If your business has always performed customer service in-house, moving to an outsourced call center can be a daunting prospect. When you’re considering one center over another, be sure to tackle the right issues so you know what you’re getting into. If you missed the first part of this series, be sure to check it out. Here are five more questions to ask when outsourcing your customer service.
How Do You Determine Quality?
Call centers typically track numerous measures of quality, from agent performance to call results. Be sure that the center’s quality assurance methods and metrics both meet your expectations.
First, be sure that the center continually monitors quality and makes adjustments to its processes when necessary. Next, evaluate the call center’s Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Confirm that everything, from agents’ time to answer to abandon rate to first call resolution, will satisfy your customers.
Do You Offer Round-the-Clock Service?
Many businesses outsource support during regular working hours only, which typically means that your customers can only receive support from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Keep in mind that limited call center hours can lead to customer frustration, while extended support hours can pay off with additional sales and satisfied customers.
Consider an after-hours call center that provides service in the evenings, on weekends, and on holidays. Novasors even offers round-the-clock support, which can be critical for businesses with customers in a range of time zones around the world.
How Can You Ensure Consistent Service?
Many businesses sell products and services that have distinct seasons, which means you may have low call volume in the winter and excessive volume in the summer. Any company you consider working with should have a plan in place to provide consistent service while dealing with seasonal fluctuations.
Be sure to discuss how the company will ensure consistency in advance. If higher volume will increase your customers’ wait time, you’ll want to know about this potential hiccup ahead of time. If the company intends to put additional agents on your account, make sure you know if your business will be responsible for the cost. If they propose assigning dedicated agents to your account, understand whether this comes with a rate increase.
Are You Using the Latest Equipment?
Some companies cut costs by using secondhand phone equipment, low-budget Internet service, or outdated software. A lower price tag might sound nice, but it’s not worth the cost of poor customer service.
First, make sure that the call center tracks leads, processes orders, and manages customer relationships with software that either works well or integrates with your existing software. Next, confirm that the center’s phone technology and Internet connection ensures that your customers’ calls will be clear and uncompromised. Ask to listen in to some inquiries so you can test for quality control yourself.
What’s Your Area of Specialty?
A call center might come with rave reviews, but if its agents specialize in an area that’s completely unrelated to yours, it might not be the best fit for your business. Some call centers specialize in certain industries like technology and healthcare or specific parts of the customer service chain like order processing and support. Others offer top-notch service in every area.
Whether you’re seeking assistance with a particular area of your customer service process or specialized customer support, be sure that the organization can meet your expectations. If the agents require extensive training to become familiar with your product line or support requirements, understand who will provide the training and who will cover the costs.
Choosing a partner to handle your customer inquiries isn’t a decision to take lightly. When considering a call center, ask these five questions, and be sure that the answers meet your business’s needs.