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Amtelco Employee Awards Announced

Amtelco announces that Andy Quamme, director of project management, is the 2019 recipient of Amtelco’s William J. Curtin Employee of the Year award. The honor, conferred annually at year’s end, is named in remembrance of Amtelco founder William J. Curtin II, and is the most cherished award available to Amtelco employees. Andy was awarded the William J. Curtin Employee of the Year award for his outstanding commitment to project management and successful customer implementations.

Other awards announced at Amtelco’s annual holiday luncheon in December included:

  • Administration Employee of the Year: Wayne Wallace, IT manager
  • Brian Torvik Innovation in Operations: Chris Bach, software engineer
  • Brian Torvik Innovation in Operations: Kent Anderson, senior hardware design engineer
  • Service Employee of the Year: Eric Thomas, customer support engineer
  • TAS Salesperson of the Year: Patty Anderson, regional sales manager
  • 1Call Salesperson of the Year: Joe Curtin, regional sales manager
  • Hall of Fame: Bernie Torvik, vice chairman
  • Hall of Fame: Bob Vornberg, Telescan general manager and director of product development
Amtelco

For more information: 800-356-9148, info@amtelco.com, or www.callcenter.amtelco.com.

Amtelco miSecureMessages v6.7 Allows Personalization and Insight

Amtelco announces the ability for users to customize their away message with the miSecureMessages version 6.7 release. MiSecureMessages is used by businesses and healthcare enterprises who need to keep their communications secure.

Version 6.7 allows users to enter a custom away message when setting their miSecureMessages notifications to “off.” Users also have the option to choose an away message from a list of pre-programmed messages.

Away messages are displayed on the miSecureMessages contacts screen to other users in the same Group. In addition, users will receive an auto reply when sending a secure message to the user who is currently away. Users also have the option to set a start and end date and time when their away message should be displayed.

Amtelco

For more information about miSecureMessages, contact Amtelco at 800-356-9148, info@misecuremessages.com, or www.misecuremessages.com.

January/February 2020 Issue of Connections Magazine

The January/February 2020 Issue of Connections Magazine, covering call centers and the teleservice industry

Read these articles online:

January 2020

What Is Proactive Communication for Contact Centers?



By Nogol Tardugno

It’s a crazy world for today’s consumers. Not only are they pulled in different directions by all the responsibilities of their personal and professional lives, but they are also constantly distracted by all the digital alerts that arise from carrying a powerful personal computer in the shape of a phone connected to pretty much everyone and everything they want to know.  

No wonder they find it hard to get to some of the more mundane tasks in life such as paying bills and remembering appointments.

What if your contact center could put the power of that smartphone—or any of their other communication devices—to work for both them and you? Not just in basic ways, but more creatively?

That thought process is how we get to the latest focus on proactive communication for contact centers. Such notifications would benefit your business by maximizing available resources such as income and staff. But your customers also would find value in your business’s efforts to help them meet their own needs—even sending these notifications in the channels they prefer, such as voice, SMS (short message service), and MMS (multimedia messaging service). In fact, Microsoft’s 2018 State of Global Customer Service Report found that 70 percent of global consumers have a favorable view of brands that contact them with proactive customer service notifications. 

Let’s look at what proactive communication is and how you can customize it to provide the most benefit to everyone involved. 

Use proactive communications to level out call volumes within your center. Click To Tweet

What Does Proactive Communication Do?

It seems fair to assume that people don’t purposely set out to let things slip. Therefore, your business can only benefit by helping your customers remember, prioritize, and even complete common but important functions such as:

  • Paying bills before they become delinquent (increased revenue for less effort)
  • Setting and confirming appointments for their medical and financial needs
  • Renewing services and contracts
  • Receiving notifications of product upgrades and even deliveries

Providing this sort of communication gives your customers more control over the details of their own lives, establishes greater levels of transparency between them and your business, and helps eliminate bottlenecks and dead ends that can discourage customers from continuing their relationship with your brand.

