Six Tips: Finding Best Contact Center Provider
Finding the best contact center outsourcer can be tricky, especially if you don’t ask the right questions upfront. Experience and expertise, of course, are essential. More important, though, is commitment by a business process services (BPS) provider to take ownership of the work. Without it, there is no service excellence. This means sizing up a contact center outsourcer’s can-do and know-how before entrusting your business. After serving clients for 20+ years, I recommend asking six questions before deciding. Candor upfront avoids headaches—and heartache—later.
Ask the Right Questions
1. Does the contact center outsourcer’s culture align with yours?
Cultures must mesh. If not, say no thanks and move on. Contact center agents are the company. An on-demand workforce is the brand, reflecting client values at every touchpoint. Culture is all encompassing. It extends from senior management to business unit leaders to frontline workers. The same holds true for any contact center outsourcer. If cultures align, agents serving customers will respond like employees.
2. Is there an all-out commitment to great service?
Service excellence touches everything. It starts with recruiting the right talent, continues with onboarding agents and ensuring top performance. For instance, our agent portal, Vyne, compiles results, customer comments and needed improvements—in one place, all at once. It drives clarity and accountability. Clients deserve a clear line of sight, with metrics tracked and contingencies factored in, to see the value they receive.
3. Does BPS experience measure up to expectations?
Experience anchors expectations. So vet a contact center outsourcer’s background, asking for industry examples. Drill down for details, from challenge to solution to outcomes. Consider retail, with all its cost pressures. What tools and processes are in place to improve customer satisfaction while reducing talk or chat time? Ask to see results measured against expectations—backed by repeatable processes and consistent delivery.
4. Is the contact center outsourcer responsive—or reactionary?
Being responsive anticipates client needs, based on business cycles. Seasonal spikes and unexpected situations arise all the time.
Is the BPS provider prepared to fast-flex and deliver different levels of service—from steady to ready to future state? Whatever the need, the contact center outsourcer must perform quick turns, execute long range and avoid knee-jerk reactions.
5. Is innovation wired in—or tagged on?
Innovation. It’s a $25 word, which if oversold, can equal only two bits of value. So ask the services provider: Is it emphasized every day—or thrown in as an afterthought? Big or small, innovation can be the technology used, application applied or process followed. Look for a contact center outsourcer willing to experiment and excel. Seek one that reinvents the business for your benefit.
6. Is your partnership real or a platitude?
Partnership. Is it a contact center outsourcer’s platitude to get the business or the real deal to run it? Ask straight-out: Are you a vendor or a partner? A partner shares your goals, understands your vision and works to achieve them. A partner solves; never sells. Find a services provider that defines value in your terms: be they operational efficiencies or amazing customer experiences. Ultimately, a true partner has your back—and front. That’s the crucial six. Half a dozen questions to ask a contact center outsourcer, all with the same end in mind: Making sure the deal signed on Friday works come Monday—and every day of the week. And it’d better. Mondays are hard enough as it is.
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Vice President, Innovative Solutions and Support
Published on March 1, 2016
Published on March 1, 2016