A recent survey by McKinsey & Company found that 61% of customer support leaders report an increase in contact volume. At the same time, nearly half of those leaders also reported increased employee attrition.
That means that customer service leaders need a better way to scale. And many are doing that by – you guessed it – outsourcing. In fact, according to CGS, 79% of organizations are already outsourcing customer support or plan to start outsourcing in the coming year.
If you, like many other leaders, are considering outsourcing for the first time – or outsourcing to a new BPO call center – there’s quite a lot to consider. You may even find it daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!
5 Simple Steps to Call Center Outsourcing
We’ve helped many of the world’s leading brands transition into an outsourced solution that boosts revenue and outcomes while reducing costs and effort.
To help others do the same, we’ve broken down the process into five quick steps. Read on to learn more, or download our simple infographic to keep on hand.
Step 1: Research
You first need to identify call center partners who can match your business. Start with a group of no more than 10 BPO call center options. You can get this list by sending out an RFP, talking to people in your network, or even doing simple online searches.
Assume that a couple will fall off your list because they don’t fit your business model. Others won’t have experience in your industry. Your objective is to create a targeted list of five or six call centers that can help give you a feel for the market.
Here are some tips for the research stage:
- Ask for referrals from colleagues who are in a similar position and industry. Tap into your network via email, social media, trade show groups, etc. Leverage your network, and remember that there are no bad questions.
- Conduct online research. You can use research websites like Clutch.co with up-to-date information about services companies. These websites can help you determine company size, location, etc.
- Use LinkedIn Groups as a search function. Use “customer experience” as a keyword to find groups on LinkedIn. Ask to join the group and then simply post a question. Start with high-level questions, then progress to more specific requests. Make the questions targeted to your brand needs.
Step 2: Contact & Qualify
Now is the time to dig deeper and find out which of these 5-6 BPO call centers fit your needs. In this second stage, contact each of them to ask questions directly. Their answers will help you narrow down the list even further.
Your objective is to focus on the companies that prove to be a fit.
Here are some examples of good questions:
- How long have you been in business?
- From what locations can you serve my business?
- Are you scalable, and can you handle our expected growth?
- Can you provide examples that demonstrate your ability to perform for clients?
- What are your privacy and compliance standards and requirements?
- What is your mission statement?
- Do you serve our industry and have expertise?
Step 3: Identify Process & Configuration
You now have a qualified group of call center partners who align with your company’s goals and industry. The next step is all about aligning the rest of the details and making sure the call center partner can deliver.
You’ll need to start sharing more about your company background and getting to know each other.
These are questions potential partners should be asking to learn about your current customer support programs.
- What channels do you need help with? (Calls, chat, email, etc.) This information supports decisions on team configurations
- Can you provide any historical contact data? This information provides insights into your business.
- When are you looking to make a change? This is designed to align expectations.
- What is the anticipated volume during operating hours? This helps to dimension the staffing model.
- What is your training timeline? This helps to understand complexity.
Step 4: Business Engagement
Now that you’ve selected a number of potential partners, it’s time to dive deeper into the potential partnership. Let’s go through what you need to expect from this stage.
During this step, the objective is to work together to build your program. The call centers you’re engaging will detail the following:
- Operating hours
- Recruitment plan
- Training plan
- Quality plan
- Org chart detailing team structure
- Any omnichannel support (store, channel partner, marketplace)
- Implementation plan and process
- Voice, including IVR strategy
- Digital (email, chat, social, SMS)
Systems and Integration
Pricing and Proposals
- Pricing type
- What is included
- What is excluded
- Term of contract
- Sample contract and work order
- Contact any references once you have narrowed your selection to three or fewer potential partners.
Step 5: Implementation
Congratulations, you’ve made your choice, vetted them, and set up an operations plan! Now it’s time to get started.
Let’s go over the critical milestones of a successful BPO call center integration.
- Getting the finalized contract
- Nominating the steering committee
- Production of a comprehensive implementation plan
- Kick-off of the training development process
- Readiness review to ensure a successful production launch
- Completion of systems due diligence meeting
Your BPO partner should have each of these benchmarks outlined and a plan for achieving each. You should also have agreed-upon KPIs that they immediately start tracking and measuring their performance against.
A great BPO call center partner will have excellent transparency, flexibility, and communication. You should always be aware of how your customers are faring in their care.
Ready To Build Your Customer Experience Dream Team?
The steps above are the blueprint for finding the perfect CX outsourcing partner for your company. But, of course, there are many more questions and details to get right.
If you’re ready to start your search, connect with a call center outsourcing consultant today. Our team at Global Response has conducted hundreds of successful implementations, and we’re there to help walk you through every step of the outsourcing journey.
Talk to us today about how we can drive results for your business.