However, proactive communication also helps meet your organizational goals by performing these functions:

  • Surveying customers immediately after their interactions with your agents as part of your voice of the customer (VoC) initiatives
  • Gathering similar information from agents as part of your contact center’s staff retention efforts
  • Increasing engagement (and revenue) by providing customers with personalized offers, scannable coupons, loyalty programs, or cross-selling and up-selling opportunities
  • Sending fraud or emergency alerts
  • Providing service outage information in affected areas

Any process that a large percentage of your customers benefit from is a candidate for proactive notification. Even better, if it’s a simple process you could automate through a phone IVR, your business benefits even further by:

  • Not having to use agents’ time and effort to handle repetitive processes; self-service IVR often costs only pennies compared to agent-assisted costs
  • Making operational options available to your customers any time they want to do business, not just when your contact center is open
  • Limiting repeat calls to your center while increasing the value of inbound calls and raising first-contact resolution rates
  • Offering efficient self-service that increases customer satisfaction rates by anticipating needs 

Customizable Solutions

These are the basics, but we’ve barely addressed what customizing your proactive communication can do. For example, once you’ve determined the message, you can set automated rules that control all aspects of the transaction, including:

  • Which customers receive which messages: from single recipients to thousands
  • Through what channel they will receive the message 
  • Any restrictions such as the times to deliver the message 
  • Any additions such as how to handle obstructions like busy signals

You can, for instance, use proactive communications to level out call volumes within your center. Sending notifications during times of low activity can include the option for recipients to speak with an agent immediately. This means that these customers will not be calling later during peak traffic times, and you will not have to adjust your staffing accordingly. 

How Does It Work? 

If you have any involvement with contact center scripts, you may feel overwhelmed at the thought of all the programmable options you would have to account for to make proactive notifications work. But here’s what makes the whole idea operationally reasonable: you don’t have to do all that programming yourself, and neither does your IT support team.

The same processes that makes cloud computing work also builds the suites of applications that make proactive communication work. Web-delivered APIs ride on the top of your legacy systems, integrating with your CRM and telephony. These APIs come in packages that automate reminders, collect survey information, take payments, and more. 

You just decide which applications your contact center needs. Most apps come with pre-built templates that will get you up and running within days, but when it’s time to customize, you can program your own options using drag-and-drop functions.

The best practice is to start with the easy applications in your contact center. Do you most need actionable VoC feedback? More timely payments? A boost for your sales and marketing efforts? 

Select an application or suite of applications that will address that specific need. Then run trials around your proactive efforts, analyzing your key metrics at each step, including customer satisfaction. Apply what you’ve learned to the next need on the list and expand your automated processes. 

Even after the initial build and testing phase is over, analysis and refinement should never stop as you pursue the goals of high customer satisfaction, highly involved and motivated employees, and an expanded bottom line for your business. 

Nogol Tardugno is the director of customer success at Plum Voice. With eighteen years of experience, she is passionate about delivering the best customer journey through technology. She has a background in computer information systems and has worked in financial, digital marketing, and CPaaS industries.

Unlocking the Value of Voice Data



By Alex Fleming

Over the past few years, the contact center market has created more processes that have moved away from voice. The omnichannel direction has put a significant focus on using elements that are primarily text-based. This reflects the way end users, and we as individuals, now communicate. Instant messaging, email, and social media have grown in popularity, and contact centers have been quick to adopt these channels to engage with customers. They are perfect for engaging in a relevant way, while keeping the highest level of quality text, where the data is easy to search, index, and store. This means that contact centers have a wealth of data to use to gain valuable insights into their business and develop more tools to further address end-user requests or requirements.

Data gained through transcripts can be searched and used to generate trends of frequent issues. Click To Tweet

While omnichannel has enabled contact centers to remain relevant, the focus is shifting, with speech and voice calls providing the richest density of data. A recent report from Red Box highlighted that artificial intelligence and machine learning suddenly make voice data available in volume, when previously it would only have been accessible by listening to individual recordings. This presents organizations with an opportunity to tap a rich data set that can help drive true and measurable business outcomes.

Data gained through transcripts can be searched and used to generate trends of frequent issues. Click To Tweet

How Do You Unlock Value? 

Due to the increased interaction of end users—disclosing personal information and even payment details—the contact center market is highly regulated. The regulation is in part why contact centers record calls to ensure that they remain on the right side of compliance. This means that contact centers are sitting on a pot of gold that has built up over the years regarding customer insight and engagement, as well as training information. They also have the constant influx of additional calls every minute, hour, week, and month, so the stockpile of data keeps growing. 

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) services enable this backlog of data to be transformed, and the processing of prerecorded calls means that historical data can be transformed into a text-based format. In addition, the ability to transcribe in real time means that agents are empowered with tools that can adapt and change depending on the conversation. This solution has the added benefit of elements such as sentiment, meaning, context, and nuances within the language that add a greater value to the text output.

