How to Select an Outsourcing Partner
3. Dismissing offshore providers. Magram, whose company provides offshore contact center services, says many merchants don't know that outsourcing can be done more cheaply than keeping it all in house. However, he cautions, if you're considering going offshore, look for a provider operating in a Westernized country, one that understands American consumers' wants and expectations and whose reps are perfectly fluent in English. "Our contact centers are in the Philippines, which is a very Westernized culture," Magram notes. Its Columbia, South America, office primarily handles callers who prefer to speak in Spanish.
4. Not paying for adequate staff training. Pudles notes another common mistake merchants make is expecting the outsourcer's staff to provide a high level of customer and product knowledge, without having to pay the provider for adequate staff training. "The more you spend and the higher your volume, the easier it is to train reps to take your calls, to train them as well as you would train your own in-house staff," he says.
In short, when shopping for a contact center partner, look for a strong team attitude and good communication, Comes says. Remember, you want interested and informed reps servicing your much-valued customers. Be sure your outsource provider is able to supply that consistently, efficiently and effectively.
When to Fire an Outsourcer
So you've researched appropriate providers and carefully selected one. You've been using its services for a while now, and … well, it's just not up to snuff. Here's when you know it's time to search for a replacement:
Your issues aren't being resolved. Ongoing quality problems that don't get fixed or even responded to can signal it's time to move on, says Erv Magram, managing director, catalog division of offshore contact center provider Cyber City Teleservices. "Ask for a face-to-face meeting first," he says. "See how they respond to that request and then to the meeting. If they're still not fixing your problems, seriously consider a change."