Outsourcing refers to the process of dealing a business process to some other party. It is a broad term that includes transfer of contracts to employees. The transfer can be within a country or various countries, i.e., domestic and foreign contracting.
A company requires call center outsourcing companies in order to make up for the shortage of skill and expertise. By outsourcing, certain results are acquired by the company and the other party agrees to it in exchange of payments or services. The system allows organizations to pay only for things they need for a specific period of time until their work is accomplished.
The party to which outsourcing is done is known as third party. It must be chosen carefully because it is the party on which the entire organisation is dependent for the accomplishment of goals. There are various points that have to be checked before choosing a third party.
- The third party should already be performing work similar to what is required. For example, if an organisation that does outbound programs initially is given the responsibility of inbound programs, there are possibilities that it won’t be able to perform its assigned work well. Or if an organization is searching for sales calls, but the third party primarily does customer service, there are chances that they won’t have the skills and expertise to accomplish the work. Therefore, proper research on the third party like visiting their site or talking to their clients before jumping into a contract is essential.
- There should be knowledgeable administrators and proper account service staff. These advisors interpret the interests into proper telephonic behaviour. These supervisors should be easy to communicate with and must be knowledgeable enough to understand the importance and necessity of outsourcing.
- Training is a must in order to achieve success when it comes to telephone reps. It includes providing the employees with proper skills to succeed at their job. The vendor should regularly take up program specific trainings and keep a check on the training process. The monitoring process should be frequent. To get information about it, an organization can itself call and monitor their work. This largely helps in getting the best vendor.
- If the turnover is high, the reps get to handle more calls. However, most programs call for deep knowledge and experience. Hence, lower turnover help reps to attain the required knowledge. The reports of the vendors should be asked for if they have the potential to meet the needs. For inbound calls, the list of wait time and abandoned calls should be obtained; for outbound, the people not responding and those who are unreachable must be kept an eye on. The vendor should also provide some value-added services as in, informing the customers about new policies or reforms in the program.
- The vendor should have a productive work culture. This is important because if the work environment and emotional well-being of the employees are negatively impacted, then the party can never gain success. Moreover, the responsiveness of the third party is a matter of concern, because they should promptly answer the calls of their customers and clarify their doubts on programs. They should also have enough staff available to respond to all customer calls. That staff should be knowledgeable enough to make the customer understand about their program. The third party should have proper individual for primary contact such as the account executive. That individual should be easy to communicate with.
- The vendor contract should be a fair one. For example, if the vendor is not able to provide efficient employees for the job to be accomplished, the organization should have the full right of cancelling the agreement or making changes in the pact accordingly. The contract has to be reasonable enough for the organisation to be taken up or agreed to.
- Technology should not be kept over people, but some basics are quite a necessity. For example, the inbound call centres should have a facility to forward calls to the next rep even via e-mail. In case of outbound, the call center uses a computer to dial, which is more reliable than dialling by hand. Call monitoring and call reporting should be done in all the companies. Also, an on-screen program is required for the display of information and entry which helps accommodate specific needs.
- The vendors should be asked for at least 3 references and the same should be contacted. These references assure the organisation that no other vendor makes similar calls as theirs. However, it is found that most of the times the references are uninterested to provide proper information which serves as a demerit for the third party vendor. In such a case, the pact is not signed. References should be happiest of customers as they help the vendor to obtain the contract and consequent services.
- The most important factor is the call rates; the total cost should also be thought of. To compare among vendors, there should be comparison in their quality and cost as well. The total picture should be monitored.
Evaluation of a third party vendor does not come easy. It requires a lot of precautions to be taken and inferences to be drawn before choosing the right call centre vendor that will help the organisation achieve its goal. But all these steps are essential to choose an efficient party with which an organization can establish a trustworthy relationship and make leaps of professional success.