What's your experience with customer service? Today, many companies already outsource or plan to outsource, especially their customer support to call centers. In just a year, the outsourcing industry is estimated to reach $10 trillion according to Deloitte. Although some people may think that outsourcing will solve all of their business' problems, it isn't always the best solution. BPO providers can provide a service for you and your customers, and many businesses have seen success when working with them. However, not all outsourcing companies are competent enough to handle your needs or give your customers the help they deserve.
To best understand how a provider will work with your business, you need to know their customer services experience. Here are the top questions to ask when searching for an outsourcing vendor.
Request for the company's background and history
This is pretty typical, but obtaining a little bit of information about where the services provider has been and how it plans to move into the future can provide a lot of insight into whether or not this particular company will be able to meet your needs. It's important to have a good understanding of their techniques and quality standards so you can feel confident in your product being supported by them. If the team you are speaking with doesn't ask for this information, don't shy away from requesting it yourself.
Explore prospective BPOs background
- How long have you been a provider of customer support outsourcing for companies?
- How many employees do you have?
- Where are your call centers located?
- What awards have you received since your founding?
- What languages do you support?
Ask about the company culture and environment
A positive work culture is one the most important indicators of a quality BPO provider. You can tell a work culture is positive when everyone who works with the provider enjoy their jobs and appreciate working together. Additionally, their benefits package and their work perks have the potential to reflect a positive work culture.
Getting a complete picture
It's hard to feel confident in your BPO provider if you haven't met them in person, so try to visit the office in person if possible. If this isn't an option, keep reading for questions you should ask over the phone.
Critical company culture questions
- How does your corporate culture align with your understanding of our own company, values, and culture?
- Describe your company's culture.
- What is your mission statement?
- How does your company treat its employees?
- Do you offer a good benefits package and a competitive salary in the industry? What are some of these benefits? Are there any other incentives, such as vacation time or bonuses based on performance? How often do you have parties or events for employees?
- Can you provide an employee handbook?
- What is your annual agent attrition rate (list both voluntary and involuntary turnover numbers)?
Inquire about data and technology capabilities
You already have a wealth of data about your business and are utilizing technology that works well in the customer support department. That's why it's so important to understand how a provider plans to connect them and manage them for success. It's no use trying to work with a team that doesn't understand your technologies and capabilities.
Here are some questions to ask a provider before you begin working together:
Data management questions
- Do you have real-time reporting dashboards your clients can view?
- Detail key performance indicators (KPIs) used in each of the functional areas of the contact centre, including definitions, how computed and reporting frequency.
- Please provide a sample of your daily operation reporting.
Technology compatibility questions
- Describe your integration capabilities with our systems.
- Are you PCI and SOC II compliant?
- What other security measures do you have in place?
Get to know their expertise in hiring and training candidates
For an account to benefit from a partnership with an outsourcing company, it's best to understand the details surrounding the hiring and training processes. As a potential partner, the service provider should clarify what the timeline looks like and how the training will prioritize the skills necessary to perform efficiently and securely.
Consider these hiring and training questions
- Describe the recruitment process and expected timeframes.
- Please describe your hiring criteria and process.
- What level of involvement do your clients typically have in training
- What is unique about your agent training regimen?
Finding an ideal outsourcing firm is a marathon, not a race
Of course, the questions don't end there. These are just some of the most crucial questions to ask initially. You may have additional queries depending on your business's demands.
We understand that everyone has distinct expectations, techniques, and even personalities when it comes to offering customer support, so if you're looking for an outsourcing provider to help, don't hesitate to ask these questions and any more to help us understand your needs.