The process of screening and qualifying call centers is a lengthy and time-consuming process, but it’s a necessary investment of time, money, and energy if you intend to find the right one. Whether you’re outsourcing a short-term project or a long-term one, it’s imperative that you choose a service provider who has the capacity to meet your business requirements.
If you want to outsource your call center needs, here are some qualities to look out for:
- English proficiency
Customers are likely to grow more irate when dealing with an agent whose English-speaking skills are lacking, so make sure that the service provider’s agents are proficient in the language. It also helps to have agents with neutral accents – this is the reason why U.S. clients prefer Filipino agents over Indian ones.
- Conversation skills
Agents need to do more than just string a sentence together. They have to be able to communicate effectively in the language. They have to sound natural, as opposed to robotic, which tends to be the problem when agents are trained to follow a script. More importantly, they need to be good listeners, and they have to be emphatic.
- Customer service
Any call center worth its salt delivers exceptional customer service. With agents acting as front liners for your company, they should have the skills and professionalism needed to project a positive image of your brand. They should help you retain customers and build customer loyalty.
- Relationship skills
Outsourcing to a call center is more than just a transaction; it’s a collaboration. The service provider should deliver results as promised, and abide by service level agreements (SLAs). They should be transparent and willing to maintain open lines of communication.
- Calling statistics
Determine if the call center can do its job properly by looking at specifics like the number of calls answered versus the total number of calls placed, call abandonment rate, and lost calls. The average ring time should be less than 20 seconds, while the average hold time should be less than 30 seconds. When agents take too long to pick up, lose calls, or put customers on hold for outrageous periods of time, your business will take a beating.
Make sure that you and your call center see eye-to-eye on what success means for the campaign, and that your metrics are aligned. You need to agree on benchmarks and other ways to measure the service provider’s performance on a regular basis.
- Hourly wages
You can pay for call center services in various ways. You can pay on an hourly, commission-based, or project-based manner, just to name a few. You’ll be able to identify any given call center’s pricing model based on its hourly wages alone – just take the hourly rate, then multiply it twice for operating costs and profit. This lets you make comparisons between different service providers.
A dependable call center will offer maximum assistance and help make the most of your resources. It facilitates business growth instead of being just another point of expense for your company. Talk to a call center outsourcing expert today to explore your options.