GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Five Considerations For Choosing An Outsourced Call Centre Partner

Selecting the right call centre partner to handle your calls is a critical and often bewildering choice.

To help make the right decision, there’s some simple questions that you can ask a potential supplier to help you decide what’s the “best fit” for your organisation.

1) Can they provide a completely transparent service?

When you’re letting someone else answer your calls, managing the quality of those calls is probably both the biggest concern and challenge for you. Can the call centre that you’re thinking of selecting provide a transparent service by giving you the following:

  • total numbers of calls
  • total number of calls answered
  • average and peak answer times in 30 minute intervals
  • percentage of calls lost each day
  • your KPI scores day by day (e.g. sales closure rate, cost per sale, average order value etc).

Any good call centre will be able to readily provide these reports, leaving you in control.

2) Are there any “hidden extras”?

As with any service provider sector, there are some companies who reach for the rate card whenever you need help! Does your prospective call centre partner provide you with reports, account management, resolutions to your questions, additional ad-hoc training, quality management and ad-hoc service amendments at no extra charge.

Look for a service provider who will provide a commercial service without having to charge you every time you pick up the phone.

3) What’s the calibre of the management team?
Running a call centre is a mixture between art and science; and to do it really well requires call centre operational experience within the management team:

  • Does the organisation have individuals who have run call centres for many years?
  • What roles have they fulfilled?
  • What size of call centre have they managed?
  • What market sectors have they served through their call centres?

Ensuring that the right people are in place will ensure that there’s the right culture and management control to ensure the quality of your calls.

4) What is their technology like?
Many call centres have “legacy” technology that is several years old, and makes future expansion of the service (e.g. integrating with your systems) complex and expensive. Does the call centre partner have a current technology infrastructure?

It is also essential to enquire as to what backup plans they have in place if things go wrong? How much downtime have they suffered over the last 12 months?

What is the experience and qualification of their IT staff? Can they handle major outages in a planned manner, or are emergency situations handled in an ad-hoc manner.

5) How passionate are they about their clients?
When you consider some of the world class companies, in almost every case they’ve achieved great success by understanding their clients’ needs in great detail. They’ve listen to and adapted their company culture and services to create wins for ther clients.

Does your potential call centre partner have a track record for understanding their clients, and trying to create wins for them?

  • Does your potential call centre partner understand your business goals and see “the bigger picture”?
  • Do they routinely suggest ways to increase your margin or save costs?
  • Do they regularly ask for feedback in both structured surveys, and through informal telephone conversations?
  • Can they analyse the results from the call centre and provide insight into other areas of the business?

Choosing the right partner for you is a key decision. I hope that some of the above has helped you and created more questions for you as you go through this process.

If you have any comments, please feel free to post them, or feedback to me – glen@goresponse.co.uk.

I wish you all the best with your decision making!

Glen Blow
Business Development Director
GoResponse Ltd

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