You’re ready to outsource your call center, but not sure where to start. It’s a tale as old as time. Developing a concise strategy for exporting your customer service center can be a daunting challenge, but not impossible. It’s important to be thorough in your planning and not to be disheartened if you’ve started and stopped the process one too many times already. The truth is: No two call centers are the same, but when deciding on a BPO, they can follow the same essential steps. Here we uncover the key steps towards building a strong BPO strategy so that you can get your call center up and running in no time.
1. Ensure Everyone is On Board
Let’s assume you’ve determined that outsourcing is the only option you have. This usually happens when your existing processes are no longer meeting business goals, and you need to reduce costs in order to meet KPIs or remain competitive. Now that you’ve determined that you’re ready to start sourcing potential BPO partners, you must ensure all stakeholders, departments, and personnel are on the same page before making any significant changes. This will require more than an email to the team saying, “Hey we’re doing this BPO thing, cool?”
2. Lay the Foundation
Define exactly what you’re looking for, just like any partnership, compromises must be made but it’s important that all interests are fulfilled. This can be summed up in three areas: expectations, risks, and finances.
- Set Expectations: Have your team list their expectations of a BPO partner so that no one is disappointed.
- Calculate Risks: Every partnership agreement has risks associated with it. It’s important to understand these risks BEFORE you decide on a BPO.
- Determine Budget: The whole point to outsourcing is to reduce costs right? Analyze direct and indirect costs by developing some use cases. This will allow you to source the most appropriate BPO partners for your organizational needs.
3. Sourcing the Right Partner
Once you’ve defined your goals and objectives, you can start the sourcing process, which means research, research, research. There are a lot of BPOs offering many of the same things, but if you have clearly defined what you’re looking for in previous steps it won’t take long to narrow down what kind of BPO is best suited for you. When you’ve locked down a few potential options, you should reach out to any businesses they’ve worked with to gather intelligence on their performance. This will be crucial to choosing a trusted partner. Nothing is more valuable than client testimonials.
4. Develop a Two-Way Service Level Agreement
Successful BPO strategies involve two parties that are mutually satisfied with the final agreement. Be as transparent as possible about every service expectation and cost factor so that both parties understand what will and will not be included in the outsourced agreement. In defining the service level agreement (SLA), it is important to discuss objectives for the project, how long it will take, and how results will be measured. If you don’t define SLAs and key metrics up-front, miscommunication and problems are bound to occur. Be thorough in your service level agreement, or you might get stuck with a poor return on your investment.