The next part of our Blog Rewind series brings us to one of our most…
- Call Center Operations
- Insourcing vs outsourcing
Top Ten Call Center Outsourcing Mistakes
- Christa Heibel
- 26 September 2018
As a contact center industry veteran for the past 25+ years, I understand the need to reduce costs and maximize profits. In my industry, it oftentimes makes business sense to outsource your contact center operations to a BPO. While an outsourcing strategy can be effective, it is not always properly executed. You may be saving money in the short term, but could potentially be losing even more money if you are not strategic about the implementation and vendor management decisions that you make. This is where a vendor-agnostic, impartial Consultant can come in handy. With a fresh set of eyes and perspective, they can help you evaluate your current state and develop a contact center outsourcing strategy. So let’s take a closer look as to the 10 most common outsourcing mistakes that an experienced Consultant can help you avoid.
1) Choosing a Call Center Based on Price
It’s like the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. Of course, the first thing on your mind is how much will this cost? Low hourly or per minute rates might be enticing, but you have to wonder what the trade off is. Let’s look at it this way. If you want your business to have high credibility and be known for the best service that can be given would you pick a low dollar company that would give you low dollar results? That’s like saying you would buy a bicycle for you to travel across the state because it’s cheaper but expecting it to get you to and from the same way as a car/truck would. We all know the difference between the two but many times we do the same thing when choosing what is best to advance us. There are many factors to consider when looking for the right outsource BPO partner such as:
- The type and level of technology used in the call center
- How effectively call center staff are trained
- The level of communication you can expect from the center
- If coverage is provided for a single communication channel—phone only, for instance—or multiple channels
- Does the coverage include all the services your business needs from a call center?
By outsourcing, you should be comfortable in knowing your needs are being taken care of and your customers are receiving the best customer experience they should be receiving. Penny-pinching isn’t the way to go with your businesses reputation and could shine a bad light on your brand.
2) Not Properly Vetting Your Outsourced Providers
If you’re not calling references or establishing a comprehensive RFP process, then you are not doing the due diligence you need to establish a successful partnership. Many tend to not want to use the RFP process for many different reasons but for one is it takes time and high level of effort. To have a good plan you must implement a process which includes, defining requirements, Drafting and publishing the RFP, conducting vendor reviews, calling references, comparing bids, and making the final selection. Making sure you have the RFP could help your business substantially but many companies don’t have time to do them for you, so that’s where an Outside Consultant can come in to help you with this
3) Not Creating User & Vendor Requirements
If you don’t create a document of user and vendor requirement that clearly outline your expectations of the vendor then you leave everything open to the dangerous territory of interpretation. This can lead to confusion, frustration and disappointment. An Outside Consultant can not only help you draw up the documents needed to fit your business, but they can execute and circulate the documentation making sure that all is understood. By developing user and vendor requirements, you create a culture of accountability between your organization and your BPO partner.
4) Lack of Communication & Engagement
The partnership is a two way street. It is not enough to expect your BPO partner to communicate their needs. You must also being doing your part in communicating and engaging your partner If you have information that is needed to make it work or someone withholds information from you that is pertinent it can ruin your business in many ways. Remember – no matter how great your BPO partner is, they cannot succeed if you do not engage with them.
5) Not Developing Strategy to Manage the Vendor
Regardless of who you work with, you will need to create a relationship of understanding, trust and collaboration. To do this, you need to develop a management strategy that allows your BPO partner to do their job but also incorporates a way to manage them effectively. An Outside Consultant can help you develop an effective Vendor Management strategy, making sure you are measuring the right metrics.
6) Inadequate Training
Customers want to feel confident in the agents they are interacting with. There’s nothing more frustrating than taking time to call to get help or information and strung along by someone who is uninformed and inadequately trained. Outside consultants can help you select a BPO vendor with sound training principles. An Outside Consultant can also help you bridge the gap between your training department and the BPO’s training department in order to form a cohesive training program.
7) Unwillingness to Consider New Technology
I’ve encountered some clients that cling to legacy systems that are old and outdated. If you aren’t willing to go with the times you will be left behind. As times change so does technology and new ways are discovered to make things easier and more effective. Technology is everywhere, which may seem overwhelming, but an Outside Consultant can help you navigate those waters. No matter what you need whether it’s CRM systems,contact center platforms, or voice analytics, an Outside Consultant can help you find the best solution that fits your needs. Being open to using the new technology not only helps keep your business up to date, it offers your customers the best resources to use in this fast-paced world.
8) Not Tracking the Right KPIs
By tracking the right call center KPIs and metrics can help your business to get the edge on the competition. The Outside Consultant can help you with the KPIs and make sure you are tracking the metrics that are relevant to your business. An Outside Consultant can help you reach your goals by making sure your new BPO vendor is tracking the correct metrics and providing them in an easy-to-understand report for your team.
9) Not Making Data Analysis a Priority
Data analytics allows you to examine raw data and evaluate for useful information. It allows businesses to make wise decisions from their customers, employees, and other constituents. An outside consultant will work with your BPO partner to ensure you have an effective data collection and analysis strategy. They use many forms such as speech analytics, text analytics, desktop analytics, cross-channel analytics, self-service analytics and predictive analytics. By prioritizing call center analytics, your new contact center can monitor and review performance and use the data to improve your contact center operations and the customer experience.
10) Not Considering Customer Experience in Your Strategy
Think back to the times you have called for service. I bet there have been times where you call somewhere and you are serviced primarily by a computer or agents with heavy accents. You may even find that you are a company about the same issue over and over again. These are just a few of many examples where a company did zero to little development work on the customer experience. Outside Consultants can help by making sure that the customer experience is an integral part of your outsourcing strategy. This will give the edge over the competition, satisfy your customers and increase profits.
At CHCG every area you need for outsourcing will be handled by our team of Contact Center Consultants who specialize in the Omni-Channel Customer Experience. We can help you select a new vendor, implement the new center and manage their performance until your team feels ready to take over. If you would like to learn more, please contact me today.
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