The Right Data at the Right Time 

Contact centers are always looking to provide the highest levels of customer service to minimize customer churn and accelerate the resolution of issues. Speech-to-text technology allows them to conform to compliance and regulation easily, while also supporting their agents by increasing their knowledge and eliminating frustration.

The value and benefit of transcription is that the information can be available right away. Even when transcribing the call content after completion, the information is accessible soon after the conversation has ended. This enables situations such as issue resolution to be accelerated for quality assurance managers to use directly. This eliminates the time and effort required to review the call’s audio. Using text also means that the content of the call history can be searched more easily, with the added value of enhancing the customer experience even in a dispute situation. 

Cases Requiring Understanding and Resolution

When discussing customers and their issues, sometimes a simple tool can be the most powerful. Data gained through transcripts can be searched and used to generate trends of frequent issues. It might be that these issues can be solved through the addition of a new section to an FAQ page, a new response in a text bot, or even the creation of a self-service portal. 

The ability to empower customers in this way not only means that their issues can be solved, but it can be done with minimum impact on contact center staff. This frees them up to handle customer issues that need human interaction. However, this solution is only possible through the ability to make the content of calls available and make intelligent decisions from that.

At a deeper level, sentiment analysis can help at a one-to-one level for the agent to better understand the caller. If agents have methods on hand to gauge a customer’s mood, it can make the difference between a successful call outcome or losing that customer. 

Say the Right Things

The ability to transcribe the content of a call enables the identification and use of keywords to autonomously trigger actions within the agent’s dashboard in real time. Using ASR services in real time can significantly impact the service that new agents, even without experience, can offer to customers. 

Know If a Customer Had a Good Experience

Core elements for agents can be enhanced by what ASR can offer. These include the ability to capture conversations in a text-based format for faster review, triggering information to be at an agent’s fingertips and extracting insight for integration into analysis products so the agent can dedicate more time to issues that require human attention. Agents are then better equipped to provide higher quality service to customers and feel that they are doing their best job. With these tools, the agent feels that they have had a positive impact on customer interactions.

Alex Fleming is products marketing manager at speech-to-text technology specialist Speechmatics.

Reduce Physician Burnout with Telephone Triage Nurses



By Dr. Ravi Raheja

Physicians today are experiencing more demands on their already busy schedules, and it’s taking a toll on their personal health and professional accuracy. According to recent studies, more than half of physicians report burnout, which is defined as a loss of enthusiasm for work, feelings of cynicism, and a low sense of personal accomplishment. However, establishing a telephone nurse triage service for patients can alleviate some of this stress and exhaustion.

Effects of Physician Burnout

While job burnout is a serious issue, it can produce critical circumstances when it involves a physician. Reports claim that doctors experiencing burnout have higher levels of divorce, depression, alcohol and drug addiction, and even suicide.
Additionally, physicians experiencing burnout have lower levels of clinical care quality and patient satisfaction and higher levels of medical errors and malpractice risk. Medical errors are estimated to be the number three cause of death in the United States, and annual costs for medical mistakes are estimated to be between 17 and 30 billion dollars. The US healthcare system cannot afford the financial effects of physician burnout.

Better Work-Life Balance

When a physician is on call after office hours or during the weekend, they often receive patient calls that interrupt personal time with their family or getting much-needed rest. It would be easier to manage if these calls were rare, but the reality is that patients need access to healthcare professionals 24/7 to avoid unnecessary ER visits. Many of these patient calls regularly result in advice that could have been given by a nurse.

Technology can help minimize the burden. Utilizing telephone nurse triage, physicians can ensure that patients are receiving prompt, quality care based on standardized protocols combined with custom orders. As a result, many physicians who use telephone nurse triage find that their phone doesn’t ring as often after hours, they are able to spend more time focusing on their patients during office visits, and they can be confident that everything is properly recorded in the computer for efficient billing.

Telephone nurse triage provides a flexibility that allows physicians to adjust their schedule more easily to create a better work-life balance and avoid burnout. Click To Tweet

Conclusion

There is no single solution to eliminate physician burnout. Providing work-life balance education early in their careers and offering continuing education and assistance for stress management can help many doctors. Additionally, telephone nurse triage provides a flexibility that allows physicians to adjust their schedule more easily to create a better work-life balance and avoid burnout.

