If you’re considering hiring an outbound call center and you have never done so, you may feel overwhelmed with choices and unsure how to make the right one. You are not alone. Many business owners struggle with evaluating outbound call centers for quality service and the ability to meet critical business objectives.
The good news is that it is possible to determine whether a call center is worth the investment before signing on the dotted line. Here are seven tips to help you find the right call center partner to lead you to outbound sales success. Make sure any call center you’re considering does the following:
1. Meets Your Needs
Before you hire an outbound call center for the first time, it’s vital to find out whether it has the capacity to meet all of your outbound needs.
Suppose that you are hiring a contact center to help with sales. In that case, you’ll want to ensure it can assist with everything from outbound lead generation to appointment setting and closing deals. When agents understand effective sales techniques, success is far more likely.
You should also consider whether the call center offers outbound services beyond outbound lead generation and sales.
Customer surveys and win-back campaigns are excellent ways to conduct market research and reconnect with old customers. Call centers that offer these services can help you discover insights and win new sales from those who have already bought from you.
2. Provides Domestic Service
If your business is located within the United States, your chosen call center should be able to provide domestic outbound calling services. This ensures that no language barriers or cultural differences hinder agent communication or negatively impact the customer experience.
When agents are not culturally aligned, their definitions of professional communication and behavior may be different. These agents may also find it difficult to truly connect with your customers on an emotional level, which is an essential skill for outbound cold calling.
You want to ensure your agents are equipped to help you build brand trust and customer satisfaction — two critical drivers of sales and revenue in your business.
3. Offers Customizable Programs
The outsourced call center you choose to work with should never take a one-size-fits-all approach to program implementation.
Not all businesses will have the same needs, and each individual enterprise will have varying requirements depending on the season or time of year. Avoid working with call centers that sell rigid service packages or require inflexible, long-term contracts.
Instead, opt for a call center partner that allows you to scale your outsourced workforce up or down or change your service model as needed.
For example, if you initially hired telemarketers to take care of the entire sales process but now want an outsourcing partner for outbound lead generation services only, will your chosen call center allow for this type of flexibility? Make sure that the answer to this question is yes.
4. Ensures Agent Readiness
While someone may have a natural aptitude for sales, more is needed to create sales success. Good outbound telemarketers usually receive extensive training on the latest sales tactics and have in-depth experience turning leads into loyal customers. Is your chosen call center hiring these types of agents?
Before signing a contract with a call center, make sure the agents working on your account understand effective sales tactics and closing techniques. It’s even better if the call center provides ongoing training for agents to keep them updated with the latest best practices.
5. Assesses Industry Experience
As you seek an outbound call center to work with, ask each center about the clients they have worked with in the past. Does the call center have experience providing outbound telemarketing services to businesses of your size? What about clients in your particular industry? Do they understand the specific needs of corporate clients?
The answers to these questions will affect how much time and energy you’ll need to invest in the professional relationship and the level of trust you can have in your call center partner.
A call center’s previous experience can affect how well the agents perform and whether the results will live up to your expectations, so it’s best to verify experience before your campaign starts.
6. Observes Quality Assurance
Just as businesses have performance reviews for direct hires, any call center you work with should be able to outline its quality assurance process for its outbound services.
For example, all agents should have a portion of their calls recorded and reviewed for professionalism, brand messaging, and the use of effective sales tactics. The call center should also set and review sales KPIs to ensure adequate performance.
It is in your best interests to ensure the call center has a review and retraining protocol in place when the sales team is falling short. You should also ensure your business leaders receive regular standardized reports from the call center team indicating how well the campaign is going and what adjustments are needed moving forward.
7. Ensures Fair Pricing
Don’t hire an outbound telemarketing service in the U.S. without knowing what its pricing model looks like. Prices should be based on the level of service you need and whether you desire dedicated agents, a shared solution, or a hybrid model.
Also, consider partnering with a call center that can provide performance-based billing. This allows you to ensure outbound sales success and shift the risk associated with underperformance to the third-party contact center.
Your Outbound Call Center Partner Makes All the Difference
Hiring the right outbound call center has the potential to make or break your sales campaign. Before making your decision, take the time to evaluate a contact center’s full suite of offerings and ensure it has the capacity, experience, and commitment to help you achieve your strategic goals.
If it’s your first time working with a call center, the best thing you can do for your business is avoid rushing into a professional relationship.
When you take the time to properly evaluate your options and use these seven tips to find the call center that’s right for you, you’ll gain a true sales partner who can help position your business for maximum success.