Buyer Guide to Call Centers
10 Things to Know About Call Center Services
1. The less reps, the better
Its best to have as few people as possible on the phone representing your company. This way, the reps will be able to learn your business better, represent your business better, which in turns services your clients better.
2. Make sure to ask the right questions
See our Questions to Ask When Choosing a Call Center Service Provider article for questions to ask potential companies before agreeing to let them represent you.
3. Reps are compensated differently
If a representative is working on commission, they will probably end up representing your company better and working harder than if they work on a flat salary. Be sure to ask how employees are compensated or rewarded for their performance on your project.
4. Decide what type of callers you need
Do you want reps to close a sale for you? Set up appointments? Generate leads? Make sure you convey your specific goals. Ask what type of calls most of their clients have them make -you want your objectives to match the skill level of their reps.
5. Success Depends on Many Variables
A campaign's success has many different factors: a script, the personality of the reps, the prospect list. You'll need to account for all of these aspects when outlining your campaign
6. Be specific on the specifics
You'll need to be clear with vendors on when you want calls to be made, how you want follow-ups handled, etc. Having a clear plan with allow for uniformity and better service to your clients.
7. Ask About Training
Sure, most reps are trained when they are hired, but what about ongoing education about your product/service? Make sure that the company is willing to keep their reps up to date in your industry and on your products or services!
8. Own your own 800 Number
The reps will need to get in touch with you and leave you messages, so you'll need an 800 number for this purpose. The call center may offer to buy and set up a phone number for you, but its better if you get your own 800 number -if you ever need to switch to another call center, it will be easier if you own the number.
9. Use Your Resources
Make use of the staff you already have to help create scripts and/or train individuals. For example, your sales staff may be able to give reps calling on behalf of them helpful hints to make both their jobs more efficient.
10. Pricing and Contracts
Many different variables exist in the pricing structure of call center services. How they compensate their reps (commission as a percentage of total revenue generated will pay less hourly, but may cost you more), days and time of day when calls will be placed, and the type of project and expertise needed are all factors. You'll need to have prospective vendors outline their costs, explaining anything that might not be covered that could cost extra later (i.e. additional training, creation of call scripts).