Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Choosing a Contact Centre Outsourcer

Choosing an outsourcer for your contact centres requires a considered and conscientious approach. Essentially when you are selecting someone to operate your customer or client contact you are choosing a face for your business, a service that will reflect on your brand. As such this decision needs to be based on fact rather than supposition.

One of the first questions you should ask any potential outsourced contact centres provider is about their previous and existing clients. Fundamentally it is by understanding how the provider treats their existing clients that it will be possible to gain an idea of the effectiveness of their services. It can also be worth asking the contact centre provider whether they can offer references and examples of their work in your specific industry sector, this can highlight how they implement industry specific strategies and demonstrate their success at maintaining working relationships.

It is worth remembering that choosing a contact partner is a big step for any business. The benefits are myriad, but only if your partner has the ability to implement contact solutions that you require. A contact centre should typically offer services along the lines of:

* Customer Services (including after sales support and advice)
* Technical Support (in accordance with your products and services
* Outbound Telemarketing (in both B2B and B2C sectors as lead generation
* Customer retention and relationship management (to develop customer loyalty)

These services are only a small cross section of what can be offered but give an idea of what a contact centre provider should be capable of.

When choosing your partner for outsourcing contact centres it is also a good idea to visit the facilities at their disposal. It is only by seeing them in action that it is possible to ascertain the services on offer, at this stage looking at training programmes, staff management and the technology being utilised will provide valuable insight into how your customer or client contact will be administered. It should also give an idea of how they intend to communicate with your company representatives and how they may instigate any of your campaigns or programmes. More general points to look for in a contact centre outsourcer include financial stability, effective service level agreements and metrics within SLAs that are suitable and appropriate.

Choosing an outsourcer is about finding a partner with whom it is possible to build a solid and effective working relationship. Get this choice wrong and you could be sacrificing your reputation with customers and clients; get this choice right however and your company stands to receive significant operational and financial benefits

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