Dr. Ravi Raheja is the medical director at TriageLogic, which is a leader in telehealth technology and services. The company’s goal is to improve access to healthcare and reduce costs by developing technology for providers and patients, backed by high-quality nurses and doctors. The TriageLogic group serves over nine thousand physicians and covers over 18 million lives nationwide. [This article first appeared in AnswerStat.]

How Call Centers Impact the Bottom Line for Local Service Businesses



By Matt Buchanan

Answering phone calls from new potential customers and effectively selling their services is the lifeblood of any growing small- to medium-sized business (SMB). To gain better insight into a call center’s role in this, we recently published our 2019 Home Service Call Performance Report to better understand how call performance impacts the bottom line. What we discovered has major implications for call centers and call answering service providers.

Call Answer Rate: The Performance Perception Gap

There is a huge perception gap between how well local service SMBs think they answer their phones versus how well they actually answer them. We polled local service SMBs on how well they think they answer the phone, and they estimated they answered 97 percent of their calls on average. Based on our call analysis findings, we learned that these businesses in reality only answer 66 percent of their calls on average.

Professionally trained call centers are consistently much better at converting phone calls into captured leads. Click To Tweet

The impact of this misperception has massive implications for these businesses. For starters, they are missing out on meaningful revenue by not answering their phones. Even worse, they don’t even realize it.

Call Centers versus In-House Staff: Call Centers Capture 70 Percent More Leads 

Many businesses assume call centers are less effective at representing their business in a positive light than they can do themselves. The reality is that when it comes to phone interactions, call centers are far superior at consistently capturing potential customer information for further sales engagement.

We found that call centers answer the phone 99 percent of the time (which makes sense), but they were also able to capture customer information 75 percent of the time. Compare with in-house staff who answered the phone 65 percent of the time and were able to capture customer information only 66 percent of the time, this works out to about a 70 percent increase in leads captured when using a call center.

The reality is that when it comes to engaging potential customers over the phone, professionally representing a local service business, and building trust, professionally trained call centers are consistently much better at converting phone calls into captured leads.

Cost Center versus Profit Center: Show Value by Delivering Revenue-Driving Insights

By utilizing a call center, local service businesses can increase their booked appointments by 80 percent without spending a single additional dollar on new marketing initiatives.

There is a really great opportunity to shift the mentality from call centers as cost centers to profit centers. Most buying decisions are made through a process of discovering pain points and then providing a solution that can solve those pain points at a price that makes sense for the buyer. But if these local service SMBs aren’t aware of the problem, then hiring a call center means buying a solution to a problem they don’t think they have.

So, how can you, as a call center marketer or leader, help these businesses discover a huge problem they don’t know they have? And then once they are aware, how can you continue to uncover revenue-generating trends to keep adding value? The answer is by making a case with data.

Invest in call analytics to understand and identify the pain points and trends of a business’s call performance, as well as the customers they are trying to service.

Some critical capabilities will be:

  • Offering call attribution reports to help clients spend their marketing budget more wisely
  • Offering time and location optimization reports to identify targeted ad strategies
  • Offering reports on trends of revenue-generating conversations with call transcription and text mining
  • Offering lead quality reports to help call center marketers better understand the audience they should be targeting

 Call centers have the unique opportunity to change this mentality, and those who take the leap in investing, building a strategy, and building products or services around customer call analytics will be the leaders in this change.

Matt Buchanan is the co-founder and VP of sales at Service Direct, a pay-per-call marketing service provider. Access their 2019 Home Service Call Performance Report.

Five Tips for Hospitals When Purchasing a Secure Messaging App



By Tom Curtin

Hospital communication systems are complex. Yet many hospitals select one communications method—secure messaging—in the hope that a texting solution or an app is going to be their panacea.

When hospital staff research communications companies in the healthcare space, they may not realize that while these businesses offer texting products, that is all they offer. Having just that one part of a communication solution, which involves systems and software from other departments, will not support what hospital care teams need to deliver a great patient experience.

The goal of every hospital is to provide the best care in the most efficient way possible to their patients. Having a secure messaging app is important, but it is only part of an effective communication protocol. It is paramount for hospitals to have a holistic communication platform so that a secure messaging app can access EHR, integrate with other communication systems, and take advantage of known data to provide reports.

Hospital medical and IT staff should consider the following five key questions before selecting a secure messaging app.

1. Deliverability

Will the app deliver messages to the right people, at the right time? Be certain the app can integrate with your hospital’s on-call schedules. Everyone needs to be able to find the staff or care team they need in an instant and contact each person how they prefer.

