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We use an outsourced call center service to qualify the incoming business-to-customer (B2C) sales leads. We are now with our second call center service, and this one is as frustrating as the first. Both keep an unacceptable percentage of our calls on hold (20% for more than one minute). Both have trouble following our simple, but detailed, script. Our call center is an important element of our growth opportunity, and we really want to find a quality vendor who truly wants to partner with us. Can you offer some ideas for finding and selecting a vendor that “gets it?”

We use an outsourced call center service to qualify the incoming business-to-customer (B2C) sales leads. We are now with our second call center service, and this one is as frustrating as the first. Both keep an unacceptable percentage of our calls on hold (20% for more than one minute). Both have trouble following our simple, but detailed, script.

Our call center is an important element of our growth opportunity, and we really want to find a quality vendor who truly wants to partner with us. Can you offer some ideas for finding and selecting a vendor that “gets it?”

11/8/2006

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Question
We use an outsourced call center service to qualify the incoming business-to-customer (B2C) sales leads. We are now with our second call center service, and this one is as frustrating as the first. Both keep an unacceptable percentage of our calls on hold (20% for more than one minute). Both have trouble following our simple, but detailed, script.

Our call center is an important element of our growth opportunity, and we really want to find a quality vendor who truly wants to partner with us. Can you offer some ideas for finding and selecting a vendor that “gets it?”

Answer

Your issue is very serious because your call center outsourcers are negatively impacting your bottom line and the perception of your company. Unfortunately, your situation is not unique and this is an issue that I have encountered on a number of occasions. Below are some ideas.

Selecting an outstanding outsourcer for the call center

There are some excellent and highly-motivated outsourcers in the market. (There are also quite a few who do not live up to their promises.) It is best to address these issues at the outset, before you sign a deal with any outsourcer. One of the most important components of a productive relationship with an outsourcer is the service level agreement (SLA). Many people think that drafting an SLA is a waste of time, but it is not.

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