%20of%20an%20entire%20article%2C%20and%20perhaps%20even%20a%20book%2C%20there%20are%20a%20few%20basics.%20Is%20their%20contract%20reasonable%3F%20Can%20you%20work%20in%20elements%20that%20protect%20your%20interests%2C%20such%20as%20wait%20times%20and%20abandon%20rates%3F%20Is%20there%20a%20way%20to%20exit%20the%20relationship%20before%20the%20next%20renewal%20if%20things%20aren’t%20working%20out%3F%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”8″ headline=”Technology.”]%3Cp%3EAgents%20provide%20more%20value%20than%20technology.%20However%2C%20some%20essentials%20are%20required%20such%20as%2C%20an%20ACD%20for%20inbound%20call%20handling.%20%20Other%20essentials%20are%20email%20capability%20and%20the%20increasing%20demand%20for%20social%20media%20interaction.%20%20Automated%20dialing%20for%20outbound%20call%20handling%20is%20paramount.%20%20Call%20monitoring%20and%20reporting%20is%20a%20reasonable%20expectation%20of%20the%20vendor%20candidate.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”9″ headline=”References.”]%3Cp%3EWhen%20you%20are%20serious%20about%20an%20individual%20candidate%2C%20you%20do%20your%20do%20diligence%20and%20follow%20up%20with%20calling%20the%20candidate%E2%80%99s%20references.%20%20Do%20the%20same%20here.%20%20Ask%20for%20references%20from%20your%20vendor%20candidate%20and%20call%20them.%20%20Interview%20them%20as%20you%20would%20any%20individual.%20%20Don%E2%80%99t%20be%20shy%3B%20ask%20the%20tough%20questions.%20%20%E2%80%9CWould%20you%20recommend%20them%3F%E2%80%9D%20%20Be%20direct.%20%20It%E2%80%99s%20your%20business.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][step style=”5″ text=”10″ headline=”Cost.%20″]%3Cp%3EDetermining%20the%20best%20value%20for%20your%20money%20requires%20an%20overall%20consideration%20to%20your%20investment.%20%20You%20must%20be%20content%20with%20the%20quality%20of%20the%20service%20matched%20with%20the%20price.%20%20The%20structure%20of%20the%20deal%20will%20determine%20if%20the%20price%20per%20call%20is%20right%2C%20depending%20on%20any%20backend%20incentives%20that%20might%20be%20offered%20for%20a%20given%20volume%20of%20sales.%20%20The%20point%20is%3A%20make%20sure%20you%20understand%20how%20the%20deal%20works%20exactly%20before%20you%20sign%20it.%3C%2Fp%3E%0A[/step][/step_graphics]

The search process for the partnering with the right vendor for outsourcing your call volume can be a tedious one.  Take the time to do it well.  Make yourself a list of what is important to you in a call center.  In fact, pull out your own goals and objectives for your own center.  Chances are you want to find a vendor who has similar ideals as you do for your call volume.

[feature_box style=”31″ title=”Front-Line%20Performance%20Leadership” alignment=”center”]

Click Here To Learn How To Empower Your Front-line Leaders.

Call center performance management is achieved by providing your front-line leaders with the tools and know-how on driving your call center performance.  You are only as strong as your weakest link.  There are 15 modules in this leadership development tool to build and strengthen all of the links in your call center.  Take action to at least learn more.

[/feature_box]

If you found value from this article please take a moment to share this article using the buttons above.  If you have any feedback, questions or comments to add, please use the comment area below.

To Your Success,

Greg Meares

Recommended For You

About the Author: Greg Meares

As a Sr. Consultant for Performance Connections, Inc., Greg's primary objective is to provide value to organizations that are focused on raising brand awareness. Additionally Greg works on improving the customer experience, through business process re-engineering, and call center best practices. Greg is an industry expert and is often called upon to provide his analysis and solution oriented approach to improving performance in the BPO and Call Center industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Login