The holidays bring an unusual dichotomy to business. Those that provide consumer products popular for purchase as gifts are busier than any other time of the year. Those that do not are less busy and more involved in planning for the New Year. For those organizations that need to make the most of this end-of-year seasonal upswing, it is critical to expand existing customer service to accommodate increased customer transactions. However, doing so efficiently without incurring enormous costs has previously been a challenge.
Fortunately, the advent of virtual contact centers coupled with cloud technology gives organizations new and improved means of supplementing existing contact center staff. The trick is choosing the best virtual call center partner. The following five tips will help you make a good decision:
- Know the End Goal – if the primary goal of your service representatives is to upsell additional products during a call, that is a critical skill set that must be accommodated. Having a well thought-out profile of the types of virtual agents required will ensure greater success.
- Look for Previous Success – just because an organization has virtual agents does not mean they have the best agents to take care of your customers. Make sure that the outsourcer has previous experience in delivering the type of transactions you require.
- Find Out How Quickly Ramp-Up Can Occur – another hallmark of a good virtual outsource partner is the ability to quickly ramp up the right agents, including training. When your financial success is dependent upon seasonal sales, it is critical to launch additional contact center representatives quickly and efficiently.
- Understand the Team – there should be a team supporting the launch, training, execution and delivery of customer service. Make sure you understand the team dynamic and are clear on who is part of that team.
- Look for High-Caliber Agents – obviously you do not want a warm body handling these critical customer transactions. Ask the outsourcer for their typical agent profile – and then take it a step further. Find out how many agents they have experienced in the type of transactions that will occur. If you need agents that are good at sales, make sure you will have them on the team.
If the success of your organization relies on the ability to maximize revenue during a seasonal upswing, the most cost-effective way to increase customer support representatives is through an outsource partner that specializes in virtual agents. However, the selection process does not stop there. Create a list of questions that include the five above and interview the outsourcer in addition to requesting a proposal. You will quickly determine which virtual call center partner is best for you, and most importantly, best for your customers.