By Angela Morris
Telemanagement is a term that describes the practice of managing inbound or outbound telemarketing programs for clients that outsource them to one or more external service providers. Typically the telemanagement function is performed by an external third party that has 100% responsibility for the results of one or more external service providers.
What Services Are Provided by a Telemanagement Company? Typical services provided include needs analysis and vendor selection. They will generally develop a training curriculum specific to your products or services, as well as the scripting, call guides, and tools needed by the telephone agents. Once the program is in place, they will provide daily reporting and data analysis, data transmittals, call monitoring, and program analysis.
When Is Telemanagement a Good Option? Telemanagement is a good option if your company does not have sufficient internal resources to devote to supporting the outsourced telemarketing or does not have sufficient expertise to ensure that the outsourced telemarketing efforts are being maximized. Telemanagement is also a consideration if your company is outsourcing but experiencing performance or quality problems or not getting the desired ROI from your outsourced operations.
When Is Telemanagement a Bad Option? Conversely, telemanagement should be avoided if your company has sufficient internal resources to act as a vendor manager. Also, if your company’s management team is not comfortable with taking direction from an external consultant, telemanagement will likely not be a good match. A final consideration is whether you have a high success rate from existing outsourced vendors and do not desire improved performance.
Who Uses Telemanagement? The largest users of telemanagement are companies that outsource to multiple vendors and desire to have one point of contact that is responsible for all outsourced telemarketing campaigns.
What Should You Expect? Qualified telemanagement professionals should be able to recommend many vendor options and include you in the decision-making process when selecting vendors for your program(s). Plus, they should be knowledgeable about the various telemarketing laws and what your company should be concerned about. They will also have a deep network of resources which can be brought to bear as needed (trainers, performance analysts, I.T. resources, etc).
What Should You Not Expect? If you plan to use a telemanagement firm and then bring that function in house, be up front with the telemanagement company that you hire. Be aware that some companies consider their management processes and work product to be proprietary and confidential. You want to be sure that you are able to use the training, forms, procedures, etc., if you decide to terminate the relationship with the telemanagement firm.
Who Does the Telemanagement Firm Work For? The telemanagement firm typically works for the client. Certainly the telemanagement firm will have established relationships with qualified vendors, but the telemanagement firm works for the client for all aspects of ensuring the highest program success possible.
How Is the Telemanagement Firm Compensated? Compensation plans vary from the client paying the telemanagement vendor at market price to the telemanagement firm paying the outsourced call center providers at a slightly lower contract price.
Some clients prefer to pay vendors directly and compensate the telemanagement firm on a time and materials basis, but that form of compensation can create a problem for budgeting and cost control. For example, the initial startup phase can cost significantly more than a program that has been established and ongoing for a period of time. If you want to have a fixed-cost approach to paying your telemanagement vendor, you’ll want to go with the first option (pay the telemanagement vendor and let them subcontract the work for you).
Now that you know more about teleservices management, you will be more prepared to take the next step. If you feel that you might need the services of a telemangement company then it’s time to start digging deeper. Meeting one-on-one with a few different telemangement vendors will allow you to ask specific questions related to your individual needs and circumstances. Each vendor should be able to give you a proposal that details the action plan, benefits, and rewards of outsourcing telemanagement. Once you have all the facts, you should be able to move forward with the confidence that you will be making a great decision for your company, your staff, and your future.
Angela Morris is the president of Quality Contact Solutions, a call center industry leader who has implemented thousands of inbound and outbound call center programs. With a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and call center management, she can be contacted at 402-210-2692 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[From Connection Magazine – November 2007]