3 Simple Rules for Outsourcing a Contact Center

customer_services_agent_smilingOutsourcing a contact center to a third-party service provider can cut-down on your operating costs, but there are important rules to follow for the process to be successful. Without a careful, systematic approach to selecting a business partner, you’re exposing your company to undue risk. Be sure to follow these three rules, if you want to transition your contact center operations to a third-party service provider.

1. Research a Potential Partner’s Reputation

If possible, it’s important that you talk to the previous and current customers of your prospective business partners. You want to learn as much as you can in regards to service quality, pricing and negative experiences. If the contact center you’re in talks with refuses to let you do this, it could be an indicator that they have service issues though it may simply be that there are confidentiality agreements in place that prevent your business partners from disclosing who their clients are.

If you do get access to their clientele, ask the following questions:

  • How would you rate their service quality on a scale from one to 10?
  • Have you had many customer complaints?
  • Are you satisfied with the responsiveness of their staff members?
  • What service level are they able to achieve?
  • Are you likely to use them again for other service contracts?

If confidentiality prevents you from contacting customers, dig into the company’s online persona. The thoroughness of your further investigation could be critically important.

2. Ask About Flexibility

The processes in place for optimizing contact center utilization influence the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. As a result, you need to ask about internal processes when selecting a business partner.

If a contact center cannot articulate their service level and utilization philosophy, or if they cannot produce written procedures regarding the matter, then it’s another red flag. A prospective business partner without systems in place to handle your call volumes in a proficient manner is a disaster just waiting to happen. That’s why flexibility should be one of the key attributes you should be looking for in contact center operations.

Given the rapid advances in both technology and the global economy, flexible contact centers are becoming more and more important.

Operations that cannot adjust quickly will not be able to compete on a financial or customer service level. In addition to asking about procedures, it’s also important to inspect a potential service provider’s operations, if possible. Otherwise, you may end-up missing important warning signs that a specific contact center is not up to snuff.

3. Test the Service First

Before accepting a bid and outsourcing your contact center operations full stop, it’s a good idea to test the service first. This means transferring only a small call volume to your prospective business partner, to see if they can handle it. The sample size is up to you and your staff members, but it should be sufficient to prove that your prospective third-party service provider is up to the challenge. If they perform poorly on their test, you will know to look for additional help.

During the test, gauge the systems and procedures of your prospective business partner. Although they may be able to handle the call volume, they may not do it in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Ultimately, this can lead to lower customer satisfaction and higher costs over the long run. It’s critical to identify how your third-party service provider will handle your call volumes as they fluctuate, which impacts costs and service as well.

Outsourcing a contact center can either save or lose your company a lot of money over the long run. For this reason, it’s important to follow the three aforementioned rules. Otherwise, you run the risk of offending your customers and raising the cost of doing business.

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ABOUT RDI

RDI Corporation was founded in 1978 and is headquartered in Blue Ash, Ohio. We provide precise business solutions through a fully integrated outsourcing model and our clients ranged from mid-sized corporations to distinguished Fortune 500 companies.