10 Steps to Vetting Contact Centers During the Pandemic

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The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all of us in so many ways. Businesses have been transformed, overnight in many cases, and the BPO call center space is no different. The changes to how, and in many cases where, we do business has significantly changed in the last twelve months. The call center industry, in particular, has seen an increase in home-based agents, as well as more demand from companies searching for call center services, due to downsizing or the decision to keep employees out of an office environment.

Before the pandemic, if you were looking to hire a contact center, the best way to vet them was to visit the facility for a tour, where you could observe staff and meet with key management. There isn’t a better way to evaluate representatives than by sitting next to them, putting on a headset, and watching them navigate screens and provide service. In the contact center world, this is truly evaluating the front-line staff at the place where “the rubber meets the road.”

With the changes in the office environment and the constant shifts in travel recommendations and protocols, how should you evaluate a contact center in today’s world?

10 Ways to Evaluate Contact Centers in 2021

1) Conduct a Site Visit (If It’s An Option). Evaluate the front-line staff and meet with management and executive teams. Take note of the company’s culture and make sure to review their technology. Systems are as vital as personnel on certain programs and drive efficiencies. Remember to ask questions about capabilities in the present as well as the future.

2) Interview Representatives Being Considered for Your Program. Quality contact centers will allow you to speak with staff and will welcome your input on which agents are placed on your project.

3) Place Mock Calls to Companies Being Serviced. Contact centers should gladly provide you with a few phone numbers that allow you to reach their staff and play the role of a customer. Do make sure to let the caller know your call was just a test at the conclusion.

4) Listen to Live Calls. Inquire about the option of listening to live calls. You might even be able to observe screen navigation, with client permission, and review the security measures that are in place.

5) Meet the Owners/Presidents/CEOs. Gauge their level of interest in your business. Inquire about the involvement they will have in your program and partnership. The best contact centers have executives at this level who are very engaged in client relationships.

6) Check References. Ask for current and former references. While it’s true that companies don’t typically provide bad references, you can still gain insight by speaking to their clients.

7) Review Their Website. Is the contact center speaking your language? Review details on their approach to training, supervision, and quality assurance, and make sure that their core competencies align with your needs.

8) Conduct an RFI/RFP. If you’re not sure how a company stacks up against the competition, assemble a list of questions to help gain the understanding needed to make an educated decision.

9) Review LinkedIn Data. LinkedIn is the most commonly used form of social media for the professional world. Spend some time researching who the contact center executives are, their capabilities and experience, and who they’re connected to. Also, take a look at the company’s LinkedIn page.

10) Ask Trusted Peers. Remember that someone you know may have valuable experience with a contact center you’re considering as a partner. Ask colleagues and friends about their contact center experiences and their advice on how to approach the vetting process.

Ready to Hire a Contact Center?

If you are in the market to hire a contact center, there are several steps you can take to help you make a decision, even without conducting a site visit. Taking the time to thoroughly vet each contact center will ensure you make the right selection for your company and program.

To learn more about why Telecom, Inc. could be the right partner for you and how we compare to other contact centers, please contact us today.

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