Choosing the right call center to handle your inbound call volume is not an easy task. When you hire a call center, you are asking them to be the face of your company. The customer service representative who takes the call is often a potential customer’s first interaction with your business. And as we all know first impressions matter. Not every call center is equal, so don’t rush the process. Read on to make sure you aren’t making any of these five common mistakes when choosing a call center.
1. Poor Estimation of Needs
Businesses often overestimate or underestimate their call volume. Additionally, they often forget to inform the call center of expected call volume changes—any of which can result in extra fees. Discuss every aspect of your expected call volume patterns with the potential call center, including the volume of calls you think you will receive and any expected hikes in call volume. Although it is impossible to plan for every fluctuation, do your best to accurately estimate your call volume so that you can avoid unnecessary fines and fees.
2. Not Listening in on Calls
Most call centers will offer you the option of listening in on one of their customer service representatives while a customer call is in progress. Not only will listening in on these calls provide you with useful information about the quality of the script, but it will also give you a feel for the personality and enthusiasm of call center employees. Most of us know this from experience: even the most well-written sales script cannot overcome an unhappy, unenthusiastic customer service representative. Insider Tip: Ask the call center manager for the opportunity to listen to several different types of calls from multiple reps. Yes, this is time-consuming, but it will give you an accurate gauge of the level of service provided. Trust us, it will be worth your time.
3. Not Calling References
When deciding between potential call centers, it is important to contact the references they provide. This will give you the inside scoop on how the call center rates with regards to customer satisfaction, service level, and professionalism. You will often get quite honest and accurate opinions of a call center’s abilities from their other clients. Use these references as a chance to make sure your first impressions about a company are true.
4. Not Discussing Special Needs
Do you require special services like multilingual telemarketing, 24-hour service, or flexible representative coverage? Don’t forget to discuss these needs upfront with your potential call center service provider. Many call centers have the resources to comply with a plethora of special demands. Make sure the services provided fit within your budget.
5. Price Shopping Only
Every business wants to save money when it comes to paying for outside resources like call center services. Remember: quality usually costs more. But it doesn’t necessarily mean a LOT more. Many call centers offer packaged deals on their services and certain discounts at different times of the year. You definitely want to take advantage of these. Do your homework. Ask questions. Don’t sacrifice quality for a good deal. If you lose customers due to poor quality reps, it won’t be worth the extra money saved on the front end.
If you want to know more about call center services, you can read our Call Center Buyer’s Guide.
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