Business Process Outsourcing | If you’ve already decided you’re ready to take on outsourcing, this article is for you. We’ll talk in-depth about what kind of outsourcer you need, how BPO can change your business, the risks you have to take, and other tips to successfully outsource your call center.
This article takes reference from Geoffrey Best’s 42 Rules for Outsourcing Your Call Center. We highly recommend this book if you want to get an even more thorough understanding of outsourcing call centers. But rest assured, we tried our best to keep our points clear and concise!
The Outsourcing Approach
Before getting started with outsourcing, it is important to first develop your business process outsourcing approach. There are many things to consider, all equally important, and we’ve listed them down on this simple list.
Keep in mind that different businesses will apply different approaches. It all boils down to how well you assessed your organization, its abilities, and what it needs to power up.
Identifying technical considerations are ideally the first thing to assess when outsourcing. You can enumerate your business’s current abilities, limitations, and just how much you’re willing to invest in outsourcing.
Technical considerations mostly include internal concerns, rather than with the outsourcing company you’re about to hire. So, first and foremost, ask yourself – what are your business’ technical goals? How will outsourcing change your business operations?
Furthermore, consider whether you have enough resources to obtain new business and technology management software and systems to commit to your goals. Communicate with the outsourcing company properly to identify which software you have to invest in, or which ones they can provide.
More importantly, you should create a timeline and implementation, and try your best to stick to it!
Understanding potential issues and developing contingency plans will avoid any hard-hitting problems in the future. Moreover, proactively allocate resources and minimize the impact of any potential risks.
Additionally, we recommend that you thoroughly document the entire process of your business process outsourcing journey. By doing so, you can identify “where you went wrong” so to speak, or where you can improve the next time around.
Looking for Outsourcing Companies
When looking for outsourcing companies, it is your responsibility to evaluate the company properly. Most importantly, you should ensure both you and your client’s security. Make sure that the outsourcing company and their employees can guarantee all necessary legislation to protect customers’ personal and financial information.
Furthermore, the outsourcing company should be equipped with technological facilities for quality calls. Additionally, call center agents should be trained in conflict resolution AND connecting with customers.
Going LIVE for the first time
Having an agent go live and answer a call is both an exciting and nerve-wracking moment. At this moment, you have the ability to witness how a call proceeds in real-time. Use this time to assess and evaluate the entire process, know what works and suggest improvements to your agents.
It’s crucial that you work with your outsourcing company. The agent technically serves as the voice of your company, so make sure they can express the identity of your brand properly.
Establish a Command Center
The Command Center is one of the best ways to maintain communication with you and your agents.
Even after several successful LIVE sessions, you still need to manage and monitor your services, to ensure that everything is going as planned (after all, you did spend all that time conceptualizing, planning, and creating a timeline beforehand!).
In general, a well-invested Command Center becomes the hub for managing daily operations and escalating issues quickly.
Know Customer Expectations
Your customer expectations are easy to figure out: they are high. This is perhaps one of the most important factors in successful implementation, and it is in your best interest to meet them.
Your customers are calling your call center because they need help in purchasing your product, resolving an issue, upgrading a service, or asking general inquiries. They are expecting you to help them through it, quickly and hassle-free. In most cases, your customer will be impatient, short-tempered, anxious, or frustrated.
The primary objective of meeting customer expectations is First Call Resolution (FCR). By the first call, your agent should be able to solve whatever problem your customer might have. Not solving a problem within the first try might just equate to dissatisfaction.
To help meet these expectations, make sure your call center representatives have the following*:
- Access to systems with a single view of the customer data
- Invest in a proper customer system, make sure your agents know how to operate it before going live
- Authority to solve customer problems
- Professional training how to engage the customer and build a relationship
- To build a relationship with a customer, your agent needs to present themselves professionally but approachable.
- Provide brand-appropriate greetings that will set the tone for the rest of your call. Make sure your agents aren’t robots! If your customer needed a robot, they wouldn’t be calling your representatives!
- An awards program that encouraged First Call Resolution
- Nothing beats a good positive reinforcement for your agents. Communicate with your outsourcing company if they already have an awards program in place, and see how you can contribute to it.
*derived from Author’s 42 Rules for Outsourcing Your Call Center
Ensuring quality care
Now that you know how high customer expectations are, quality customer experience should be your topmost priority. Considered the most difficult phase in outsourcing, it should not be left in the hands of the outsourcing company.
Rather, you should work closely with your outsourcer to ensure that they’re giving the best possible service to your customers.
Specify to YOUR business
Always remember that what you need is solely unique to your business and the way you operate it.
Don’t compare with other businesses that have had successful business process outsourcing approaches. Instead, use them as a REFERENCE to what you could ADAPT (not copy) for your own business
Outsourcing a call center isn’t an easy fit, but it’s well worth it. It may take a little while to fully implement changes to your business, but as long as you set your timeline realistically and keep an open mind, you’ll reap the long-term benefits.
Schedule a call with Digital Offsider today for a free consultation!