How to Evaluate Call Center Outsourcing Companies
While the question ‘What to outsource?’ has been answered and re-answered time and gain, a more pertinent question that needs to be answered today is ‘who to outsource?’
Without the right selection of the company that you want to outsource to, Outsourcing may very well be non productive or even worse counter productive! We spoke to a number of Small & Mid sized companies across US & compiled a list of 5 pointers that should be keep in mind while searching for a partner for your company.
1. LOOKING AHEAD
So you may have chosen the outsourcing vendor that seems to have offered you the lowest quote but what happens after the contract is awarded? Many outsourcing company’s and their clients get entangled in the different interpretations of the contract ultimately leading to the stalling of the project. The outsourcing firm may not have a dedicated personnel for you to contact in case of disagreements regarding the contract.
In this case it becomes necessary to look for a company that will provide you with avenues for accommodating conflicting view points. Select a firm that is willing to take continuous feedback and ready to accept changes in your requirements.
2. AVOIDING CULTURAL CLASH
In a globalized world a key ingredient to success for any firm is harmonizing the working style of units that may be located across nationalities and time zones. This clash may result from different corporate as well as regional cultures. It is key to select an outsourcing vendor that clearly understands what you require, not just in terms of the output but also in terms of the process employed.
For example, certain firms may not be flexible to your needs due to a culture of rigidity and hierarchy. Select a firm that offers flexibility and dynamism enabling you to quickly react to fast changing business dynamics. Bad services provided by less than professional vendor leaves a frustrated customer, who will hold your company responsible for their dissatisfaction. Ensure that the outsourcing company you hire is open to critical feedback from you as well as your customers.
3. FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS
Many of those who have had an unpleasant experience with outsourcing, reported that they didn’t feel comfortable about the firm right from the beginning. You may feel that something is off while visiting their website or when you have your first conversation with their representatives. It may be difficult to pin point the issue that is bothering you, but you may have that lingering feeling of “just not right“. Then its time to investigate. A bad beginning in partnership seldom leads to a successful long term engagement.
Professionalism on the other hand makes a lasting first impression. Dealing with such companies provide a level of comfort which helps tremendously in the long run.
4. HISTORY OF THE SERVICE PROVIDER
Outsourcing companies that have stayed long enough in the business are likely to stay longer as shown by the lifetime estimation model of Professor J. Richard Gott. Though this is probabilistic and ignores other variables, the evidence around us is quite conclusive. Well established firms are much more likely to be reliable partners than newer ventures.
Therefore, the time a firm has been in business is quite good a parameter to judge weather a firm can be trusted or not for long term partnership. Discuss past projects, successes & failures, experience relevant to your industry or domain. This will help you either reinforce your decision or make you reconsider your choice.
5. GOING BEYOND COSTS
Many firms may offer you extremely low bids but they may not have the requisite staff and assets to deliver on what they promise. Rather than being malicious, these firms may not have understood the logistics required for the project or may have over estimated their capabilities. There is a reason that some firms charge a premium over their competition and a very good reason at that, those firms those who have stayed long enough in the game have gone through self assessment and have fixed their rates based on market feedback. Therefore, always choose experience over price.
Selecting the right outsourcing company which will give you the services that you need is much more important than just cost reduction.
Employing the above pointers you may get to the right call center outsourcing companies that provides you with holistic outsourcing solutions for your business. Remember that selecting an outsourcing company is like any other business decision and requires a mix of rational and extra-rational factors like intuition.