The dreaded world of outsourcing. Most companies shy away from using such terms within their work place as it conjures up images of sweatshops, layoffs and locations that are so remote, you need to ask Google map for location assist. But outsourcing is not what it used to be and companies have the options to choose Offshore locations for the benefit of cost savings or using Nearshore or Domestic locations for lower costs, convenience and quality. In essence, businesses outsource for the following reasons:
- To reduce overhead costs and expenses
- To focus on key initiatives and business activities
- To outsource functions to companies that are experts in that field
- To manage growth
- To adapt and meet client requirements
So, are you ready to outsource?
It never is an easy decision but the benefits are overwhelming. But….where do you start? You will need to assess your outsourcing goals and then choose a series of potential call centers that will meet your needs. But how do you choose the right one? Below, you will find a series of questions we have compiled to ask to those potential partners. Many of these questions can also be used as part of your RFI or RFP. Usually, third party contact center partnerships last for years. The questions below can help you pick the partner that is right for you!
It is important to provide specific and up to date information about your company, business objectives and campaigns. Is your campaign inbound or outbound, how many hours per month, what are your SLA and KPI objectives etc.? Let potential parties know if you require any type of customization. The more your potential partners know, the more options they can offer to meet your needs.
The 5 points below are items we recommend you tell your potential third party contact center. By no means are we saying leave all your cards on the table but if you want to get a good idea of what they can do, they will need some detailed information.
As a side note; it is better to spend time asking 3-5 potential contact centers than entertaining 20 different companies. This will ultimately lengthen your search time and can lead to the paradox of choice (paralyzing your decision making ability). Stick between 3-5 potential partners and mix it up. Have a few potential partners you have heard of and a few that are new to you. You may be pleasantly surprised.
Now, you will need to provide the following:
1. Company name and description (Include years in services, Company description, what you offer)
2. What makes your company unique and what you specializes in
Sure, it is easy to google the company name but you can provide insight that cannot be found online. By doing so, you will be able to have your potential partner really understand what makes the company special and better understand your needs.
3. Campaign specs and Requirements
The type of campaign you will execute has an effect on what your potential partner can provide. There are many different types of contact center campaigns.
Types of Campaigns:
Inbound, outbound, B2B or B2C, acquisition, retention, customer service, technical support, win-back, seasonal campaigns, back office etc. There are so many different kinds! Be sure to include as much information as possible such as # of hours per month, # of leads per month, # of seats, locations, call SLA targets, Sale targets, agent training hours etc. Letting the third party contact center know the details is extremely helpful in getting the information you need to make an informed decision. The more specs you give, the more detailed the response you will receive.
Campaigns vary from one to another and have different KPI and goals. If your campaign has an integration component or customized reporting needs then ensure you include that in your scope.
5. Evaluation criteria
Not all potential clients let third party contact center know how they evaluate the RFP. However, if want to; it can help potential partners tailor the RFP to better suit your needs. It is also important to let them know who continues throughout the process with itemized deliverable dates such as “response to questions.”
Now to get down to business. The first set of questions to any third party contact center is to get to know them and gather some preliminary information and a business overview. From there you can eliminate a few and focus your RFP on the companies you feel will best meet your needs.
1. Legal entity structure, Public, Privately owned, Years of Service in business, CEO name
This information is very preliminary and good to have on file.
2. Contact Information, VP and managers experience level
You want to know who your primary contact will be throughout the process and develop a rapport with them. Name, Phone, Email, background info etc. Depending on the size of your potential campaign, you will most likely deal with a director or a VP who will have a manager assigned to you. Knowing a little bit about them and what expertise they bring to the table can help in your decision making process.
3. Contact Center location(s), Geographical locations and number of seats per location
Your campaign may span over different countries (Canada & US etc.) and you may want a partner who has locations in the geographical area you are calling. If hours increase on your campaign from one month to the next, it is good to know that your partner can meet your demand, staff and complete hours from one location to another if necessary.
4. Types of services offered and specializations
Outbound? Inbound? Verification? Back Office? CRM available?
This information may seem obvious but it is still vital to ask. Some specialize in inbound while others in outbound. Having the full picture of contact center services and specializations help in your decision making. It may seem like a silly question but it is defiantly worth asking.
5. Additional services offered (chat, email response, social media, back office, etc.)
Social selling and online customer service, resolution, etc. is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s marketplace. Many contact center’s have adapted exceptionally well to these changes and have the ability to manage your campaign in cyberspace.
6. Additional services that can be of value to your business but may not be contact center related
Many companies are like hidden gems – you may only know about one aspect of the company but like people, business are multifaceted and multi-dimensional. Most of the time they have more to offer. Feel free to ask your contact person about the whole company, maybe they offer marketing services that would be useful to you as your about to launch a new product. Even if you do not opt for the additional services it’s always good to keep the resource in mind.
Now you know what information to provide and the important questions to ask to make the best decision for your campaign. Don’t forget to include timelines. It helps outsource contact centers gage the resources they will need within a certain period. It also gives them time to rework or reorganize other projects to ensure they can service your needs.
Choosing a Partner:
CanadaDirect brings over 20+ years of experience and is 100% Canadian owned and operated. Our skilled team can become an extension of your business handling a number of campaigns that range from customer acquisition to tech support. With a PCI compliant environment, you can be assured you’re your data is safe and secured. Our Skilled Team work with you to create a customized campaign that meets your needs.
Ready to Start Talking?
Talk to one of our VPs about your campaign and business needs
Toll Free 1-855-422-0384 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org