Tips for choosing the right contact center for your business

Introduction

Maintaining your contact center is not a task most companies can undertake, simply because the budget for setting up and maintain one is far beyond what most smaller companies can hope to spend. Besides, your time and resources are better spent elsewhere so putting direct effort into contact centers don’t make a lot of sense. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can entirely skip out on having a contact center altogether; not having one will only serve to degrade your relations with your customer base.

The solution? Outsourcing your contact services to third-party call centers. These companies can handle all of your feedback/complaints workloads and get back to you with only the really important client calls and concerns. However, before signing up for a contact center’s services, there are some things you need to keep in mind:

Know what you need

Walking into a business deal without first laying out exactly what you need from the other party isn’t just unprofessional, it’s downright foolish. In the case of third-party call centers, you need to be sure of exactly what kind of service you’d need from them and the extent at which you’d like them to handle your contact workload. For example, you should know what kind of channels you’d need them to communicate on, or whether you’d need them to operate for you for the full 24 hours a day or just specific timings during the day.

Perform background checks on all potential centers

If a third-party contact center has been in business for long, then it must already have a couple of clients it offers its services to. So, if you want to find out whether service would be worth the money it charges, it might benefit you to ask around about the quality of their services before actually striking a deal with them. Ask both old and current clients about their experience with a call center you’re considering to enter a partnership with, what their time with them was like and whether or not they were actually of any help to the company. You may even find out some better contact services to take your offer to this way.

Make sure the center you choose can work with your CRM solution

When you’re a customer complaining over the phone, one of the most frustrating scenarios you can find yourself in is when the contact center’s systems are down, meaning they can’t fetch your customer data and are thus unable to solve your problem. Having this occur at a third-party contact center is even more likely, since their systems don’t necessarily have a direct link to your servers and may be unable to communicate with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. So, before sealing the deal with any contact center, you need to entirely sure there remain no technical compatibility issues between your systems. Otherwise, you’re far better off taking your business elsewhere.

Discuss all policies and privacy issues

Over the past couple of years, consumers have become warier of company policies, especially when it comes to how the company manages any data they have on their customers. Following the very recent privacy fiascos faced by corporations, like the one Facebook faced not too long ago, it is imperative you take privacy very seriously to avoid any bad public relations in the future because of mismanagement of consumer data. This means reviewing all policies and term deals on any contract you sign with the contact center stringently to leave absolutely no room for error. NEVER sign on a deal that doesn’t respect any policies your company doesn’t approve of; this is one ground where you cannot compromise.

Be fully informed of how and what you’ll be charged

Though no businessperson needs to be told this, it is still worth mentioning that no deal should be signed without first being fully aware of the financial aspects of it. One needs to read the fine print and know exactly what and how they’ll be charged for a service before signing any contracts. In the case of contact centers, familiarize yourself with their pricing scheme. Know exactly how much they’ll charge per call, whether they’ll charge by the minute or second, or whether they’ll charge for the time a customer is put on hold. Only then are you ready to sign any deal with a contact center?

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