By Kathy Sisk
Should you decide that outsourcing may be right for you from a financial standpoint, consider the following steps to assist you in selecting a specific agency that will meet your specific budget and service requirements.
Step 1: Design an RFP (request for proposal).
Make sure your request describes the nature of the venture and exactly what you are looking for, including agent skill sets, specific service-level objectives, technology requirements, reporting capabilities, and previous experience with your account type.
Think of the RFP as a job description, but more in-depth. To ensure the best match, include information such as forecasted outsource volumes by hour-of-day and day-of-week, average call length, and even agent incentive strategies that work at your existing center.
Be sure to ask each candidate to provide you with a list of their existing clients, including contact information, as well as information on the agency’s fees and other additional charges. Ask specifically for information on monthly base charges, programming and connectivity costs, telephone usage costs, and labor costs.
Step 2: Review returned RFPs and narrow down the candidates.
Select proposals that are complete, concise, and meet your minimum specifications. Check out the agency’s references. While it is unusual for an agency to give you contacts who will prove to be bad references, you can always read between the lines if you ask the right questions, such as:
- How productive are they now compared to when you first started doing business with them?
- If you could improve in any area, what would it be?
Take careful notes during your reference checks.
Step 3: Conduct a phone interview.
Call each agency that survives the initial weeding-out process. Have a list of detailed questions prepared and listen to how well they represent themselves. Their tone of voice and the way they conduct themselves is often representative of the kind of performance you can expect from their staff once they begin handling calls.
[In the next issue, we’ll cover steps 4 and 5 of selecting a call center agency.]
For more information about setting up, reengineering, outsourcing, and project managing your call center operations, visit Kathy Sisk Enterprises. They have over forty years’ experience with satisfied clients and centers across the globe.