2. Integration

Is it easy to integrate the app with multiple systems? Do your patient room systems, as well as your EHR, communicate with your care teams? Then your app should too. Does the app support API integration to your nurse call and alarm systems so it can send critical messages to the right staff? Maintaining multiple systems takes multiple people, which leads to working in silos. Therefore, the app needs to provide simple architecture so it’s easy to implement and maintain.

3. Ease of Use

Is the app easy to use? The app should have features that are easy to use so training is fast and simple. Losing time spent on training takes away from patient care.

4. Manageability

Can staff easily manage the app? What happens when hospital staff must add or remove users? How are app updates and new releases handled? Does the company offer reliable customer support and troubleshooting help? Providing care for patients happens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Hospital staff should be able to rely on customer support for the app 24/7 as well.

5. Workflow Impact

Does the app improve workflows? Hospital staff use multiple communication tools, and they don’t need another tool that provides the same functions as other devices already in use. The app should integrate seamlessly with existing hospital systems, save staff time, enhance the patient experience, improve clinical communications, and support reporting functions.

Conclusion

A stand-alone secure messaging app, or messaging app company, will not be able to address all the communication pain points within a hospital. However, when used in combination with communications solutions that offer scripting, directories, on-call scheduling, emergency notifications, and other web-based applications, a secure mobile messaging app used by medical staff will help patients in the most timely way. This gives the patient the best service possible.

Amtelco

Tom Curtin is the president of Amtelco and their 1Call Healthcare Division. Amtelco is a leading provider of innovative communication applications. They develop software solutions and applications designed for the specific needs of healthcare organizations.[This article first appeared in AnswerStat]

Call Center Transformation Best Practices: Key Lessons from Community Banking



By Josh Botnen

Historically, the success of the community banking industry has been in providing personalized service and a deep understanding of local markets to its customers. This is still true today. However, relying on the same legacy call center systems to manage customer inquiries and expecting the same customer satisfaction no longer works. Banks are no longer compared to their direct competitors. Instead, customers increasingly expect the same kind of immediacy, personalization, and convenience they receive from Google, Zappos, Starbucks, and Amazon.

According to the Cornerstone Performance Report for Banks issued in 2018, from 2007 to 2017 banks experienced an 11 percent decline in daily inbound calls per agent. Since more services were available at ATMs and online, such a drop was expected.
Call center personnel, however, clearly weren’t underemployed: talk time increased 46 percent, wait times rose a whopping 81 percent, and abandonment rates went up 36 percent. The Gonzo Banker website surmised that the shift to digital means that with simple tasks handled elsewhere, contact centers field calls focused on more complex issues.

In community banking, where service is paramount, such an increase in talk time has a ripple effect throughout customer contact centers, impacting a host of customer service metrics: efficiency, satisfaction, wait times, and abandonment. The issues that apply to community banking—the increased complexity of issues that users can’t handle online—resonate in various industries. Transforming a contact center to reverse trends takes a concerted, multitiered effort.
Changing an institution’s established customer service practices is never easy. But prioritizing the following areas can help any company, community bank, or other organization to transform their call center systems.

Positive customer interactions are only possible with engaged employees who understand how to resolve issues. Click To Tweet

Know Your Customer Journey

Successful contact centers go beyond reactively resolving customer issues. They understand the comprehensive customer journey. By breaking down the complete, end-to-end experience that clients have when they call, they can capture each progressive touch point. Armed with this information, organizations can begin to isolate the pain points that hurt customer satisfaction on each call. Once there is an understanding of the specific wait time, lack of personalization, or gap in expectations that hurts customer satisfaction, call centers can introduce solutions to resolve these issues.

Empower Your Frontline

Customers typically call instead of going to a physical location when they want a quick resolution to a problem. If a client contact center professional can’t promptly meet those needs, dissatisfaction is immediate, and an organization will have to work hard to win back that lost trust.

Too frequently, many customer service representatives aren’t empowered to quickly solve client issues. Often the primary call center serves as a switchboard. Staff often lack the clearance, tools, and resources to help a customer further along in solving their issue. It is unfair to ask representatives to address customer challenges without properly equipping them to do so.

Competent and confident frontline staff is any organization’s best asset in resolving customer issues. Organizations need to trust their agents to harness all the positives that come from personalized service.

The first step is to give them authority and clarity on the issues they can help clients resolve. One potential solution is to implement a simplified contact center support platform with skills-based call routing and then combine this with an effort to triage support. Next, give clear guidance on what issues contact centers or specialized support teams should handle.

