There are numerous outsourcing call centers from which hiring firms can choose. They all have different focus points and strengths. The best way for hiring companies to make the right decision is to hire an outsourcing firm through a structured selection process based on certain criteria. The following criteria should be used in this process:
Industry experience: Hiring companies should examine the other companies that are currently using the prospective outsourcing firm’s services. It is wise to hire a firm that is servicing companies in the same field as the hiring company. This ensures the outsourcing firm will understand the services that need to be outsourced and that there will be a smaller learning curve.
Size: It may be hard to find the exact size and scope of a call center outsourcing firm. Hiring organizations can accomplish this by looking at the size of a firm’s clients. If the firm services a number of large clients such as Crate & Barrel or Lacoste, then the firm will be able to handle a company of similar size. However, smaller companies may want a firm that is more personable and deals with smaller and fewer clients for better customer service. Thus, the hiring organization should look at firms that only deal with small to medium-size businesses.
Flexibility: Hiring organizations should look at how flexible the outsourcing firms are. It is important to select a firm that can properly integrate their technology and methods with that of the hiring organization’s. The best outsourcing firms will learn the business processes of their clients and their technology to meet them, and then deliver a solution that is customized for the hiring organization.
Innovation: Most hiring organizations will be utilizing an outsourcing firm in order to gain a competitive edge. Thus, an outsourcing firm that can offer innovative technology, software, expertise, and client collaboration methodology should be selected.
Recruiting and training: Hiring organizations should look into the people that the outsourcing firm employs and how the firm hires new talent. Ultimately, those employees will be handling the services and having the best talent is a necessity. Most outsourcing firms will enable an organization to visit their offices to see their operations and employees. Additionally, a hiring organization should make sure the firm regularly trains their employees on new methods and technology.
How to find information on call center outsourcing firms
The majority of the above criteria that should be used in a hiring companies search for an outsourcing firm can easily be found on an outsourcing firm’s web site. These websites can be found through a specific regional search engine query or through using an outsourcing consultant, who can provide an organization with options for call center outsourcing. A good outsourcing firm should have plenty of information online and offer more by request as needed. On-site visits, interviews, and reviews also should be utilized when practical for a decision of this importance. Once along in the process, companies should ask for a RFP (request for proposal) for more concrete and precise information from the outsourcing firm.
Hiring a call center outsourcing firm does not necessarily guarantee satisfactory results. A hiring organization must understand how to utilize the outsourcing firm’s services to best fit the needs of their organization. First and foremost is deciding what services to outsource. Many organizations have strengths in some areas and may want to keep those functions in house if this trend is expected to continue while outsourcing services that they are weak in or do not have. For example, if an organization is strong in maintaining customer service, then they should keep this service in-house and look for something that they do not have or are weak in such as a contact center or receivables management. It is also possible for an organization to hire an outsourcing firm for the sole purpose of handling overflow calls and requests.
Another way organizations can effectively utilize outsourcing firms is to maintain a strong relationship with the outsourcing firm and have transparent communication. Such transparent communication will enable a firm to make sure that they are adhering to the exact expectations of the hiring company. Furthermore, the partnership will enable different ideas and methodologies to come together to improve the overall system and service offered.
One last characteristic organizations should consider is choosing the correct location to outsource. It may be wise for an organization to outsource abroad because they will be able to have around the clock service cheaply since the firm will be operating standard business hours while the organization is not operating. However, if customer satisfaction is the undisputed top priority, organizations should consider outsourcing in the same region in order to reduce language barriers and to enhance the understanding between the call center and the customer.
A listing of different call center outsourcing services can be found here.
Why call center outsourcing in India is becoming prominent
It is now commonplace for organizations to outsource their call center service needs to firms in India. The following reasons are why this option is on an increasing trend:
Time zone: For most of the hiring organizations located in the West, the different time zone has enabled companies to have around the clock customer support. Between the U.S. and India, there is a twelve-hour time difference.
Government policies: The Indian government has attempted to promote outsourcing and has allowed a tax exemption on the export of ITES as well as free exports of capital goods. Furthermore, the government is attempting to build top facilities in telecom infrastructure and facilities in order to aid call center outsourcing.
Large workforce- The workforce in India is large, making solutions cheap for outsourcing companies. The workforce is also receiving more education in technology and other relevant areas. Additionally, most of the outsourcing workforce is proficient in English and can effectively communicate with customers. In fact, India has the second largest English speaking population after the U.S.
Experience and specialization- India was one of the first countries to promote call center outsourcing and has established itself as a leader in global call center outsourcing services. Most outsourcing firms in India have established specializations in the call center service industry that are competitive globally. These services have been refined over time and have been continually adapted with changes in global technology.