Customer service is one of the essential parts of operating a business and growing it. You won’t get the results you’re after if you don’t keep your clientele happy, reordering, and referring others to your organization.
However, providing customer support also takes a lot of time and effort and can be challenging for many teams to fit in effectively when there are so many other tasks to tick off to-do lists constantly.
That’s where outsourcing this function to an external firm can pay dividends. You do, though, have to ensure you pick the best company possible to attend to your customers. Here are some tips to help you think about how to find the best call center service for your firm’s needs so you and your employees can focus on other activities.
Lay Out What You Want to Achieve Before Selecting a Call Center
Before you search for a call center company, stop and think about precisely what it is you want a firm to handle for you. Lay out specifically what you want to achieve by investing in this service. Know your goals upfront will help you to refine selections and come up with a more suitable shortlist.
As you examine offerings, pay attention to the types of services they make available. For instance, some will only answer calls, while others can also take charge of email, social media, and live chat conversations. Plus, some call centers are set up to handle incoming calls only, yet others can dispatch calls if you need customer queries responded to, or other calls (such as sales ones) actioned.
As you examine potential call center candidates, look at the location of the firms you’re considering and which languages their staff speak. This is particularly vital if you have a global or otherwise diverse clientele base or want to service a local multicultural target demographic much better in the future.
Also, thinking about your goals for hiring a call center may steer you in the right direction regarding long-term scalability and flexibility. Do you want to be able to use a company that can grow with your business as it grows or one that enables you to make changes to your plans and payment every so often as different needs arise? Know what you will and won’t accept, and you won’t waste time examining call centers that will never work for your business needs.
Examine Price Points and Features
Price is undoubtedly top of mind when you consider hiring a call center. However, be sure you’re comparing “apples with apples” when you get quotes from different organizations to honestly tell which ones are good value and which aren’t. Some quotes can seem much better than others, for instance, until you spot that there are extra charges for things such as service outside certain hours, support if you need assistance or integration with various tech systems.
Other factors to look into as you weigh up your options include the likely average wait times for your customers to get their calls answered, what days of the week or year and what hours call centers are available, and the level of call volume that can be handled. Also, ask what sort of reporting you’d receive from different companies, how firms handle outages if there are tech or power glitches, and the like. Ask about the key performance indicators (KPIs) worked towards and the level of training that each person working for the call center receives.
Keep Security as a Top Priority
Security should also be a crucial factor in your decision about which call center to hire. These firms deal with a myriad of sensitive company data, not to mention your customers’ personal and financial details, so you need to know that they take security just as seriously as you do. Ask potential centers what security provisions they have in place and if they have disaster recovery management plans, too.
If you have a CISO in your organization (that is, a Chief Information Security Officer), you need to run a list of potential shortlisted call center firms by them so they can assess the risks. They can then give you their input on the best potential business to hire and those to avoid due to their lack of security.
Before you sign on the dotted line with a call center company, read multiple reviews and testimonials from past and current clients found online or elsewhere. See if any other business owners or managers you already know can recommend a service for you.
Take your time selecting a call center so you find the most suitable option the first time around, and don’t waste time, money, or energy on a firm that isn’t the right fit for your needs.