Give Your Team the Skills to Succeed

Entrusting your frontline staff to handle more customer challenges requires giving them the skills to be successful. Positive customer interactions are only possible with engaged employees who understand how to resolve issues. This is especially true with call center improvements.

Successful call center transformations implement training plans well in advance of launch, giving employees time to be comfortable. Don’t develop a great new system only for it to fail because there wasn’t enough time and resources to make call center teams effective. The key is to get human resources involved early. Updating job descriptions can establish baseline expectations about new processes. This is especially critical for improving agents’ skills to handle growing digital service inquiries.

Deliver Your Customer Support Digitally

As organizations continue to grow their digital offerings, contact center teams are now tasked with resolving new customer challenges. Virtual services and online platforms are powerful tools, but they also have the potential to overwhelm unprepared contact center teams. It’s critical to leverage these same digital platforms to educate and guide customers to solutions.

Consider services such as intelligent FAQs, live chat service, and co-browsing with an agent. These tools not only quickly resolve customer issues, but they also reduce operation costs while driving increased customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Mature organizations are moving toward an integrated model where contact center professionals are responsible for both voice and digital inquiries. While this is ideal, the training and personnel demands on support teams often can’t keep up with the launch of new digital offerings. Recognizing the additional customer support these new systems need, consider bringing on a third-party provider to deliver digital expertise and efficiency in the interim.

Personalize Your Service

There will always be customers who value in-person interactions, and even younger, digital natives often want the ability to connect with someone on the phone to ask questions about complex products. This same personal connection is what drives customers to choose a smaller company over its competitors. They want to avoid the rigid processes and impersonal toll-free numbers that come from large organizations.

If customers call a smaller organization and are bureaucratically bounced across different departments, with long wait times and unmet needs, they will inevitably find a new provider. That’s why it is critical to establish clear procedures and alignment between the primary contact center and the specialized support teams that provide enhanced solutions.

Simple practices, such as introducing procedures for warm handoffs, make transitioning from one agent to another a much more positive experience. The disjointed feeling clients get from cold handoffs leads to lower rates of first call resolution. This makes achieving the warm, personalized service that customers expect much more difficult.

Deliver Your Brand Promise

Traditional contact center solutions do not meet the changing needs and demands of today’s customers. Successfully transforming an organization’s contact center takes resources and effort, but it is critical for staying competitive in any customer-oriented industry.
Follow the above best practices to ensure that your company provides customers with the quick, personalized service they expect. This way an organization can provide better quality customer support and deliver on its brand promise.

Josh Botnen is the director of digital strategy and client experience at First Interstate Bank. He has over twenty years of experience in data, analytics, product management, and client experience spanning numerous industries.

A Concise Guide for Outsourcing Success, Part One



By Kathy Sisk

 Outsourcing is a buzzword and business trend in which many companies are making huge investments. While call center outsourcing ventures can provide numerous benefits to your organization under the right conditions, they can fail miserably without proper planning, analysis, and management.

If you are planning to outsource any or all aspects of your call center operation to a third-party call center, or if you have outsourced in the past and were severely dissatisfied with the outcome, read on.

All the hype surrounding call center outsourcing entices too many organizations to leap before they look. For instance, some companies enter an outsourcing venture merely to reduce operational costs, ignoring the true impact on the quality of service its customers receive. Such an approach often leads to lost business that offsets any financial savings the company may gain from contracting with a service bureau in the first place. 

Other companies make the mistake of outsourcing call center operations to improve performance problems without carefully considering the financial costs. These organizations—anxious to offer world-class service advertised by a particular agency—often find themselves paying exorbitant rates in pursuit of their quality service dream.

The decision to outsource must be based on both solid financial and service objectives. Click To Tweet

The decision to outsource must be based on both solid financial and service objectives. But before you can make such decisions, you must determine what level of outsourcing to evaluate: 

  • Are you looking to outsource 100 percent of the call center activity? 
  • Are you seeking a center to handle only a portion of your operation’s call load? 
  • Do you plan to use an agency merely as a backup in case of a crisis at your existing operation? 

Once you know the type of outsourcing venture desired, you can compare the associated costs of keeping things in-house versus outsourcing. 

Should you decide that outsourcing is right for you from a financial and strategic standpoint, conduct a careful analysis to select a specific agency that will meet your budget and service requirements.

In the next issue, we will look at the five steps you’ll want to take to select the right outsource call center partner.

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.